Thursday, May 10, 2012

Stalking a tasty chutney

My farmers' bounty basket last week included 5 stalks of rhubarb. Not quite enough for a pie, but what to do with them? I saw a recipe for rhubarb chutney on a Tasting Table email, but I really didn't want to drive 8 miles to get some of the spices from the Indian specialty store. So I improvised. Here's the recipe I came up with.

Rhubarb Chutney
Makes 2 8-ounce jars

½ cup water
Juice of 2 limes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 dried arbol chili peppers
2 tablespoons garam masala
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 medium stalks rhubarb, ends trimmed and stalk chopped into ½- to 1-inch pieces
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the water, lime juice and sugar to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the spices and cook, stirring often, until the spices become fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the ginger and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute, then stir in the rhubarb and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb collapses into a sauce, 6 to 8 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until a wooden spoon leaves a trail in the bottom of the pot that doesn’t immediately fill in, 25 to 35 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature, then transfer to glass jars.

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