Please don’t mention Caronda* for some time…it is in every jar I had spare! There is no room for any more pickles or preserves…As I mentioned last time, I made some caronda chutney a week ago, to use up part of my Dad’d harvest from a bush I planted about ten years ago in the front yard of their house. I used the idea of a sweet-tangy Indian chutney such as saunth (sweet and sour tamarind chutney) or a mango chutney made with unripe mangoes. The effort was much appreciated. Since it was a trial batch I got just enough to fill two tiny jars that I sent off to my mum and sister. The next batch was a repeat of the recipe and this time the effort yielded a big jar – plenty, I thought.
There were still some carondas left which then went into a pickle, pits and all, along with some unripe mango, lotus root, and green chillies. I keep that stoneware jar in the sun, what little there is of it at this time, bring it in every evening, and give it a good stir. It is looking good.
So far so good. My mum liked the relish a lot. She doesn’t eat too much pickle because of the high salt content. I told her that pitting the fruit was a pain in the rear. She pitted about a kilo with the help of her maid and presented it to me. I had thought more like: ok, here’s a recipe you might like to try… But I came home and made my third batch of caronda chutney. This batch had fewer ingredients – I had already used up my dates; no gur – I couldn’t be bothered; less sugar – I had used up a lot of sugar in the past couple of weeks between the caronda relish and the mango jam, and was making statements with big exclamatory marks regarding the sugar content of the chutney. The fruit for this batch had ripened further on the plant, was a deeper pink, and there was a subtle change in texture too. What a pretty pink it turned in the pan! And the texture – why, it reminded me of sour cherries in syrup! The slight crispness as you bite into one was so similar! That made me Google for recipes using sour cherries and I found a bunch that hold promise for next year! I make no promises…but there might even be Caronda Liqueur on these pages one day!