Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What is in a name? Grapefruit spread aka Grapefruit chutney

Truth be told, I am partial to Indian spices and food, I love my South Indian flavors. When I do grocery shopping, I pick up all fresh looking produce but my first attempt would be at creating an 'Indianized' recipe out of it :-), that is my way of welcoming the 'newness' in life. My friends at work have given me the 'look' when I put salt and fresh ground black pepper on pineapple pieces during lunch. If I can't blend it with my usual spices and my way of cooking, I go out and find the real recipes. Bottom line, I love to try different locally available fresh ingredients in my cooking.

The first time I saw grape fruit in the grocery store produce isle, I thought it was a huge orange. When I got it home and tried, it was a little too sour for my taste to be eaten in place of an orange. One of my aunts in Mysore had this tree called chakkota tree which bore fruits that resembled the grape fruit. These belong to the citrus family, tart to taste and much larger in size compared to oranges. My internet acquired 'gyan' tells me that grapefruit is a hybrid from sweet oranges and pomelo.

In addition to the chakkota tree, the backyard also had guava, pomegranate and different varieties of jasmine. I along with my siblings and cousins have spent many hot afternoons on those trees eating the fresh picked ripe & semi-ripe fruits while waiting for the jasmine buds to start blooming by late afternoons. I really can't remember what aunty and nammamma would have made with the chakkota fruits. It was one of those fruits I would eat if fancy caught me that day or completely ignore it.

Anyways.. grape fruit is known for its high vitamin C and antioxidants, and studies indicate that regular consumption helps reduce cholesterol. So here is a minimalistic, easy to make and very tasty spread for your bread, rotis and accompaniment for rice.You can use either ruby red or yellow-orange variety of grape fruits.

What do you need to make Grape fruit chutney? 
1 grape fruit - peeled and segments seperated
2 Tsp of cooking oil
1 Tsp mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida (Optional)
2 Tsp red chili powder (change based on your spice tolerance)
Salt to taste (1.5 Tsp suggested, adjust to taste)
Grape fruit outer covering removed
Segments peeled and ready to be cooked

How do you make Grape fruit chutney?
  1. Heat oil in a deep pan, add mustard seeds and asafoetida if using.
  2. When the mustard crackles, add the peeled grapefruit segments (no need to break or cut them as they will dissolve).
  3. Add salt and let it cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  4. The fruit completely dissolves and you see a lot of water in the pan. 
  5. Add the red chili powder and increase the heat to high. 
  6. Partially cover the pan to protect your kitchen walls from the splattering chutney and stir it occasionally until it reduces to half the original volume.
  7. Depending on the water content from the fruit and the heat, it takes between 20-30 minutes for it to reduce.
  8. When the water is absorbed and the contents of the pan look like they have got their act together and a little sticky, switch off the stove. 
  9. The chutney thickens a little further as it comes back to room temperature.
  10. Yummy, healthy chutney/spread is ready to enjoy with your bread, roti or rice. We had ours with store bought Italian bread and home made carrot soup.

Delicious looking and tasting chutney

Variation:
  1. You can add a Tsp of jaggery/brown sugar if you like to sweeten it.
Note:
This chutney stays in the fridge for a couple of weeks and outside for upto a week if the temperature is not fluctuating a lot and you manage to save it after it is tasted once :-). This is a good chutney to prepare for travels.


5 comments:

NamsVeni Pothas said...

this chetney is really very atractive and easy to prepare. i will try.

Dreamer said...

Ooh! looks delicious! BTW, I see that you have taken up blogging quite seriously! Niiice! :)

Manjula said...

Wish I had access to this recipe when we were in US. Looks very tempting way to get the nutritional value of grapefruit without compromising on the taste;-)

Nagashree said...

Thanks Manjula, I am sure you can get the chakkota fruit itself (assuming you are in India), you can try the basic recipe with other tart citrus fruits also.

Nagashree said...

Thanks @Dreamer, yes I am going on my blogothon week :-)) since it is the first week