Curried Blood Orange Fig Chutney

Recipe1-CurriedFigSpread_IMG_5967

I am not shy about how much I love my Curried Blood Orange Fig dip. It’s amazing on crackers, with tortilla chips, perfect as part of a (vegan) cheese platter, goes so well on toast, and I personally can even eat it by the spoonful.

There is one way that is the best way to eat it: on crusty sourdough with vegan cashew cheese (or vegan cream cheese), and arugula. The combo is so bomb that I can’t even believe how good it is. I was actually lucky to find locally made sourdough that was flavored with cardamom and orange, but it goes just as well on the regular kind too.

Recipe1-CurriedFigSpread_IMG_0954

Would you try this sandwich? I hope the answer is yes. I was excited when I found this recipe on an old printout from probably seven years ago. I used to save recipes in a Word document when I first went vegan so I could reference them in my kitchen, so I’m not sure where this recipe originated from — and I have adapted it a bit — but either way, let me just say this is so much better than what you will find in a jar at any store!

It pains me to even mention this, but if you are not a fan of curry powder, you can go ahead and leave that out. The fig spread will still be delicious, though I think the curry adds a wonderful kick, making it more of a chutney really. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried Turkish figs
  • Juice from 2 small blood oranges (or 1 large)
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp agave, or bee-free honey (or regular honey if not strictly vegan)

Method:

  1. De-stem the figs and place them in a bowl. Cover with filtered water, and allow them to soak for at least a half an hour to soften.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth. I would suggest adding the curry powder last, and adjusting this to taste. Depending on the taste and quality of the powder, you may want to use more or less.
  3. Enjoy! This dip is great on toast, with crackers, or my favorite way — on a grilled sandwich (might I suggest fresh sourdough?) with cashew cheeze and arugula. For my sandwich, I spread vegan butter on the outside, and grilled it in a pan until warm and gooey.

Sidenote: There are some people who freak out and say that figs shouldn’t be consumed by vegans, and I just have to say: I am definitely on the side that eats figs. Never heard this before? In short, certain types of figs are pollinated by a fig wasp during a very natural process. The enzymes in the fig convert the wasp into protein to grow the fig, so it’s not like you are eating a full bug or there is any way to tell.

To me, it’s sort of like saying you won’t eat bananas because the skin might contain a pesticide with animal products. And if you’re eating truly organic produce, I guarantee a dead bug has slipped in there a few times, even if you wash your produce. I once found an entire preying mantis in a bag of organic greens.

It’s extremely difficult to live a fully vegan life, so don’t be so hard on yourself. In my opinion, eating figs is not the same as eating a product like gelatin, which is made (by humans) from boiled animal bones, or like eating honey, which absolutely exploits bees in most cases. No wasps are being exploited or harmed to grow a fig. In the end, do your research and decide for yourself, but I’m staying on the fig train.

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