A while ago, I got my hands on a beautiful bunch of seedless black grapes, probably the last of this variety I will get this year. I wanted to do something different from the usual with them, so I used them to make a sweet-and-spicy chutney. The chutney, or relish if you want to call it so, turned out beautiful and was much loved. It made for a lovely accompaniment to parathas and dosas.
What is best about this chutney is that it needs very little oil. If you use naturally sweet and slightly sour grapes, you can skip adding sugar as well, making the chutney even healthier. It can be stored, refrigerated, for up to 10 days.
Here is how I made the chutney.
- A big bunch of seedless black grapes
- Salt, to taste
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil (for the tadka)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds (for the tadka)
- Sugar, to taste (optional – skip this if the grapes are naturally sweet)
- Tamarind paste, to taste (optional – use this only if the grapes are very sweet and not tangy at all)
- A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped or grated (optional)
- A pinch of asafoetida
- Remove all the stems from the grapes and wash them thoroughly. Pat them dry using a cotton towel, ensuring that no moisture remains.
- Puree the grapes in a mixer. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter, and then add the asafoetida. Let it stay in for a few seconds.
- If you are using ginger, add it in at this stage. Cook for a minute or two.
- Now, add in the grape puree and the tamarind paste (if using), along with salt and red chilli powder to taste and turmeric powder.
- Cook on low-medium flame till the chutney thickens to a semi-liquid consistency. Stir intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the sugar (if using) at this stage. Cook for 2-3 minutes more on low-medium flame, stirring intermittently. Switch off the gas when the chutney is thick, but not overly so. It will thicken further upon cooling.
- Let the chutney cool down completely before transferring it to a dry, air-tight, clean bottle. Store refrigerated.
- Make sure you use the seedless variety of grapes to make this chutney.
- You could use green grapes instead of black ones, too.
- If you want to get bits of grapes in your mouth as you eat, cut the grapes into halves and cook them, instead of pureeing them. I pureed them, because I wanted a fine paste.
- You could add chopped or torn curry leaves to this chutney too, if you want to. I omitted them.
- A dash of mustard (rai) powder and/or fenugreek (methi) powder would, I am sure, take the taste of this chutney to a whole new level. I omitted them, though.
- You could use healthier alternatives in place of sugar, too – like palm sugar or jaggery powder.
You like? I hope you will try this out, and that you will love it, too!