Monday, March 5, 2012

Spicy Date Chutney

I recently bought a big bag of dates from Costco for a recipe. Of course everything at Costco comes in a large bag so I was left with a lot of leftover dates that I had to figure out how to use.  Dates are sweet so they lend themselves well to both sweet or savory dishes. I love the balance of sweet and savory so I decided to make a spicy and savory chutney to go with rice and curry meals or roasted meats. This chutney comes together quickly if you have a food processor to help you grind everything up.  I served this chutney to my own "top chef judge" --also known as my mother and she loved it. Now I may have to buy another bag of dates just so I can make this chutney again and again.

2 cups of pitted dates (divided)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs of chili powder (or to taste)
salt to taste
1 Tbs of grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs of grated fresh garlic

In a food processor blend together 1 1/2 cups of pitted dates, 1/2 cup of vinegar, salt, sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili powder until it forms a coarse paste. Remove paste to a pan.   Then take the remaining half cup of dates and pulse until it's forms a coarse chop and add it to the date paste (this step also helps clean out all the paste from the food processor). Add  2 Tbs of vinegar to a pan with the date mixture and cook on medium low heat until it starts to bubble gently and become sticky(about 8-10 minutes).  Taste for the balance of salt, chili, sweet and tart (from the vinegar). Add a little more of any component that is not balanced.   Allow to cool and serve with rice and curry or roasted meats. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.   Enjoy. 


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