Make a simple pear chutney with raisins for dinner one night this week and one bite will make you feel as though you’re dining at a top-rated restaurant. This dishes simplicity, paired with it’s extraordinary taste, is a truly indulgent treat.
It is easy to make, and quite good for you too. If you’re not already eating chutney in your house you should be for sure. It has a way of transforming an ordinary dinner into an elegant affair. And who doesn’t want that every now and then?!?!
You may be familiar with the saying …”Don’t save the candles for a special occasion. Today is a special occasion”. Well, chutney is one of those things that is unfortunately often saved for special events.
When it should be used as a part of your regular meal rotation routine. For this reason, it is quickly earning it’s place in the meal rotations in my house.
WHAT IS CHUTNEY?
Chutney originated in India and it is actually considered a condiment. It has been around since 500 B.C., but in my house it’s just made it’s debut in the last 3 or 4 years. So, look out dressings and sauces … chutney has arrived!
It can be made with just about any fruit or vegetable, and it is quite popular not just in India but throughout the world. Once you have tried it, you will surely understand why that is. It really is a very versatile and heavenly treat.
Chutney can be made sweet, spicy, or savory. It takes nothing more than switching out the seasonings you use to make it.
So if you’re in the mood for spicy throw in some red pepper flakes, jalapeno, or chile peppers. And if it’s sweet you’re craving try some cinnamon or nutmeg.
HOW TO MAKE CHUTNEY
Chutney is a one pot dish and takes very little time to put together. It can be whipped up in just minutes while the rest of your dinner is cooking.
But, personally, I prefer to make it before I start dinner, and then allow it to sit and meld it’s varied flavors as I prepare the rest of my meal.
This also gives it some time to thicken a bit more than it does when served steaming hot from the pan. And that is a desirable trait as it helps to keep it from running right off the food your serving it over. It gives it a sort of ‘stickability’, if you know what I mean.
Chutney is always made with a combination of fruit or vegetables, vinegar, spices, and a sweetener. There is nothing more to making it than incrementally adding all of the ingredients to a saute pan and then cooking them to the appropriate tenderness.
It makes a great replacement on the table for a pan of sauteed veggies. While offering something different to make those weeknight meals a little less routine.
HOW TO SERVE CHUTNEY
There are so many ways to serve chutney that it feels impossible to present them to you in a blog post.
So, here’s a little list to get your own imagination rolling in order to help you get the most out of this truly delicious Indian dish …
- As a garnish for chicken, pork, or fish
- As a garnish for a cheese platter
- Over yogurt or ice cream
- As a spread for bagels, english muffins, or toast
- Poured over cream cheese and served with crackers
- With roasted sweet potatoes and squash
- On a sandwich
- On top of pancakes, waffles, or french toast
IS PEAR CHUTNEY HEALTHY?
Chutney is very often made with white sugar. It doesn’t feel necessary to go into all of the reasons that sugar should be avoided in your diet. At this point, it seems most people understand that simple white sugar is simply not good for your health.
So, it goes without saying that when it is prepared in this way it is definitely not a very healthy dish.
However, the recipe that I’m sharing with you here today uses honey as a sweetener. And that exponentially changes how healthy it is for you. In moderation, it is really a rather nice addition to a well-rounded healthy diet.
You can also use maple syrup or date syrup in place of honey to sweeten your chutney and still maintain a positive nutritional value in the dish.
I have made it with coconut sugar and raw sugar as well. These options are much better than white sugar. Yet, they don’t really lend much of their own nutritional value to the dish.
RECIPE VARIATIONS FOR PEAR CHUTNEY
Fruits or vegetables, sweet, spicy, or savory seasonings, honey, maple syrup, or date syrup, balsamic, cider, white wine, or red wine vinegar … the variations for any chutney recipe are endless.
Here are a few ways to change up this pear raisin chutney recipe:
- replace the raisins with another dried fruit, like; figs, dates, cranberries, or apricots
- switch out the cardamom and ginger for thyme and garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg, or red pepper flakes and oregano
- use peaches, mangoes, or apples instead of pears
- use balsamic or red wine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar
HOW TO STORE CHUTNEY
There is enough vinegar in this recipe to make it last for a considerably long time in the refrigerator. In general, you can expect your chutney to last at least 2 weeks. I have seen it last twice that long when made with very fresh fruits/vegetables.
Chutney can be prepared ahead and frozen for convenience if you have the desire to do that. I sometimes simply double the batch I’m making and freeze half of it for another day.
Freezing just one batch doesn’t do much to increase my pantry stores. But it sure is a nice treat when I’m trying to figure out what’s for dinner and I come across a bit of delicious homemade chutney in my freezer.
It will last in the freezer for at least 6 months.
Canning chutney is also a great option. It can be done using the water bath method of canning. And it will last for several years on your pantry shelves.
I’d love to hear about your experience with chutneys. If you decide to make this recipe drop in the comments and let me know how it works out for you. Or if you have others recipes/ideas to share with me about chutney please drop in as well … we can chat all about it!
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY THESE CONDIMENTS/SAUCES RECIPES:
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This simple pear chutney will make you feel like you're dining at a top-rated restaurant. It's extraordinery taste is truly indulgent.
- 1 - 1 1/2 tbls olive oil
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 red bartlett pears, cored, peeled, and chopped
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1-2 tbls tapioca starch
- Saute onions in olive oil, in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, until they are translucent.
- Stir in pears.
- Stir in ginger and cardamom.
- Cook until pears are tender and easily cut with a spoon. Do not overcook pears as they will continue to cook when you add the liquids to the pot.
- Stir in raisins.
- Stir in white vinegar and allow to cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in honey.
- Sift tapioca starch over the top of the mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir it in and repeat as necessary to achieve desired thickness. Sifting the tapioca starch is an important step as it prevents clumping.
- Serve hot or allow to cool and refrigerate to be served cold.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 5gSugar: 32gProtein: 1g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 2/17/2022. Nutrition information isn't always accurate.