Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney

A deep violet chutney–sweet, tart, spicy hot, and packed with flavor. 

Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney | LunaCafeMy Grandma’s supper table was always loaded with appetite sparking little extras–three types of homemade cucumber pickles (sweet, tart, and sweet-tart), spiced peaches, sauerkraut, candied crab apples, and pickled baby onions. Thus, I grew up happily on the sharp aroma and kick of vinegar.

But even though some of her specialties included spices, such as cinnamon and cloves, they never included garlic or hot chiles.

Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney | LunaCafeI would have to wait until college to taste my first Indian chutney, a sweet-tart-spicy-hot-chunky-fruity, completely addictive condiment. After that first mind altering bite, there was no turning back. Today, our frig always contains at least one homemade and several store-bought chutneys.
 Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney | LunaCafe

So what is chutney anyway? It’s basically a reduced, slightly syrupy mixture of fruit (or vegetables), sugar, vinegar, chiles, garlic, and spices. Sometimes it’s preserved by canning, but because of the high vinegar percentage, it keeps for an extended period in the frig as well.
 Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney | LunaCafe

Although chutney is perfect as an accompaniment to spicy Indian curry, its usefulness extends far beyond that traditional pairing. Depending on which fruits and spices are used, I love it with ham, duck, game hen, chicken, turkey, fish, beef, prawns, cream cheese, goat cheese, Greek-style yogurt, artisan crackers, savory fritters, satays, grilled anything, and sandwiches.
Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney | LunaCafe

It’s even delicious on its own, straight out of the jar, which is how I’m eating it right now. I did mention the addictive part, right?
Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney | LunaCafe

Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney

This deep violet chutney is sweet, tart, spicy hot, and packed with flavor. I especially love it with artisan crackers topped with local cream cheese or farmers cheese. Or as an accompaniment to a savory chèvre or Gorgonzola cheesecake.

1 cup best-quality red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ stick Mexican cinnamon
6 allspice berries
3 pieces star anise
½ cup skinned, finely minced garlic (about 1 large head)
½ cup peeled, finely minced fresh ginger
½ cup stemmed, seeded, finely minced jalapeno chiles (wear disposable gloves)
4 cups (l pound 3-ounces) fresh blueberries
½ cup golden raisins, optional
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon salt

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar and sugar, and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
  2. Tie the cinnamon, allspice, and star anise loosely in a small piece of cheesecloth. Add to the saucepan and macerate for at least ½ hour. (If you don’t have cheesecloth, just throw in the spices, and then fish them out later.)
  3. Reheat the chutney, and add garlic, ginger, chiles, and 1 cup blueberries. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and reduces by half, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the spices.
  6. Add the remaining 3 cups of blueberries and 1-2 tablespoons water if needed.
  7. Simmer until most of the blueberries have softened and the sauce is somewhat thickened, about 5 minutes. Don’t go too far here though. The chutney will thicken more as it cools, and you do want some of the blueberries to retain their shape.
  8. Remove from the heat, stir in the raisins if using, and then add crushed red pepper and salt to taste.
  9. Let cool, put into a plastic container, cover, and refrigerate until cold.

Makes 3 cups.

 Copyright 2009 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.

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  1. Rocco says

    After checking out a handful of posts on your blog, I truly appreciate your style of blogging. I bookmarked LunaCafe and will be checking back in the near future.Bravo! :-)

  2. Rachanee says

    I’m making mine now. The kitchen…NO, the house smells scrumptious! What an elegant use of blueberries. I’m using mine as a spread for a peach tea poached chicken panini topped with a slice of brie. Thank you for the recipe.

    • sms bradley says

      Thank you! Oh yes, it keeps for many weeks in the frig because of the high sugar and acid content. You could water-bath can it for longer storage if you like.

  3. LisaSJA says

    Oh, I just made the chutney this morning. Yummy! Now I’m off to the store to get some cheese and crackers for my afternoon snack. I’d love to try a peach chutney, too, as Louise suggested (not so subtle hint). Thanks for the recipe.

    • sms bradley says

      Wonderful! That’s 2 requests for a peach chutney. I better get some fresh peaches at the University District Farmers Market tomorrow. :-)

      • LisaSJA says

        Following up – I’ve shared the chutney with several friends and everyone has raved about it. It has become a staple in my house!

  4. says

    Just got back from picking blueberries in the warm sun, visiting with a good friend. That alone is a jewel of a memory, then, here at home, I have about 2 gallons of these sweet sapphire jewels with so much potential! Then! I find this post! Yippee! Hey, do you think you could can this chutney like jelly? Wouldn’t it be a great x-mas gift? How long does it last in the fridge?
    .-= Dana Zia´s last blog ..Saving the earth one artichoke at a time =-.

    • sms bradley says

      Hi Dana! What a wonderful day, picking blueberries in the glorious sunshine. I was on beautiful Cannon Beach briefly yesterday and thought of you down the road a bit in Manzanita. I see no reason why this chutney can’t be treated like jam as far as preserving goes. Just boil for at least 5 minutes, ladle into sterilized jam jars, and seal. It will keep for weeks in the frig though and it never makes it that long in this house.

  5. says

    What a beautiful melody to close out Blueberry Month. It almost looks looks too pretty to eat. Your suggestions have me in a whirl. Where would I experience it first? I think on crackers first to get the full flavor and then on top of my favorite cheesecake. I can dream can’t I?

    Thanks for sharing, Susan. Any peach chutney in the that frig of yours? August is National Peach Month!!!
    .-= Louise´s last blog ..Feasting Our Way in August =-.

    • sms bradley says

      Thanks so much, Louise! You write beautifully by the way. :-) I just tried the blueberry chutney with a slice of amazing country-style pate I picked up at Portland Farmer’s Market on Saturday. WOW. So that’s another way, i.e. with pate. Peach chutney? Sounds fabulous. Will definitely see what I can come up with on that theme. Thanks for the great suggestion!


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