Every year at Diwali, the Hindu New Year, my father was given boxes of dried fruit as gifts. One Thanksgiving, I was reminded of that tradition when I was given some organic dates and decided to make this chutney instead of cranberry sauce for our holiday table.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 3 star anise
- 2 cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1/4 dried pasilla de Oaxaca chile
- 2 cups orange juice
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 cup dried sour cherries
- 2 cups sliced dates
- 1 teaspoon packed grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup julienne strips peeled ginger
- 2 cups quartered dried apricots
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel, preferably Lucknow
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- Kosher salt
Heat the oil in a heavy 6-quart pot over moderately high heat until it shimmers and cook the cinnamon, star anise, and cloves for 1 minute. Add the brown mustard seeds and chile. When the seeds pop and are fragrant, after about 30 seconds, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the orange juice and apple cider. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the cherries, dates, zest, ginger, apricots, cranberries, fennel, yellow mustard seeds, and vinegar. Briskly simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the fruits are softened and tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in salt to taste.
Let the chutney cool completely before serving. The chutney keeps in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week.