When life gives you green apples, I say, make apple chutneys 😉 Yes, that’s what I’m doing with lot’sa of green apples from my front yard!
When we moved into our current house a few years ago, it was winter and little did we know that come summer, we’re going to get a ton of green apples. In spring, the leafless tree started blooming with gorgeous, light pink apple blossoms and soon was laden with ample amount of fruit by the end of summer.
Unfortunately, the first fall, we didn’t get a good yield since most of the fruit was infected with bugs or eaten by birds. The tree did not bear any fruit in the second year but the city laid some bug traps and in the third year this time, we have an excellent yield of slightly sweet, juicy beautiful green apples that we have been harvesting all summer long and now into fall.
In addition to giving them as gifts to friends and family or eating straight up, I’ve been using them in all kinds of recipes from salads, sandwiches and cakes. But then I had an epiphany! The green apples seemed very similar to the green mangoes, just not as tart as them but not too sweet either. So I decided to try them out in a Gujarati classic recipe – chhunda, a spicy hot and sweet condiment made with green mangoes.
My mom, who is here for summer, loved the idea and was inspired to try using some green apples in a traditional Maharashtrian spicy green mango and coconut chutney that she makes back home.
Both our experiments were very successful and we were not surprised at all! We went on trying a few more recipes like moramba (green mango preserves), kairee daal (side dish made with ground soaked split peas and green mango) and many more. Since the texture and the flavor of the green apples is very similar to the green mango, swapping them in any green mango recipe worked beautifully!
Let’s get the recipes for the two apple chutneys that everyone loved and we ended up making multiple times – the spicy green apple and coconut chutney and the hot and sweet apple chhunda.
Green Apple & Coconut Chutney
Makes about 1 cup
1 medium sized green apple, cored and roughly diced
½ cup grated coconut, thawed if using frozen
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped including leaves and stems
2-3 Thai chilies (If you don’t like too much heat, go easy with just 1 pepper)
1 tsp sugar
Place all the ingredients in a mini food processor and process into a coarse, chunky mixture.
Adjust seasonings and give it one quick whirl.
Transfer into a clean, air tight container and refrigerate. It will last up to a week.
Serve cool, not too cold but not at room temperature either. Works great as a sandwich spread or as a condiment for parathas.
Green Apple Chhunda
Makes about 1½ cups
2 medium sized green apples, cored and grated
½ cup jaggery, powdered
½ cup sugar
2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (red chilli powder) (If you don’t like too much heat, go easy with just ½ or 1 tsp)
In a sauce pan, toss the grated apples, jaggery and sugar over medium high heat, till the sugar and jaggery melt and apples sweat.
Stir in the spices and salt. Mix well and let the mixture come to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium low and continue cooking uncovered, for another 20 mins or so till most of the moisture is evaporated. Turn the heat off and let it cool. The mixture thickens as it cools.
Refrigerate in a clean, air tight container. It will last about 6-8 weeks.
Serve chilled or at room temperature with goat cheese over crackers or crostinis.