I love making chutneys. Not only is the end result always good, but the whole process is pleasant. Cutting up huge amounts of fruits, getting emotional about the onions, stirring in a huge pan with bubbling stuff that smells fantastic… Really worth the hassle.
Over the years I tweaked the recipe so that it actually never fails. Here goes.
Amounts are for about a liter, I generally make 2 or three times as much, but it is more to have an idea about the proportions.
- 700 grammes of fresh fruit
- 300 grammes of dried fruit
- 400 grammes of onion (that is 2-3 big onions)
- half a bulb of garlic
- 50 grammes of fresh ginger
- 40 grammes of mustard seeds
- 250 ml of vinegar
- 50-100 grammes of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of allspice
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 TABLEspoon of cayenne pepper
And here is how you do it:
- Cut up the onions and the fruit into pieces of the size that you wouldn’t mind encountering in the end product
- Grate or blend ginger and garlic cloves
- Toss all ingredients in a big pan and bring to a simmer
- Stir frequently while letting it simmer for a few hours until it has a nice consistency, watch out for the spatters: they sting
- While the stuff is still hot, spoon into clean jars, and put the lid on.
- it gets done faster if you first glaze the onions in the microwave a bit: put the cut up pieces in a microwave dish with lid on, put on a low wattage (400 or so), for 10 minutes
- I always doubt whether I was serious about the cayenne pepper when writing down the recipe, that is a LOT of cayenne pepper, but yet it doesn’t even remotely seem spicy when it is done (it does seem spicy when you taste it when it is still hot, but when it cools down, it disappears)
- Same is true for the garlic, it doesn’t taste remotely garlicky, so I generally add some more. I love garlic 😀
- Vary the sugar depending on how sweet your fruits are, which depends on their ripeness etc. I rather have too little sugar than too much.
- Whatever fruits you use, the end product is Brownish Muck™, but it tastes good
- I prefer yellow mustard seeds, but the dark ones are fine too
- Any kind of fruit works, but I think it is nice to have at least some firmer fruit in like mango, so that you have a nice chunky end product. Generally, the dried fruits provides nice chunks too. I have tried apple, pear, melon, nectarine, prune, mango, pineapple, all nice, when mixed too.
- I never experienced my chutneys getting too dry when simmering, but when that happens, just add water. It does generally seem a bit too wet. That is where the dried fruit comes in: to absorb wetness. Also, let it simmer without the lid on so the water evaporates. I really like to use dried apricot, but also used raisin, dates, figs, prunes and papaya, and mixes thereof.
- Keep refrigerated when opened, and when you do, it will stay good for up to a year, but it won’t last that long.