Prep 30 m
Cook 10m


    250gm alu bukhara (dried plums)

    30gm (¼ cup) raisins

    25gm (¼ cup) almonds

    7gm (1-inch)  ginger

    5gm (2 tsp) peppercorns

    ½ tsp kaalo jeere (nigella seeds)

    30gm (2½ tbsp) mustard oil

    1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder

    575ml water

    6gm (to taste) salt

    80gm (to taste) sugar

    3gm (8–10) mint leaves

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Ingredient Substitution Guide


1. Soak the alu bukhara and raisins in separate bowls of water for 30 minutes.

Alu bukhara chutney
Don’t skip the mint leaves - it lightens flavours and adds freshness Image Credit: Supplied/Bong Eats

2. Slice almonds, finely chop the ginger and grind peppercorns to a fine powder.

Alu bukhara chutney
This is a spicy chutney - the heat comes from kaalo jeere powder, freshly ground peppercorns and finely chopped ginger Image Credit: Supplied/Bong Eats

3. Heat 1 tbsp oil and fry kaalo jeere in it for about 20 seconds. Drain over a paper towel. Once slightly cool, grind it to a powder.

4. Fry the almonds in the same oil. Set aside.

5. Boil the soaked alu bukhara in 575g water until softened (you can use the same water in which alu bukhara were soaked).

6. Stir once in a while so that the alu bukhara starts disintegrating. This should take about 25–30 minutes.

7. Add the soaked raisins, salt, sugar and chopped ginger. The quantity of sugar will depend on how tart/sweet the alu bukhara are.

8. In another pan, heat 30gm mustard oil. Once it starts smoking, turn off the heat. When the oil cools down slightly, add the kashmiri red chilli powder.

9. When it turns a bright red colour, pour the oil back into the chutney.

10. Add the fried almonds.

11. Adjust the consistency of the chutney, adding some water if needed to loosen it up. If the alu bukhara are still whole, you may want to smash some of them with the back of your ladle.

Alu bukhara chutney
If the alu bukhara are still whole smash some of them with the back of your ladle Image Credit: Supplied/Bong Eats

12. When the chutney is done, that is, when it has turned syrupy, sprinkle pepper and fried kaalo jeere powder. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes.

Alu bukhara chutney
Sprinkle pepper once the chutney thickens Image Credit: Supplied/Bong Eats

13. Turn off the heat before adding the mint leaves.

14. Serve the chutney with papad or by itself

Alu bukhara chutney
Serve with papad or by itself Image Credit: Supplied/ Bong Eats


• Unlike most Bengali chutneys, which are sweet, this one is spicy. The heat comes from kaalo jeere powder, freshly ground peppercorns and finely chopped ginger.

• Bengali chutneys are usually served right at the end of the savoury courses, just before desserts.

• Don’t skip the mint leaves. It lightens the flavours and adds a last-minute bit of freshness.

Note: This article was first published in February, 2021

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