Saturday, November 1, 2008

Jams, Chutneys and another Award !!

I have been talking about posting the recipes of my jams and chutneys I have been making since long. And finally I have managed to put them down from my diary to my "cyber-cookbook" here!

For the recipes, please go here.

These were the different ways I enjoyed eating my chutneys and jams...

...on a slice of bread,

...with buckwheat-potao pakodas,


with my delicious zucchini bread, both made fresh at that moment........eternal bliss till the last bite!
We have been enjoying them with all kinds of things. It was a wonderful decision to make this chutney, whose inspiration came from a Dr. Oetker booklet on jams and relishes. But, I made mine with a lot more Indian spices.

Heaven on toast.... The best jam I have made so far! Rishab loves it too, but he loves the simple strawberry jam I made for him (picture not shown) as much too!

Turned out to be much spicier than I expected. Even though I am enjoying eating it, I would reduce or maybe even leave out fresh ginger net time (next year!), as the taste of figs is getting hidden behind that of ginger. I can imagine my father telling me that it has turned out perfect, but next time I might try adding more cinammon and cloves instead and maybe also ground green cardamoms (for recipe - see link on top).

Here are a few pictures to show the steps :
Wash, peel, chop and / or puree (or both) the fruits....
add citric acid (or lemon juice) and sugar/gelly sugar to it, mix and let stand for a while...
Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. and bottle them in cooked jars or botttels.
Turn them up side down....
for about 5-10 minutes or even sometimes 15-20 minutes, before turning them back. Helps create a vaccum!
Let it cool down.
Keep in a cool, dark and dry place or at best in the refrigerator.
Use within a few months. I have kept my jams in the fridge for up to a year and they tasted excellent even at the end of the year. Chutneys, I have made them for the first time and being not so sweet, I'm not sure if they will all stay good for so long too. Maybe it would depend on the ingredients.
Important Note: Do not tighten the bottles again after they have cooled down!!

While making such preserves, one has to keep in mind that they should contain enough of the fruit acids, like citric acids or others. There are fruits which have low amounts of it. berries like red currents are usually sour enough that they do not neccesarily require any addition of citric acid, for example. On the other hand, mango, pineapple, pears, peaches and such similar fruits require addition of citric acid or any fruit acid (ascorbic acid - vitamin C , but it gets damaged by heat!).
Sugar is a natural preservative, but since too high amounts are not healthy, a good sterile working method while preparing them is a good idea. Cook the preserves for long enough, if you plan to keep them for long. Amounts which are to be used up fast (within weeks) don't need too many precautions.

And now about something special which made me feel sooooooo very happy! Dear Ivy of Kopiaste awarded me with this :
This is my second award now. Now, need I tell you, why I am happy? I guess not! And I must say that I am as happy to get it as I was the first time.
I would soon forward it to others, once I have come down from cloud 9 ! :)


Priya said...

Woww wat a collection of jams n those unique combo..wat a creativity..Congrats on award..

Arundathi said...

congratulations on the award - and all the jams and chutneys look great!

anudivya said...

The jams and chutneys are amazing, love the combinations you have used, esp. the mango pineapple and ginger one.
THose are my fav. ones...

DEESHA said...

congrats on the awards .. a lovely collection of jams .. mango,pineapple & ginger a nice combination

Ivy said...

Your jams and chutneys sound delicious. P.G. what is the exact meaning of the word chutney and curry?

Lakshmi Venkatesh said...

Delicious collection. Congrats on ur award.

PG said...

thank you all! It was so much fun preparing them and we are still enjoying them.
Ivy, a good question, but the answer is not that easy for me. But, I'll try to answer:
It is a spicy accompaniment to the meals. They can vary a lot in their types from a region to anoter. They can be something like the relishes, fruity and spicy or they can be somethig like a pesto, made with herbs, only more sour and spicier.
For my understanding, the word derived from the Hindi verb "chatna" which means something like to "lick with fingers". Since we traditionally ate with our hands.
Now, I'm not 100% sure of this relationship, but it would be my strong guess. If any of the Indian readers know anything else, then please tell us.
As for curry, as it is used here in Europe it is a creation of a British cook. I had read about it in an article once. The word curry in India is used to signify the gravy or the sauce in which the vegetables or other ingredients are prepared and the differnt types of curries are the different flavours imparted by the different spice combinations (masala) in the curry. This british cook prpepared the masalas for the curry and called it curry itself.
Hope i could clarify.

PG said...

Oh! the first information refers to chutney. I somehow forgot to mention it.

PG said...

This is good link for the huge variety of chutneys which are totally differnt form each other, being regional specialities:

Vij said...

Congrats on the award! this is my first time here...u have a lovely space... Even I have majored in molecular biology...gr8 to know u through the blog!

The chutney looks yummy!

Sunshinemom said...

That looks divine! I somehow haven't made jams yet, and I keep envying you girls!!

Ivy said...

P.G. There is something waiting for you at my blog. Please come and collect it.

Kelly said...

Congratulations on your award. I arrived from the My Legume Love Affair round up post. Your curry looks delicious. I've never thought of using apples in a curry but it sounds fantastic. I bet the sweetness of the apples must pair well with the hints of spice and the earthiness of the white beans.

Laavanya said...

So many jams and each and every one of them looks fabulous! The ginger pineapple one is sure to be my favorite.

n33ma said...

Nice chutneys,I especially liked the Mango pineapple ginger chutney.congrats on your award.

Vibaas said...

Thx PG for your comment. Congrats on your award. The jam/chutney looks lip smacking good :)

PG said...

Thank you all for your wishes and comments!
The mango pineapple ginger jam seems to be the winner! :D
But, I can see from Srivalli's sauces event that you all have been making all kinds of lovely sauces too, if not jams.
Yum yum!

PG said...

Ooops! It was Rachel's event! :)

Jude said...

Love the chutney ideas... It's such a versatile ingredient and always nice to have on hand.