Spices and Seasons – Rhubarb Chutney with Ginger and Cinnamon

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IMG_0843 Our neighbor Gretchen is an amazing gardener and we have learnt so much from her about keeping the garden. In the early days, she would bring us the most amazing tomatoes I had ever tasted and finally I made sure we started getting some of our own. Gretchen has slowed down in her gardening as she has serious arthritis that has impacted her ability of work in the garden. I have always relied on her for getting rhubarb every year. This year we finally decided to get some cuttings from her and planted then in the backyard. I am excited especially since her plants are cuttings that she has inherited from her grandfather.

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Rhubarb like most other gifts of nature is of course very good for you, it contains antioxidants like lycopene and anthocyanin that help boost the immune system. It is a great source of fibre and is high in Vitamin K, C, manganese, potassium and calcium. For more information on rhubarb you can check out the Seasonal Chef post here.

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Rhubarb is used in Indian cooking, most notably in dishes from the Northern state of Kashmir where the cool weather makes this plant a great fit. I have two dishes that I will share with you over the next two weeks. The first of these dishes is today’s chutney. Rhubarb’s naturally sour taste makes it a natural for a chutney.

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This chutney has clean and flowery notes from the medley of cinnamon and ginger and is nicely spiced from the addition of crushed red pepper. This will work well as condiment and will pair well with fish or tofu. Before I move on to the recipe, I hope that you will indulge my event update, most of this is a part of the very local Spices and Seasons cookbook tour.

June 11, 2014 11 am to 2pm

I will be at the Union Square Green Market, serving up my vegan well-seasoned potato salad and yes signing the book!

June 14, 2014 2pm to 4 pm

I will teaching a class at Chef Central that will hopefully help in making your father’s day lively. I will talk and show you how to piece together a great meal and hopefully have you pick up a spicy gift for dad.

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Spices and Seasons – Rhubarb Chutney with Ginger and Cinnamon

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

A tangy savory chutney using fresh rhubarb, brown sugar and a complimentary palette of spices.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 large 3 inch stick of cinnamon, broken
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 3/4 cup grated jaggery or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil for a minute or two in a medium sized cast iron skillet and let the mustard seeds pop, add in the fennel seeds and the ginger with the cinnamon and sauté well for a minute or two.
  2. Stir in the ginger and red onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion has softened and the mixture is a well mixed medley.
  3. Stir in the rhubarb and mix well. Add in the red pepper flakes and stir lightly.
  4. Add in the jaggery or brown sugar and the water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  5. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the rhubarb is very soft and mushy. Mix and break while the chutney is cooking.
  6. Serve and use as needed.
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Rhubarb Chutney with Ginger and Cinnamon

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 red onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

2 large sticks of cinnamon, coarsely broken

3 cups of chopped rhubarb

3/4 cup grated jaggery or dark brown sugar

Method of Preparation

Heat the oil for a minute or two in a medium sized cast iron skillet and let the mustard seeds pop, add in the fennel seeds and the ginger and sauté well for a minute or two.

Stir in the ginger and red onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion has softened and the mixture is a well mixed medley. Add in the cinnamon sticks and mix in.

Stir in the rhubarb and mix well. Add in the red pepper flakes and stir lightly.

Add in the jaggery or brown sugar and the water and bring to a gentle simmer.

Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the rhubarb is very soft and mushy. Mix and break while the chutney is cooking.

Serve and use as needed.

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About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years. Rinku is also the author of the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook, that highlights and offers many simple Indian recipes off the beaten path. Her second cookbook, Spices and Seasons, uses the approach in this column and marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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