Serves 8 to 10


2½ pounds fresh kumquats, quartered and pitted

2 tbsp. kosher salt

½ cup canola oil

1 tsp. fennel seeds

1 dozen fresh medium curry leaves, torn into small pieces

3 tbsp. minced fresh ginger

8 small green Serrano chilies, chopped or sliced in half lengthwise

6 whole fresh Kaffir lime leaves

½ tsp. sambar or Madras curry power

½ cup water, plus more if needed

2 tbsp. light brown sugar


In a large bowl, mix the kumquats with the kosher salt. Let them rest for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight in the fridge, if possible.

Heat the oil in a deep pan for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the fennel seeds. When they size and darken slightly, after about 2 to 3 minutes, add the curry leaves, ginger, and chilies, frying and stirring for just a minute or two. Then add the kaffir lime leaves and kumquats. Stir well. After 5 minutes add the curry powder and stir again.

After 5 minutes more, stir in the water and sugar.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook covered for 10 minutes; stirring intermittently to ensure the chutney does not stick to the bottom of the pan. If this happens, stir in more water, ¼ cup at a time, but the mixture should remain thick and gooey. Cook until the chutney has a chunky jam-like consistency.

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