Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Elderberry Chutney (wild love)

Mmm, elderberries. Their heavy clusters hang from all of the bushes on the side of the road and remind me that all too soon the land will be blanketed in snow. I always like to have some elderberries on hand during the winter- they are powerful tools to combat the common cold and add a lovely taste of autumn to mid-winter picnics. Though I am more interested in foraging for culinary reasons, I like to know what properties the plants I work with have so I can heal through food. Rather than taking a tincture when I am sick I would so much rather dig into a delicious snack that will also help me feel better. In this case, a spoonful of spices makes the medicine go down!

This tasty chutney is loosely based on this delicious recipe and also my mom's recipe for apple chutney that she makes to accompany curried dahl, one of my favorite childhood dinners. This chutney is great with curry, or try it with some hard cheese on crackers for a tasty picnic. (I just had it on some turmeric spiced crackers and it was delicious.) I'm definitely saving a few jars for some cross-country ski expeditions this winter.

5 c elderberries, separated from their stems
2 small onions, chopped finely
3 c. finely chopped apple
1 c. raisins
2 c apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. finely chopped candied ginger
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. mustard (dried and powdered)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
3 c. brown sugar.

Bring all of the above to a boil over medium heat, then simmer for about 3 hours or until everything has softened and melded together and some of the
water has evaporated out.

If you want to can your chutney, sterilize some glass jars and then spoon the hot chutney into the hot jars. Place the lids on and screw the caps on loosely (not too tight!), then boil in a waterbath for 12 minutes or so. Allow the jars to cool completely before tightening the lids. Once opened, keep refrigerated.


  1. What a fun read. I will be trying this recipe. Love chutney with all kinds of proteins or on a slice of toast. There are still elderberries to harvest.. such a fun fall forage!

    1. Thanks, Jane! Yeah, I find them super pleasing to harvest, but not so pleasing to garble ;)

  2. It is time to get me some elderberries. I really like chutneys and the spice combination in this recipe looks yummy.