If it’s July or August and you are in North India, 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 the carts in your bazars would be loaded with bright beautiful fruits like Plums, Mangoes and Apricots. However gloomy the sky may look on certain days, I must assure you, all that is 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.
Soaking in the rain
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?), this chutney is great with dal chawal, rot, cheelas, pancakes or just on its own!
The bazaars are flooded with apricots and plums these days in the north.
Dark Wine Red Waxy Plums
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 use 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!
Here’s how you can make a lovely batch of Aloo Bukhara or Plum Chutney
- Red plums, 4-5 or around 300-400 grams
- Sugar, 1/2 cup
- A pinch of salt
- Black pepper, a few cracks
- Cardamom powder, 1/4 tsp (optional)
- Red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp (optional)
- Cumin powder, 1/2 tsp (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 while cooking later.
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!
Enjoy this gorgeous Plum Chutney on the sides of roti and sabzi or even dal chawal.
Better still dunk some hot pakoras and enjoy with a hot cup of chai as the rain sings in a pitter patter!
- 300 to 400 grams Fresh plums/ Aloo Bukhara
- 1/2 cup Sugar/ Cheeni You can also sub this with jaggery
- 1/8 tsp Salt/ Namak
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chili/ lal mirch powder optional but recommended
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper/ Kaali Mirch freshly ground, a few cracks worth
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom/ Elaichi powder Optional
- Start by washing and patting drying the plums. Cut the plums into wedges roughly or any way you can. You can let some flesh be on the pits, which will be used in the recipe. Taste some to figure out the sweetness of the plums. If they are too tart then you can add more sugar while cooking later.
- 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. Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate up to a month.
- Serve with delicious plum chutney with pakoras, cheela or meals with roti and rice.
- I recommend using the Kashmiri red chilli powder in this recipe as it makes the resultant chutney hot and sweet.
- This recipe uses the whole fruit, pits, peels and all. As you cook the chutney, the fruit softens to a pulp but some fruit remains on the pit. Sucking the pits of the fruit in this chutney is an enjoyable experience but if you want you can make this chutney by removing pits at the first step.
Wow! Plum Chutney sounds good.
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