Apricot chutney is a type of condiment made from apricots. Always thick, this chutney may be smooth or chunky depending on how it is prepared. Chutney may be served as a side or topping for meats, or as an end dish for a meal. In Bengali cuisine, particularly, a small portion of chutney is often eaten at the end of a dinner meal. Apricot chutney may be made from fresh, dried, or canned apricots.
In addition to apricots, sugar — either brown or white — is almost always used in apricot chutney. Fruity or white wine, or simple fruit juice for those not wishing to add alcohol, also might be added. Jalapeño peppers and ginger are often included. Red chilies may further spice the dish. Raisins are a popular addition to sweeten the sauce, and lime juice or vinegar adds an acidic element.
To make apricot chutney, apricots, jalapeños, and onions, if used, are chopped. If fresh apricots are used, they must be peeled and the pits removed. Dried apricots are generally allowed to soak in water, wine, or fruit juice to help soften them and are often mashed during cooking. Ginger is usually peeled and grated and garlic is minced.
Onions, chilies, and jalapeños are normally fried first. Then the apricots and ginger are fried before the other ingredients are added. Alternatively, all the ingredients except the apricots may be cooked before the apricots are added. Still other recipes simply boil everything together. No matter the order, the chutney is cooked until the sauce is thick and golden or brown.
The consistency of apricot chutney depends on how finely the apricots are chopped or how thoroughly they are mashed. The exact coloring will vary depending on the ingredients. Adding raisins darkens the chutney considerably, and some suggest adding golden raisins rather than the darker variety to keep the color of the chutney a lighter gold.
Apricot chutney can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week. If it is kept in airtight jars, it may last up to a year. This chutney usually has a sweet and sour or sweet and spicy taste and is commonly served with grilled meats, particularly pork and chicken.