After having posted a vegetarian main dish for Holi, I am posting this rasbhari aka cape gooseberry chutney since I could not resist buying these seasonal beauties. They are also called the ground cherry and golden berry. They did not make their appearance at my green grocer / fruit vendor since the past two years (thanks to covid) and before that also I missed buying them. The season for it is so short that it always ends up being the case of blink and miss. This time around I bought a large stash and turned some of it into jam and enjoyed a lot of it on its own. I tried a small batch of this chutney and fell in love with its hot and sweet, sour and spicy flavours. I also made some salsa that we enjoyed with store brought mini papad instead of crackers or tortilla chips. Shall share the recipe for the salsa next.
I kept the flavour profile of this chutney similar to that of my mango chutney (aam ki launji) where I had used one of my favourite spice mix which is the panch phoran or the Indian five spice mix. It has an equal ratio of five spices – cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds. Just like my mango chutney, I wanted to keep this onion, ginger and garlic free.
I guess my Holi posts will have to wait, while I indulge myself with this beautiful and brilliant seasonal product that I got my hands on after nearly six years.
300 gm Cape Gooseberry / Rasbhari
1 tbsp Cooking Oil (I prefer mustard oil)
½ tsp Panch Phoran
½ tsp Chili Flakes
¼ tsp Black Salt
¼ tsp Pink Salt (or regular salt)
3 – 4 tbsp Jaggery Powder / Gur Shakkar
Remove the husk / outer covering from the cape gooseberries and wash them with clean water. Drain water and set them in a sieve for the water to completely drain away.
Pat dry and slice the large cape gooseberries in two halves and leave the smaller one as such.
Heat oil in a small sauce pan and once it begins to heat (do not smoke), add the panch phoran and allow it to crackle. Add chilli flakes followed by the cape gooseberries.
Stir and cook the contents for half a minute on high heat. Lower heat and cover the pot and let the contents cook for another one and a half minute.
The berries will release water by now. Add both salts and jaggery powder. Stir well and increase heat to medium and keep cooking the contents, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning.
Cook till the liquid begins to turn syrupy. Cook to the desired consistency and then switch off the heat (I cooked the contents for approximately seven to eight minutes)
Allow the chutney to cool completely before storing it in an air tight container or jar. Store in fridge for longer shelf life. It stays well for five to seven days.
Yield – Makes one small bottle.
Note – 300 grams of rasbhari came to be just a wee bit over two cups in measurement.
Note – I always use mustard oil for my pickles and chutneys for that added punch in taste. Remember to smoke the oil well before use.
Thank you for your visit and see you soon again, with another exciting recipe.