Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various sites and portals in the internet.
In India, chutney and pickles are an integral part of meals and snacks. There are many food items that are used to prepare chutney in India. People use various methods and styles for the preparation of these different types of chutneys. Some of the common items used in making chutney are mango powder, lemon, raw fruits of various kinds, mint leaves, coriander leaves, the combination of tomato, garlic, onion, ginger etc.
Some chutneys are consumed raw while some are to be cooked before consuming. The apple chutney described in this article is to be taken after cooking. In this version, we will be using a microwave for cooking it though people having less familiarity with a microwave can go with traditional cooking over a hot plate or gas stove.
About Apple Chutney
For making apple chutney, raw and unripe apples are prefered. Though ripe apples can also be used their taste will not be as appealing as raw ones. Another thing is that traditionally these chutneys are prepared in pans over gas stoves or hot plates but in this version we have used a microwave instead. The quality of chutney is as good as that of prepared traditionally. Microwave cooking requires some cautions and care and that we will discuss subsequently in this article.
Due to its special taste, apple chutney is invariably prepared in some parts of our country during a religious or other function. This is more common in villages than in the cities. In the Northern territories of India in some hill areas, this chutney is quite popular because of easy availability of apples there.
Before going to prepare this delicious chutney let us go through some basics about microwave cooking so that the chutney making process gets easy.
This type of chutneys can be cooked in the traditional way that is cooking in a pan on a stove or hot plate but here, I have used the microwave as one can cook in the microwave in a hassle free way. Many people are not well versed with microwave cooking so it would be worthwhile to go through some of the fundamentals of cooking in a microwave.
Microwave has generally 4 or 5 cooking ranges starting from very high to very low heat (very high, high, medium, low, very low). For example, for cooking vegetables, one can use 'very high' or 'high' option. For keeping the food warm one can use 'very low' setting. One of the most important thing in microwave cooking is that one has to mix or add a calculated quantity of water to the dish before cooking and it should be sufficient to cook it and absorb and evaporate in the process and the dish becomes just dry as planned. For making curries, there is no such precision required and one can add 3-4 cups of water depending upon the number of people going to have it. Adding the required amount of water is the most important thing in microwave cooking and one learns it with experience.
Another thing in microwave coking is the setting time for cooking. One can learn it by experience but the rule of the thumb is that if a dish takes say 16 minutes to get prepared then pause the microwave after 12 minutes and check for the water in the dish. If water is sufficient then continue otherwise add a little water. When water is dried up in the dish then only the problem of charring or burning of food takes place and the attempt of cooking fails. So whenever there is a doubt it is always a good thing to pause and open the microwave oven and check for it. The best time to check for it is 3-4 minutes before the end time of cooking.
Those who are not comfortable with microwave cooking can go for the traditional saute and cook mode using their own basic culinary skills.
We have prepared this chutney using half a kilogram of unripe apples. The chutney prepared with this much quantity of apple is sufficient for 3-4 people for 4-5 meals as normally it is taken 1 or 2 spoons per person during a single meal. Please note that chutney is not a main dish. It is just like pickles that are usually to be taken in a small quantity.
The chutney takes about 25-30 minutes time in getting ready including the preparation time. The ingredients used in this chutney are -
- Apple - 1/2 kg (3-4 apples medium size).
- Sugar - 4 to 6 tbsp depending upon sweet taste.
- Ginger - 1 to 2-inch piece.
- Dry dates - 6 to 8 numbers.
- Raisins (small) - 20 to 25 numbers.
- Black pepper powder - 1 tsp.
- Clove - 3 to 4 numbers.
- Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp.
- Big Cardamom - 2 numbers.
- Salt - 1/2 tsp.
- Red Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp (optional item).
- Vinegar - 1 tsp (optional item).
If you do not have all the spices available and do not want to go in that hassle then alternatively in place of the spices you can add 2 tsp of Indian Garam Masala powder which is available online across the world.
Wash the apples and peel them and grate or cut into small pieces. I have cut them into small pieces this time as evident from the picture of the prepared chutney shown in the beginning of the article. Remove the seeds from it beforehand. Peel the ginger and chop it in long and thin sticks. Chop the dry dates also in long and thin pieces. Wash the raisins and keep them aside.
Take a microwave bowl and place the grated apple or its small pieces and ginger pieces in it. Add sugar, salt, and half a cup of water. Keep the bowl in the microwave and set the heat range as Very High or High. I would prefer High. Cook this for about 6-7 minutes and take it out. Now add sugar and all the spices to it and mix well and again put back in the microwave. Cook it in the same settings for about 4-5 minutes and take the bowl out. To preserve it one can add half a tsp of vinegar preferably apple vinegar. In cool places, it might not be required.
Please do not cook this for a long time just to reduce water or anything like that as that would lead to thickening of the sugar syrup leading to solidification and spoiling the fluid taste. Of course a 2 to 3 minutes extra cooking would not do any harm.
Normally the colour of this chutney will be light brown to blackish brown but if we use jaggery in place of sugar then the colour of this chutney will be more brown or blackish.
The prepared chutney can be kept in a small bowl with a serving spoon and one can take it as per one's liking. Normally one spoonful is sufficient to make one relish it during the meals. The chutney can also be kept in the fridge for using it later.
- If apple is not available one can go for pears, peach, raw mango etc and a similar delicious chutney can be made easily.
- In place of sugar, one can use jaggery also.
- Quantity of salt and sugar can be increased or decreased as per liking or medical/health instructions.
- If one is interested to have more juice in the chutney then the water can be increased from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup at the time of adding it.
- If the prepared quantity is more and cannot be consumed in a day or two then it is advised to add vinegar at the rate of 1/2 tsp for the above quantity and then it can be kept for more time preferably in the refrigerator.
- To increase the fibre contents in this chutney one can also add the finely chopped peelings of the apples in it before cooking. Of course, this would be at the cost of compromising the taste to a little extent.
One tablespoon of this chutney when ready to eat consists of about 25 to 30 calories only. The main source of carbohydrate in the chutney is sugar, sugar in apple, sugar in dry dates, and sugar in raisins. Those who wish to reduce this carbohydrate might think to reduce the sugar to be added to the chutney though it will be compromising with its taste to some extent.
Apple is a fruit that is used in jams and jellies of all kinds but this chutney tastes very delicious and different from them. Basically it is happening due to the use of specific Indian spices. In essence, it is an interesting part of Indian food to relish pickles and chutneys with main meals and snacks and from that perspective, one can try this recipe for preparing this delicious chutney.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Umesh Chandra Bhatt
Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 26, 2021:
Vanita and Ravirajan, thanks to both of you for your visit. Appreciate.
Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on February 26, 2021:
Very interesting and nice recipe to try Umesh.I am going to surely make apple chutney today. Thanks for sharing.
Vanita Thakkar on February 25, 2021:
Looks delicious. Good details given. Thanks.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 25, 2021:
Emge, Chitrangada, and Misbah, thanks to you all for such encouraging comments.
Misbah Sheikh from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on February 25, 2021:
Thanks for sharing this authentic recipe with good details
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 25, 2021:
This sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing the details of the apple chutney recipe.
MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 25, 2021:
Wonderful, that you are a chef also. I have been doing a spot of cooking with my GF also during the pandemic.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 25, 2021:
Liz, thanks for your interest.
Liz Westwood from UK on February 24, 2021:
I too often take the lazy route and buy chutney. Your article inspires me to make my own.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 24, 2021:
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 24, 2021:
This sounds like a very tasty chutney. Thank you for sharing the recipe, Umesh.