Bored with the usual sauce for your grilled chicken and other dishes? Try out this passion fruit basil chutney. A sweet and spicy preparation, the chutney can be made in around 15 minutes.
To prepare the chutney for one person, you will need 5 passion fruits, 7 basil leaves, ½ onion, 2 cloves, 1 lime, 1 small habanero, 1 tsp of brown sugar, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and some salt and pepper as per your liking.
First, peel the garlic. Grate it together with the onion and keep it aside. Take the habanero and remove the stem and seeds. Dice it well. Only use a quarter to a half of the habanero in case you don’t want the chutney to be too spicy. Cut open the passion fruits and scoop out the insides. Pass this through a mesh strainer and collect the juice.
Mince the basil leaves into the juice bowl. Mix in the lime juice and brown sugar. In a pan, sauté the garlic, onion, and habanero for about 7 minutes. When they darken slightly and release their fragrance, turn down the heat and pour in the passion fruit mix. Stir for about 2 minutes or so and take the pan off the heat. Add in salt and pepper if you like. Let it cool. After some time, the chutney will thicken. You can now serve it with grilled chicken, tofu, or any other dish you fancy.
Both passion fruit and basil offer several health benefits. Passion fruit is rich in antioxidants that help to combat free radicals affecting the body. It also diminishes cellular stress and improves blood flow to the brain. The fruit has a low glycemic index value, meaning that it won’t cause a steep spike in blood sugar levels in the body after consumption.
“Passion fruit is rich in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C boosts the immune system by helping the body absorb more iron from plant-based foods, and may improve the body’s ability to fight off infections in the body,” according to Medical News Today.
Piceatannol, a compound found in passion fruit seeds is said to be capable of improving a person’s insulin sensitivity, which ends up cutting down the risk of diseases like diabetes. A 2017 study discovered that overweight men who consumed 20mg of piceatannol every day for 8 weeks straight had improved insulin sensitivity and metabolic health when compared to those who were on a placebo.
When it comes to basil, the plant is known to have cancer-fighting abilities thanks to certain phytochemicals. It also has strong DNA protection properties. “The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provides protection at the cellular level. Orientin and vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids that have been of particular interest in basil, and in studies on human white blood cells; these components of basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage,” according to WH Foods.
Basil can also act as a natural adaptogen and help your body deal with stress more effectively. The antibacterial properties of the plant can fight infections. Extracts of the plant have even been shown to inhibit certain bacterial strains that were not being affected even by antibiotics. Fresh basil provides a good dose of Vitamin K. Just two tablespoons of basil is said to provide almost 27 percent of the recommended daily intake of manganese, Vitamin A, and magnesium.