Currant and Date Chutney

Recipe from Yamuna mataji

        Like gooseberries and cranberries, fresh currants are highly acidic, and therefore quite tart and sour. Though they can be eaten raw, most people prefer them transformed into sugar-sweetened cooked jams, chutneys, fruit syrups or desserts. Red and white currants are less well known than black –famous in England as a vitamin C –rich, delicious beverage called Ribena. I prefer red currants for this chutney.

Preparation and cooking time: about 30 minutes
Makes: about 2 cups (530 ml)

2 cups (245 g) fresh red currants, washed and stemmed
cup (120 g) jaggery or maple sugar
cup (120 g) chopped soft dates
cup (40 g) monukka or Muscat raisins
cup (60 ml) white grape juice
teaspoon (1 ml) cayenne pepper
teaspoon (1 ml) each ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
teaspoon (2 ml) salt

         Combine all of the ingredients in a 3-quart/liter heavy stainless steel or enamel saucepan, place over moderate heat, and, stirring occasionally, bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is thick. (it should reach 215 F/101 C on a thermometer). Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, for 3-4 days.