Dandy Root Chutney
Dandy Root Chutney
Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan
‘Chaatni’ arrived in the UK during Britain’s colonial rule over India and was then taken to other colonies, such as South Africa and the Caribbean. Of course, many other countries now have their take on this condiment too. Indian chaatnis are relishes made with fresh, uncooked fruit and spices, and intended to be consumed soon after they are made. They were adapted on arrival in the UK to be a way of preserving the surplus from the autumn harvest of fruit and vegetables. The original fresh recipes became more of a spicy preserve or condiment, where the fruit or vegetables could be kept over winter by cooking them in vinegar and sugar, and then flavouring them with spices.
What goes into Hejgro’s Dandy Root chutney?
We use dandelion root and nettle, ferociously abundant superfoods which are very underused in our diet. The foraged dandelion root (picked from Vallis Veg land in Frome) has been nail-brushed clean, soaked and dehydrated - to remove excessive bitterness - and has been prepared with nettles, carrot, onion, dates, prunes and fennel. This tangy preserve contains no added sugar, only sweetened naturally using the blend of dried fruits. The uplifting undertones of mint and fennel, characteristic of an Indian chaatni, beautifully carry the hint of the more bitter dandelion root.
The Classic Digestive Remedy of British Herbalism
Anything with a bitter taste (which includes a lot of wild foods) is going to help the digestive system do its work. Dandelion is a slight laxative (it contains inulin) and it also breaks down hormones we use in the liver. The root is particularly good for these actions. Dandelion is also a great root vegetable for roasting.
Nettles as medicine
All parts of the nettle are medicinal and the plant has a broad range of actions.
Getting stung does bring blood to that area of the body, which can be helpful if sensation is reduced because of poor blood perfusion (although the cause of the impaired blood flow should always be treated too). If you want to treat joint pain or gout you can also sting yourself with nettles, or - perhaps preferably! - eat the leaves or infuse them in freshly boiled water: Cover the leaves for 10-15 minutes, then strain and drink. Other cleansing actions include clearing the skin and, as a diuretic, help our kidneys work effectively. They can be useful for kidney stones and gravel (under qualified medical supervision). This dynamic plant can also support symptoms of hayfever, arthritis, rheumatism and diabetes, as well as helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Nettles contain minerals needed for bone health - particularly iron, calcium, magnesium, silica, potassium, manganese, zinc, copper, and chromium. Vitamins include K (an important bone builder) and C (a key antioxidant shown to reduce fracture risk), along with most of the B vitamins too.
Nettle root is an incredible prostate medicine. Anyone with inflammation, enlargement, a suspected tumour, unusual frequency, urinary retention or difficulty initiating urine stream may find they benefit from nettle root. Of course, in the event of any one of these symptoms or suspected symptoms it is really important to get medical advice from a GP or qualified medical herbalist.
Ingredients: Apple cider vinegar*, prunes*, raisins*, onion*, carrot*, dates*, Dandelion root** (4.84%), Nettles** (4.28%), fennel, fennel seeds*, mint*, black pepper*
*certified organic, **foraged