This a typical Bengali chutney and a common item in most Bengali household meals. The recipe is largely common in most Bengali families, but you can expect subtle variations in taste and texture depending on local adaptations. For me the Aloo Bukhara chutney takes my mind back to the days when my Dida (maternal grandmother) used to make this chutney and store it in a ‘Boyam’ (glass Jar) and we would steal shamelessly from it. The recipe has been passed down by her to my mother and next to me. This sweet, tangy and slightly spicy chutney is quite dynamic and can be served as a side for meals or as a dessert. One can also use this as a dip and even as a spread with toasts or sandwiches. I have used fresh Plums for my chutney but if you do use dried Plums, don’t forget to soak them overnight. An interesting addition to this chutney is dried mango sheets (aam papad) which adds more sweetness and texture to the chutney. In our family we have stuck with the original recipe without the mango sheets. This chutney as my grandmother did can be made in large quantities and stored in glass jars and refrigerated. So, add a plum twist to your festive cooking with thePlum Chutney. Happy Fooding Around.
A Plum Deal
- 10 fresh and ripe Plums or Aloo Bukhara
- 10 pitted Dates
- 20 to 30 Raisins (depending on the size)
- 2 Dry Red Chillies
- ¼ Tsp Kalonji or Nigella or black cumin seeds
- 1 large bay leaf
- ½ Tsp Turmeric powder
- ½ Tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (for adding colour – Optional)
- ¾ – ½ cup Gur/ jaggery or granulated sugar (according to sweet intake)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp cooking oil, preferably Mustard oil
Bhaja Masala – Dry Roast and Grind to a Powder (Optional) :
- 1 –2 dry Red Chilli (depending on spice tolerance)
- 1 Tsp Cumin seed
- Wash, pit and dice the plums to about ½ inch cubes. Soak raisins in a small bowl. De-seed and slice the dates.
- Heat the mustard oil over medium heat in a deep bottom pan. Add the dry red chillies, bay leaf, mustard seeds. Allow the mustard seeds to splutter before adding the chopped plums and dates.
- Add the turmeric powder and salt. Cover and cook for about 12 – 15 mins. Open cover and stir mid-way.
- Once the plums and dates are almost cooked open cover increase the heat to a medium-high and cook for another 1 -2 mins to do away with any excess moisture. You may omit this step if you like your plum chutney to be slightly runny.
- Next add the gur, jaggery or granulated sugar, whichever you are using. Give a good stir to incorporate with the plum-date mix in the pan. You may add the Kashmiri red chiili powder here, if you are using any to and colour to your chutney. I usually never use the Kashmiri red chilli powder as I feel the Plums have a wonderful colour of their own.
- By now the plums and dates should have turned soft and mushy. You may use the back of a ladle or a potato masher to press down and mash the chunks of plums for a thick bodied chutney if you like.
- Lastly pour and transfer your plum chutney into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with some of the Bhaja Masala. Though this is optional, but sure gives the Chutney a special flavour and a kick to it!
- This chutney is quite dynamic by itself and can be served as side to a meal, dessert, dip or even used as a spread. So make enough and preserve them in jars for later use. Would recommend refrigerating them as in India the temperature is still high even during winters in most part of the country.
I have used fresh Plums for my chutney but if you do use dried Plums, don’t forget to soak them overnight.
- Serving Size: 4