Apricot Chutney with Currants

-Recipe from Yamuna mataji

              This is outstanding chutney, especially when the apricots are tree-ripened, sweet and fragrant. For those of us resorting to fruits sold at supermarkets or corner grocers, look for barely ripened fruit with a fragrant smell. If they are absolutely without smell, use dried apricots which require an overnight soaking in lime juice and water and a slight increase in cooking time. American dried apricots little resemble their shriveled Indian counterpart, aloo bookhara, but they are almost as tasty as the fresh fruit.

Preparation and cooking time for fresh apricots: 30 minutes
Preparation, soaking and cooking time for dried apricots: overnight
Makes: 1 cups (360 ml)

pound (230 g) dried apricot halves, quartered and soaked overnight in 3 table spoons (45 ml) lime juice and 2 cups (480 ml) hot water; or
2 pounds (1 kg) fresh apricots, seeded
    and sliced, plus 3 table spoons (45 ml)
    Lime juice and cup (120 ml) water
2 table spoons (30 ml) ghee or butter
3-inch (7.5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick
teaspoon (1 ml) kalonji or black sesame seeds
table spoon (7 ml) scraped fresh ginger root, minced
2/3 cup (85 g) dark raisins or currants
cup (75 g) maple sugar or brown sugar, packed
teaspoon (1 ml) salt
1/8 – teaspoon (0.5-1 ml) cayenne pepper

1.    If you are using dried apricots, drain the soaked fruit in a strainer and collect the liquid.
2.    Heat the ghee or butter over moderate heat in 3-quart/liter stainless steel or enamel saucepan. When it melts, add the cinnamon, kalonji or black sesame seeds and ginger, and fry for about minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients, raise the heat slightly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring now and then, especially in the last 10 minutes, until the chutney is thick and glazed, about 30 minutes for fresh apricots and 45 minutes for dried. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, for 2-3 days.