Stars of the Chutney World

Carambola, or Starfruit, are one of the fruits currently dropping from trees around here, tangerines, lemons, passionfruit, kumquats and grapefruit being the others.  So far we've done: Banana Starfruit wine, Starfruit Marmalade, Starfruit Lemon Mead, and Starfruit Sorbet.  Now here's Starfruit Chutney, a definite star in the sphere of preserves.  I love chutneys and pickles.  They add such a lovely extra dimension of taste to just about any sort of meal.

There was a time when I considered chutney only as an accompaniment for curry.  Last night we were having Beef Stroganoff, made with some leftover veal scallopine, and this chutney was a fine, complementary side, a zap of flavor to the creamy main event.

Sliced crossways, they're very pretty added to a salad, but for the chutney, they need to be in a finer dice.

Starfruit Chutney

4 cups Starfruits, chopped, seeded, and de-ribbed (the tough edges of the stars)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup wine vinegar
3 minced, seeded, kumquats
1/4 cup raisins
1 red chili pepper, minced, and seeded
1 small onion, chopped
1 thumb finely minced ginger
1 teaspoon salt
5 or 6 Roselle Hibiscus buds (optional) good for the lovely color they add
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cardamom powder

Adjust, substitute the spices as you see fit.  Suggestions only here, and what I did.

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until thick, stirring frequently.  This may take an hour or more.  Unfortunately, I didn't time mine exactly.

As you notice, it acquires a nice red color from the Roselle hibiscus, on cooking.  Let cool slightly before bottling.  Keeps a good while, refrigerated after opening.


Arfi Binsted said...

oh yes, a star indeed! in Indonesia, we often include star fruit to make 'rujak'. it is fresh fruit eaten by dipping in hot chili sauce. we can't grow star fruit here in New Zealand. winter is really frosty that can hurt the tree. i miss tropical fruits some times.

Claudia said...

I think the fruit I would miss most is mango. Have never tried dipping starfruit in hot chili sauce, but will have to.

Sunny said...

ohh I want to have starfruit with hot sauce now,sounds good!