A Beet Chutney just in time for Kwanzaa! As you think about this holiday month pair this sweet, tangy twist on a classic chutney with one of your main course dishes, either plant or meat based.
What is Kwanzaa you ask? It’s a weeklong (December 26 – January 1) African-American celebration of family/community in honor of African ancestry and culture and is grounded in 7 guiding principles (Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work & Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativty, and Faith) each celebrated daily. From a food perspective it’s the best of times as most families celebrate the week over food with traditional recipes from the African diaspora which includes Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and the American South.
This beet chutney will likely replace the more traditional cranberry sauce on the menu. I’m thinking this will line up perfectly with the roasted whole chicken we have planned. Who knows I may use it to jazz up some couscous. It’s so good and will lift up any dish or person for that matter with its refreshing and reinvigorating properties.
I like the idea of using a savory item, such as beets in this chutney vs. a sweet fruit like mango of pineapple. For one, any excuse to include a soul food staple like beets on the table is a good thing. But more importantly, the sweetnss of beets is both underrated and complex when brought-out. Now it’s not mango level sweet, but when cooked into a chutney it does add a unique flavor profile. The earthy beet flavor is balanced with the spiciness of the ginger and the aromatic and citrusy character of the cardamom.
The added benefit of a beet chutney, or any chutney for that matter is that they store/keep well so you can keep and use them over time for other dishes whether its a weekend jerk chicken or weeknight roasted cauliflower. Even better, they can be added to your morning smoothie.
Dope beats, fresh eats. Enjoy this beet chutney!
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 two inch piece fresh ginger peeled and sliced
- 1 red beet peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- Pinch of kosher salt
Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat. Add shallots, ginger, garlic, and beets, reduce the heat to low and sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the honey, cardamom, thyme, and sugar, then stir over low heat for about a minute. Add the stock and simmer until beets are tender and begin to get sticky.. This should take about 50-60 minutes.
Remove the thyme and ginger from the chutney and stir in the salt. Let cool and thicken.
Serve or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few weeks