I created this recipe by hacking a standard chutney recipe, after reading the inspiring fermented delights here. Fermented chutneys don’t require cooking (less heat in the kitchen during hot summers), have lots of good gut bacteria, don’t have added sugar and they taste really good! Plus they’re really easy to make, and way cheaper than buying fermented food or probiotics.
I used peaches gifted by our neighbour, local onions and garlic, organic ginger and plastic-free dates and spices. Some of my peaches were small, so I used a couple extra.
1/2 cup dates
2 cloves garlic
knob of ginger
6-10 clove buds
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon lemon rind
juice of a lemon
2 tablespoons salt
First, cut an x in the bottom of each peach and place into a bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds. You may need to refresh the water after a few peaches. Lift them out onto a chopping board, and pull the skin off to peel them. I had a few peaches that were less ripe, and they didn’t peel as easily as the ripe ones.
Chop the peaches into cubes. Chop the dates.
Mince the garlic and ginger. Chop the onion finely. I cut my onion this small, and I wish I’d chopped it smaller!
Zest and juice the lemon. Mix all ingredients well with the salt. It will start to get juicy.
Now you need to pack the mix into jars. Use the other end of a wooden spoon to tamp the jar as you fill it to ensure no air bubbles remain. This is the top of the jar before and after tamping the fruit down into the brine. Brine will form from the fruit being crushed and also the salt drawing the moisture out. You want the fruit mix to be submerged in liquid to prevent moulds.
You can put the jar lids on loosely, or tie netting over to keep fruit flies out. Sit it at room temperature for 2-4 days. As it ferments over the next few days, salty liquid will bubble up and overflow, so sit it in a tray. I used a silicone tray to prevent my metal ones going rusty from the salt.
Taste it after a few days. It should be sour and tasty. To keep it at this yummy level of ferment, store in the fridge. If left out at room temperature, it will continue fermenting and may grow mould around the top of the jar, especially as you use it and the level drops. It’s divine with cheeses, bread, salads, meat, dips or curry.