Monsoon special Plum chutney
It’s probably raining in your city these days. And some of you might even be sick of gloomy clouds and the humid heat that comes with the season. But let me assure you, it’s any day better than the Dubai heat. The sun here is not kind! At least the visual and sound of rain has some calming effect on the mind and body; how it washes every branch, building and bird. The city goes through a much needed rinse and repeats the monotony. I miss that very much here.
Some of you might be having endless cups of tea, sometimes cardamom, sometimes ginger-tulsi, sometimes just good old plain chai! And of course, what better way to enjoy a rainy day than with pakoras! Now I know, a standard hari chutney with pakoras is to swear by! But I’d like to suggest another chutney that you might not have tried with pakoras. And even if you’re not making pakoras (seriously? Why?), it’s great with dal chawal or roti or pancakes or just on it’s own!
The bazaars are flooded with apricots and plums these days in the north. I love the look of these dark, wine red waxy plums, how they look dramatically icy on the outside and are super juicy on the inside. However, I don’t always enjoy eating them just like that for I find them to be too tart! Every year, my mother makes batches of this “Aloo Bukhara” chutney again and again till plums disappear off the carts for the season. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser and is great to lift up any meal. So this year, when I found them at a nearby supermarket, I decided to relive the joy of the monsoon by making the same plum chutney.
And the great thing is that you don’t need to figure out picking only sweet plums. I found Spanish red plums alongside some black ones that were red from the inside. I guess one black plum sneaked into my selection and I found out only when I cut them later. Both varieties were sweet. But I wouldn’t eat them just like that. I was on a mission!
4-5 red plums
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
cardamom powder (optional)
red chilli powder (optional)
cumin powder (optional)
Cut the plums into wedges roughly or any way you can. You can let some flesh be on the pit. Taste some to figure out the sweetness of the plums. If they are too tart then you can add more sugar.
Transfer the plums to a sauce pan on low heat. Add the sugar and let it cook till the fruit and sugar start melting. The plums will now secrete their juices and you’ll find the mix becomes more watery. Add a pinch of salt.
Keep the flame on low and let it simmer. Stir occasionally to ensure that the syrup doesn’t stick. This is the time to add black pepper and other optional spices now. Cook till the sauce becomes thick but not sticky. This should take 12-15 minutes.
It’s really that simple!
Other monsoon recipes