While the flavors of Sri Lanka may not yet be as widely known as those from Thailand, Sri Lankan cuisine has a lot to offer the world. Take this Rambutan Chutney Recipe from The Sun House. This recipe takes a fresh, regional ingredient and adapts it to make a wonderful condiment for any meal.
For those of you who don’t know, the Rambutan (or hairy berry as it’s sometimes called by foreigners ) is a “hairy” fruit similar in flavor to the longan or lychee. Some people are put off by it’s rough and complicated seeming exterior. Really the fruit is pretty easy to manage… just take the berry in one hand and a spoon in the other. Push the spoon into the outer shell until you make a small cut. Then you can simply use your fingers to dig in. Normally if the fruit is ripe you can then quickly peel the outer shell off revealing the juicy, sweet interior (just watch the seed in the middle).
This recipe produces one of the best chutneys I’ve ever tasted. I hope you enjoy.
Salt to taste
-1/3 cup (80 mL) sugar
-½ onion, minced
-½ zucchini, diced small
-½ cup (125 mL) cider vinegar*
¼ cup (60 mL) water
-½ tsp. (2 mL) salt
-8 fresh rambutans, cut in 2, pitted and peeled, using a small spoon, then diced small
- In a skillet over medium heat, caramelize sugar. When it begins to colour, add onion and zucchini and cook for about 1 minute.
- Deglaze with cider vinegar and water. Add salt and continue cooking over low heat for 8 minutes.
- Add rambutans and reduce until mixture has the consistency of syrup
Serve over grilled chicken or fish, or even with a cheese platter.
And here’s a bonus Rambutan Recipe from the Sun House. They didn’t send us a name for the recipe but it’s tasty nonetheless.
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons (approx) crushed coriander roots
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves (or parsley)
1/2 lb minced pork
4 tablespoons coarse ground, roasted peanuts
4 teaspoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons palm sugar
1 chopped, de-seeded chili pepper
2 cans rambutans, drained
- Fry crushed garlic and coriander roots in oil. When garlic is golden, add all other ingredients except rambutans.
- Cook and stir until the mixture is browned, and fairly dry.
- Add rambutans.
- Cook and mix well for about 2 minutes. Serve as an entree, hors-d’oeuvre, or as a main course with rice.