Lacto-fermented Crazy Raisin Chutney


This is a spicy, surprising twist on a cultured condiment. Raisins add their usual sweetness, and unexpected assorted spices kick it up a notch.


  • 1-1/2 cups raisins, soaked in filtered water for 1 hour
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup finely minced cilantro leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons acid whey
  • 1/2 cup filtered water


  1. Pulse the cilantro and the garlic together in a food processor. Drain the water off the raisins and pour them into the food processer, along with the peppercorns, red pepper flakes, seeds, and ginger. Pulse the processor a few times until the mixture is a chunky paste.
  2. Scoop the chutney into a clean, sanitized pint sized jar, preferably wide-mouthed, pressing the chutney down to raise the juices. This can be done with a wooden spoon or your fingers.
  3. Mix the salt into the whey to make a brine, then pour it into the jar up to 1 inch below the rim. Add unchlorinated water to fill the jar to this level if needed. Use a butter knife to get the brine down into the bottom of the jar. Cover the jar with an airlock lid and set it on the counter in a place that stays around 70°F and is away from drafts and direct sunlight. Let the jar sit there for 2 to 3 days, keeping the liquid level above the chutney the whole time. If mold begins to form, just scoop it away and add more whey or water.
  4. After a few days, remove the airlock lid, place a lid and band on the jar, and place it in the fridge.

The chutney will continue to ferment in the fridge, but by keeping it covered tightly when not in use, it will keep for 2 to 3 weeks. 


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