At chef Floyd Cardoz's NYC restaurant, Paowalla, a starter chutney sampler is practically a requirement. His recipe includes a two-week (hands-off) investment to make the preserved lemons, but we promise the wait is more than worth it. As to the size of the pot for making your chutney, Cardoz says, "Bottom line: If your lemons are sticking out of the liquid, your pot is too big."
Sugar helps make sure the lemons stay vibrantly yellow, while the wine vinegar balances flavor without adding the bite of standard white vinegar. The chutney will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks, but with all the many ways you can use it (lamb, fish, vegetables . . . ), good luck having it last that long.
To learn more, read “You Got Preserved.”
Preserved Lemon Chutney
Recipe adapted from Floyd Cardoz, Paowalla, New York, NY
Yield: 1 batch
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes, plus 2 weeks inactive time
Total Time: 40 minutes, plus 2 weeks inactive time
For the Preserved Lemons:
5 to 6 cups kosher salt
For the Chutney:
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 cup sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
2 cups water
1 mild to moderately hot fresh green chile
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1. Make the preserved lemons: Cut off the ends of the lemons. Cut each lemon lengthwise into 6 wedges and remove the seeds.
2. Pour about ½ cup of salt into the bottom of a 6-to-8-quart glass or plastic container, add the lemons and cover with a layer of salt to completely submerge. Cover and leave in the refrigerator for 14 days.
3. Rinse the lemons in several changes of water, swishing them around with your hand, and cover with about 4 inches of fresh water. Let soak overnight.
4. Rinse the lemons well and soak them in a fresh change of water for one more night. Drain the lemons.
5. Make the chutney: In a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder, coarsely grind the coriander seeds.
6. Combine the sugar, vinegar and water in a deep, 12-inch skillet, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook just until the sugar is dissolved.
7. Add the drained lemons, chile, ground nigella seeds, fennel seeds and yellow mustard seeds to the hot liquid, and bring the mixture to a boil.
8. Reduce the head to moderate and simmer the chutney for 15 to 20 minutes.
9. Let cool completely and serve.