As autumn arrives, we still try to make the most of the last few summer fruits that are left. So, it might not seem that strange when I try to purchase all the grapes, figs and melons left on the market.
A couple of years ago I found myself with a very large amount of grapes, the very good, very Albanian type of grape which is used for a famous wine ( Shesh i zi, literally meaning black square) and looks like the very round, black type of grape full of aroma. As eating it straight way or juicing was something I was already bored with, I was looking for a nice recipe to incorporate my big batch of aromatic grapes. Then I came across a recipe for grape chutney. I wasn’t quite sure what a chutney was, as I had only ever tried the mango chutney in Indian restaurants in London. So I just gave it a try.
It was one of those recipes when you are not too sure what the outcome will be, whether you will like it or not, but you really want to try it. For one thing, even if you don’t like eating the end result, it will make your home smell good.
As chutney is not usually something to be eaten on its own ( for most people at least) you should try to pair it with other foods. In India it is considered as a side dish to accompany the meal. When I first made it I liked to match it with cheese, bread and cheese. It would look great in a cheese board ( and taste great there too). Other uses I would suggest would be with red meat and of course Indian food. My mom liked it so much that she used it like jam to spread on her bread.
I was inspired from Madhuja’s recipe but as always changed quite some things.
about 500 gr of grapes (mixed and whole)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
juice of half a lemon
2-3 teaspoons of honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1/3 cup of water
a pinch of salt
Put the ginger, mustard seeds and chilies in a non stick pan and fry just for a few seconds until aromatic then add the rest of the ingredients. Boil for about 20-30 minutes in a medium- high heat. The more you cook it, the thicker and more jam-like it will become. Stop anytime you like the consistency. I usually like to boil it for over 30 minutes to get the sticky texture.
Note: You could try to use seedless grapes with this recipe, but I prefer the aromatic, “seedful” grapes for this recipe.