Loquats have to be one of the most underrated fruits around, although their season is so short fruiting briefly in the springtime. While it's a short season, the trees produce a vast amount of fruit all at once. Here's a great way to preserve some of that excess fruit. It goes great on poppadoms, on an Indian dip tray, or try with eggs on toast or a sharp cheddar.
If you can't get loquats, you can substitute other stone fruit. I've made this with white plums to great success, just use the rest of the recipe as a rull of thumb and experiment. Loquats weigh roughly 40-50g, so the recipe below calls for around 800g-1kg of destoned fruit.
This recipe will make around 600ml of chutney. I often scale it up to 5x when the loquat season hits. You'll need a longer cooking time for that amount.
All measures are metric: 1tsp = 5ml, 1tbsp = 15ml, cups = 250ml
2 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons curry powder
20 loquats, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (not the powdered type)
2 red chillies, thinly sliced (add more or less depending on preference)
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dark sugar
Salt to taste
Substituting Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds seem to be impossible to find where I live in Spain. Whenever I ask in a produce or health store, I just get a blank stare and am presented with some industrial looking yellow mustard in a plastic squeezy bottle. Fortunately, coriander seeds (semilla de cilantro) are readily available. Coriander is actually a type of mustard and the seed works pretty well here.
If you're making bulk, save yourself a bit of time and add the chillies, ginger, vinegar and sugar to a food processor and blitz it.
- Heat the oil in a small pot and add the cumin, mustard seeds, and curry powder. Toast for 1 minute, stirring frequently, or until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
- Add the onion and sauté on a medium heat until it has started to turn translucent and golden.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add the loquats and slowly bring to a simmer. Be gentle when stirring throughout the rest of the cooking process, you don't want to pulp the fruit, it's better to preserve the chunks as best as you can.
- Stir in the vinegar, sugar, chilli, ginger and salt. Simmer gently, uncovered, for about 30 minutes (more if cooking bulk), or until liquid is mostly absorbed and mixture is syrupy.
This will store refrigerated for a long time in jars. You can also freeze it, though you will lose a little of the texture of the fruit.