I feel like “chutney” is one of those inherently funny words. You know how some words are just inherently funny? (Wikipedia does!) Duck is inherently funny. So is kumquat. Rutabaga. Cantankerous. Caboose.
…this is fun.
[Ricochet. Pajamas. Octopus.]
Since chutney always seems to pop up in jokes, I guess it must be inherently funny, too. I’ve seen it on Parks & Rec (“I think I’m allergic to chutney. Also, what’s chutney?) and New Girl (Schmidt’s hair “chut-e-ney”), and I swear that the girl who murdered her father in Legally Blonde was named Chutney. Always fun!
As far as chutney the food goes, it’s always been one of those things I’ve been a little unsure of. Not unsure of in the sense that I didn’t like it (I did), but unsure of in the sense that I didn’t really know WHAT it is. And, frankly, even after making it, I still don’t. Seems to involve cooked fruit and nuts?
Either way, it’s delicious. Delicious and hilarious, how can you beat that?
INDIAN-SPICED TILAPIA WITH CHERRY CHUTNEY (recipe from The Roasted Root)
Ingredients for the fish:
2 tilapia fillets
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp peper
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Ingredients for the cherry chutney:
1 and 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cups dried cherries, cut in half
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 orange (or 2 clementines), peeled, separated, and roughly chopped
1 cup cherry juice
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground cardamom (I omitted because I was out)
pinch ground nutmeg
zest of half a lemon
1.. To make chutney: Add olive oil to large pot and heat over medium. Add onion and saute until it begins to brown, 6-7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except chopped oranges/clementines), increase heat to high and bring mixture to boiling. Reduce heat and gently boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. While chutney cooks, make the fish. Lightly oil a baking dish and preheat your oven’s broiler. In small bowl, add all spices and stir to combine. Lay tilapia fillets in baking dish and sprinkle evenly with spice mixture, making sure both sides are well covered. Broil fish on highest rack in oven for 10-12 minutes (checking at 8 or so), until edges of fish are crispy and juices are bubbling out.
3. Once chutney has cooked 20 minutes or so, add clementines/oranges and continue to cook an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juices have thickened.
4. Serve spiced fish with cherry chutney. Chutney can be made ahead of time and refrigerated (then served warm or cold).
This was out-of-the-ordinary for us, and we liked it a lot. The chutney was awesome and would be good on other things, too. We served this alongside brown rice with asparagus, avocado, and lemon. Yum!