Phalsaas are those short-lived little morsels of happiness that bless us with their presence for about a month every year in North India, and then they disappear, leaving us craving for that tangy, crunchy, titillating feel in our mouth. Tiny little berries that range from a dull pick to a deep purple in colour, they are best had dusted with some rock salt. We’ve already made a sherbet out of them, and this year, because of the promise, we’ve cooked them into Ammiji’s favorite chutney.
This recipe is classic Ammiji. It’s simple, it uses minimal ingredients, it has a slightly spicy kick and it’s fragrant. The end result is a chutney that has layers of flavour and the subtle hint of the spices we use in our garam masala.
This chutney brings back memories of baskets of phalsaas, fresh from the orchard. We’d eat some (ok, a lot) and the rest would be purloined by Ammiji to make her phaalsa sherbet and chutney. According to her, these were precious little berries and they had to be preserved in some form or the other so we could enjoy them for a longer time. Goes well with any meal. Best had with ajwain paranthas. Or better still, by the spoonful!
Ingredients: Phalsaa berries, organic raw cane sugar, Rock salt, Ammiji’s garam masala, brown cardamom.
Caution: These berries contain tiny seeds that may be a choking hazard for small children.
Refrigerate upon opening. Keep refrigerated for longer shelf life.