By Jessie Lehail,
Special to The Post
I adore chutneys. There are certain foods that my mom makes that have become symbols of love for me, and chutneys score high on that list.
My mom uses good quality, seasonal ingredients. She also customizes her chutneys — spicier for consumption at home, and decreasing the intensity for an event.
She was taken aback a few years ago, when I deconstructed her formula for making chutney. I was apprehensive, but I combined cherries (the sweet factor), aromatics (the savoury factor), and then seasonings to create an intense, addictive chutney. She was impressed, but more so, she was proud that I had taken notice of her assertiveness in the kitchen.
There are many ways to serve this deep red chutney. It’s delicious basted on pork tenderloin or roasted turkey. This chutney can be a spread on your favourite sandwich, or add a spoonful with a sharp cheddar cheese and crisp crackers.
• 4 cups cherries, pitted
• 1 cup red onion, chopped
• 2 red chilies, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 ½ tablespoons ginger, chopped
• 1/4 cup cilantro stems, chopped
• 1/4 cup white vinegar
• 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 3 tablespoons water
In a large, heavy pot, stir together all of the ingredients, except water and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer, stirring every couple of minutes. After about 35 minutes, stir more often and once the chutney has reduced, mix the cornstarch and water together in a bowl and add it to the pot. Continue cooking until thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool. Blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.