Indian strawberry chutney
( MAKES 3 cups )
Panch phoron is an east Indian Bengali spice mix used to season many dishes. It is aromatic and colourful. The spices are used in equal proportions, although you can vary it according to taste. To use, it is first fried in oil or ghee, which causes it to start popping but develops the flavour. To prepare panch phoron, combine 1 tsp each of fennel seeds, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek and cumin seeds. Lightly roast in a small frying pan for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Set aside.
- Wash and hull the strawberries, then cut into quarters or slice. Combine with the root ginger and sugar in a large stainless steel saucepan. Stand for 1 hour.
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add 2 teaspoons of the panch phoron and the chillies and fry for 30 seconds. Add to the strawberries. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the vinegar and lemon rind and juice and simmer until a jam-like consistency is reached, about 15-20 minutes. Pour into hot sterilised jars, sprinkle with the remaining panch phoron and seal.
- Best enjoyed when freshly made. Store in a cool place. This chutney is excellent served with curries, cheese, barbecued meats or cold cuts.