March 28, 2020
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Hi friends,
Sweet and spicy pear chutney is probably not one that instantly comes to mind, but it’s
definitely worth making. Chunks of juicy fresh pears, dates, a touch
of ginger, tangy-sweet orange juice and the combination of aromatic spices all come together
to make this chutney simply fabulous. It’s excellent served alongside appetisers like
samosas or other nibbles, or you could simply brighten up any meal by adding a dollop or
so to your veggie burgers and delicious wraps. This amazing spiced pear chutney recipe has
been made possible thanks to California pears with whom we’ve partnered today to bring
to you this video. California Bartlett pears are the ideal choice
of pears for this chutney. They are available for several weeks in July and August in Canada,
which is before the Canadian pear season. Bartletts have a wonderful texture with such
a delicate fragrance. For snacking and in salads, I love them semi-ripe; they are crunchy
and juicy – an excellent Summer snack. On the nutrient profile, pears are full of
antioxidants, and they provide a good source of fibre, Vitamin C, potassium and folic acid.
If you’re like me and love to read about the nutrient profile of food stuffs, then
check out the California Pear website for more nutrition information.
And if you care about what goes into your food, it’s quite awesome to learn that these
pears are grown on small family farms, which employ natural methods for pest control as
well as reduce the use of fertilizers. Now let’s get on with this delicious pear
chutney recipe which is really easy to make and great to give away too as edible gifts. I am using dates in this recipe
as a natural sweetener. They are great if you are trying
to reduce added sugar in your diet. You can also use raisins instead.
Start by pitting the dates, and then cover them with about 200 ml of hot water. Leave
them to soak until they are soft and easy to mash. You can also place the dates to soak
a few hours ahead or overnight. You’ll find the printable recipe on our website. The link
is in the description below. While the dates are soaking, you can prepare
the other ingredients. Peel and chop the pears into small pieces. Depending on how chunky
or smooth you like your chutney, you can cut the pears smaller than what I am doing here.
For this particular recipe, I suggest using a mix of semi-ripe and ripe pears. The ripe
ones will melt into the sauce while the semi-ripe pears will hold their shape and add some crunchiness
which will make an interesting texture combination for this chutney. When the pears are at their
peak ripeness, they are golden yellow and at their juiciest most flavourful stage. So,
choose Bartletts that are golden yellow and a few that are just about to turn yellow. For the ginger you can either slice it thinly, finely chop or grate it. I like mincing it
for this recipe. If you keep pre-minced ginger in the refrigerator ready to use, like I usually
do, you can use that too. Squeeze the juice out of the oranges and set
it aside. Orange juice adds in a lot of complex flavours which I love. With the orange juice
alone (and no added sugar), the chutney will last for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
For longer shelf life, you may want to replace half or all of the orange juice with vinegar.
Once the dates are soft, mash or mince them. Don’t discard the soaking water as we will
use it later. Alternatively, you may blend the dates together with the water. Like mentioned
before, I’m not adding any sugar to this chutney but, if you’d like to preserve it
for longer, then you’ll need to add at least 150 g of sugar.
Now let’s make the chutney. Heat about 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high
temperature in a medium stock pot or thick bottom saucepan. Saute the whole cumin, ginger
and red chilli for about 30 seconds. You can also use chilli flakes instead of a whole
chilli. The amount of chilli here will add a little spicy kick, so adjust the amount
as per your preference. Add the onion seeds, also known as nigella
seeds, and saute for about 10 more seconds. Then, add the diced pears, and stir to combine. Add in the rest of the spices –
the ground cardamom, coriander seed powder, a cinnamon
stick and the star anise. Next add the date paste and soaking water.
Pour in the orange juice. If you want to add sugar and vinegar, add them in at this stage. Squeeze the juice from half a lime. And lastly add the salt; then stir to combine. 
Like most chutney recipes, this spiced pear chutney is very forgiving. You can play around
with the ingredients and tweak them to your liking – sweeter, spicier or tangier.
Bring it to a rapid boil and reduce to medium or low-medium heat. Simmer partially covered
for about 30 – 45 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to the desired consistency. Remove
from heat and allow the chutney to cool. If you prefer a smoother chutney or smaller
chunks, use a potato masher to mash the mixture until you’re happy with the consistency.
Because of the low sugar and acidity, this chutney will keep for at most 3 weeks in the
fridge, in a sealed jar. Make sure to always use a clean utensil to remove and serve the
chutney. To keep this chutney for several months, you can keep it in the freezer.
This pear chutney is really easy to make and great to give away as edible gifts too. Serve
it alongside your favourite appetisers or other nibbles. It’s also a simple way to
complement any meal that requires a sweet-sour-spicy accompaniment. Add a dollop or so to your
veggie burgers and wraps. It’s great on vegan grilled cheese sandwiches too. And I
love it with samosas! It has the perfect balance of flavours and it’s so delicious!
Don’t forget to check the grocery stores for these delicious Bartlett pears from California.
They are only going to be available for a few more weeks in Canada.
If you try this recipe, take some pictures and tag us on Instagram. And if you’ve enjoyed
this video, give us a thumbs up and leave us a comment. Don’t forget to check our
blog for the printable recipe. Please subscribe to the channel, if you haven’t
already, and make sure to enable your notifications, it’s the little
bell icon. We share a few more recipes on the blog so make sure to subscribe to our newsletter too.
We’ll email you every time we have a new recipe. Have a great week! Bye.

Randall Smitham