CHUTNEY CHAT WITH DRAKE
When I am at Indian restaurants I have this problem of licking chutney out of the bowl if I run out of things to smother it all over. I am obsessed. So is Drake from DP Chutney Collective, who is enabling my addiction with a Chutney Class at Good Yoga on 3/14. More info here.
Drake, who lives and runs DP Chutney Collective in Greenpoint, took some time to have a chutney chat with Greenpointers and share a delicious recipe.
GP: What is chutney?
Drake: According to its South Asian origins, a chutney is virtually any condiment used to enhance either main or side dishes; in India chutneys can be thick, thin, salty, sweet, and so on.
GP: What is good about chutney?
Drake: The vast majority of chutneys are fat-free and vegan; this is true for all products in The DP Chutney Collective product line except for a couple which are sweetened with honey. Although the fruits used are stewed and simmered for long periods to deepen flavors, antioxidants present in fruits such as tomatoes, apples, plums etc survive high temperatures and are more easily assimilated via cooking.
GP: How can you use chutney for?
Drake: There are endless applications for chutney, in the kitchen and of course on the dinner table. Perhaps their most ideal partner is cheese and/or charcuterie and also with roasted poultry, pork chops and many fish dishes. Thinned out with a bit of oil they make a terrific glaze or cooking sauce or even salad dressing. Vegetarians love them with rice and beans and spread on sandwiches. I love a dollop of tomato chutney with eggs prepared in any manner.
GP: Where did your chutney obsession come from?
Drake: I’ve always been a sort of condiment freak, the kind who has 3 or 4 dozen small jars jammed chaotically in the side of the fridge door. Chutneys were a logical extension of that obsession. I love Indian food above all other ethnic cuisines and spent time after college cooking in restaurants in London. My chutney repertoire began growing long ago and one day I realized I was making it more than anything else! Since chutney goes with almost any type of food why not always have a wide variety around?
GP: How long has DP Chutney Collective been around?
Drake: I sold my first jar of chutney in December 2009. The Collective began the following Spring 2010.
GP: Where do you make your chutney?
Drake: All DP Collective chutneys are all made, from conception through commercial kitchen canning in Greenpoint, Brooklyn!
GP: What is your favorite kind of chutney?
Drake: Definitely the spicier, hottest varieties. Right now I’m especially loving my newest product which is a zesty mostarda, basically, “Italian chutney” with lots of orchard fruits. It’s being launched in a Spring 2012 delivery from the NYC artisanal food subscription service Samplrs.
GP: Where do you get your ingredients?
Drake: Roughly 75% of all produce used is sourced from within a 90-mile radius. This commitment to buying local is a fundamental and founding principle of The DP Chutney Collective. We even buy all our jars and canning supplies on Roebling Street. When citrus is used we buy from Florida, not California.
GP: How do you come up with new ideas for chutney?
Drake: The origins of most of our chutneys are inspired by the produce available from our network of family farms and orchards. Also, I’m beginning a collaboration with Brooklyn essential oil guru Julianne Zaleta of Herbal Alchemy Apothecary. So expect soon some very unique chutneys spiced with sandalwood, petitgrain and more!
GP: Where can we buy your chutney?
Drake: Our little blog at thedpchutneycollective.blogspot.com has a complete list of local, national and online vendors.
Carrot + Citrus Chutney
(This bright and only lightly spicy chutney is especially nice in winter and can be made with ingredients found in every grocery store. Excellent served with both fresh and aged goat cheeses, turkey sandwiches, fried chicken, and black beans and rice. This should make about 9 half-pint (8 oz.) jars and the recipe can easily be halved.)
4 pounds carrots, sliced
2 medium oranges
1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/3 cups cider vinegar
1 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened )
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Drake will be teaching at Chutney Class at Good Yoga on 3/14/2012 at 7pm. Email [email protected] to reserve a space. You will make and take home 2 fresh chutneys and can a third. More info here. Limit 12.