apricot-orange chutney

Another savory application of fruit, this time courtesy of Monica Bhide’s Modern Spice. She give the recipe for this to be served as an accompaniment for fried paneer as an appetizer, but I ended up using this as a kind of all-purpose chutney with fish and chicken. It was definitely kicky and tasty and I look forward to making it again when apricot seasons rolls around once more.

Apricot-Orange Chutney (adapted from Modern Spice)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1.5 cups fresh apricots, pitted and diced (4-6 depending on size)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 small green jalapeno chile, seeded and minced [the recipe calls for serrano, but I had what I had]
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon chile powder or red chile flakes
Pinch of saffron/bigger pinch of safflower
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped dates

Heat the oil in a medium pan until it shimmers. Add mustard seeds and cover, letting the mustard seeds pop like popcorn. It should settle down in about 30 seconds.

Add the apricots, ginger, chile, orange and lemon juices, chile powder, saffron, sugar, dates, and a little salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the apricots have mostly broken down and the entire mixture has thickened – about 25 minutes. You want it to be jammy with a few chunks of soft apricot left, that’s it.

Correct for salt and either slather some fried paneer or let cool and jar.


Ingredients, in part.


Safflower is ‘bastard saffron’ and you need a lot more of it to do the same thing, but it’s a fraction of a cost of the real thing.


It does not get prettier as it cooks. But it’s tasty.



4 thoughts on “apricot-orange chutney

  1. Looks good. Jalapenos are likely a better choice than serrano chilies. The serranos tend to be too hot, running 3X to 5X the heat of jalapenos, and with little taste. Also, extremely hot Thai chilies are sometimes sold as serranos.
    Scoville Chile Heat Chart
    Heat Level
    Sweet Bells; Sweet Banana; and Pimento
    Negligible Scoville Units

    Mexi-Bells; Cherry; New Mexica; New Mexico; Anaheim; Big Jim
    100-1,000 Scoville Units

    Ancho; Pasilla; Espanola; Anaheim
    1,000 – 1,500 Scoville Units

    Sandia; Cascabel
    1,500 – 2,500 Scoville Units

    Jalapeno; Mirasol; Chipotle; Poblano
    2,500 – 5,000 Scoville Units

    Yellow Wax; Serrano
    5,000 – 15,000 Scoville Units

    Chile De Arbol
    15,000 – 30,000 Scoville Units

    Aji; Cayenne; Tabasco; Piquin
    30,000 – 50,000 Scoville Units

    Santaka; Chiltecpin; Thai
    50,000 – 100,000 Scoville Units

    Habanero; Scotch Bonnet
    100,000 – 350,000 Scoville Units

    Red Savina Habanero; Indian Tezpur
    350-855,000 Scoville Units

    A variety of the Indian tezpur called the bhut jolokia is reputed to have Scoville ratings around 855,000, but that is disputed.

    • Jalepenos are my default chili pepper. They’re easy to find, relatively inexpensive, easy to cut and clean if I need to de-seed/de-vein, and I know what I’m getting in terms of heat.

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