This is the third and final recipe from our spontaneous dinner party, but we had to wait a bit to post it because we wanted to make a new batch and take process pictures. Lemon chutney is a versatile addition to your fridge--it really perks up a simple meal of grains and kale, is outstanding dolloped on mjeddra, and a straight spoonful is helpful when you feel a yucky cold coming on. (No, that statement has not been evaluated by the FDA, and there hasn't been a randomized double-blind trial, but come on, it's tasty) Best of all, it lasts a really long time in the fridge, so you can whip this out three months from now when you need a little something extra for your dinner party.
The recipe below, adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, is for a 12-ounce jar. If you want to make mass quantities for gifts and/or disaster preparedness, we did this times five last night--no need to adjust proportions, just scale up (and practice multiplying fractions while you're at it).
2 large lemons
2 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cayenne (you can cut back for a milder chutney)
7 tablespoons honey
Wipe the lemons with a damp cloth and then dry them off. Cut into 1/8 inch-thick slices, then cut those slices into 1/8 inch-thick dice and remove the seeds.
Place the lemons in a large saucepan (stainless steel or enamel--cast iron isn't good for this kind of thing) with the salt, turmeric, cayenne and honey. Bring to a simmer and cook gently about 5-6 minutes. (Don't worry if it isn't chutney consistency yet--it'll get thicker as it cools, particularly once it's refrigerated).
Transfer mixture to a clean 12-ounce glass jar. Once it cools to room temperature, screw on the lid. Leave the chutney in a dark corner for 5 days before refrigerating. This will keep in the fridge for at least 3 months. You may notice the difference in color between the serving suggestion photo and the simmering in the pot photo. The chutney in the first picture was about 5 months old, and has had plenty of time to soften and mellow.