Mango and chilli chutney

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One of the things I like most about an Indian meal is all the condiments that come with it. And one of my all-time favourites is mango chutney. There happened to be an offer on mangoes at the supermarket and, rather than turning them into smoothies for the girls, the thought occurred to me to have a go at making my own mango chutney.

The end result was really very good, even if I do say so myself. I made it when Mum was staying with us the other weekend and she took a jar back home to Spain and has been raving about it, so you see, it’s not just me that thinks so.

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It packs a punch, flavoured with a whole bunch of aromatic spices and a healthy hit of fresh chilli, partnered with the sweet red onion and the even sweeter, sticky, gooey mango. With a big pile of poppadoms in front of me, I could probably work my way through an entire jar in one sitting. Easily. It’s possibly a little too fiery for the children, although our nine-year-old might be brave enough to give it a go. But I rather hope she’s not too keen. All the more for me then.

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Mango and chilli chutney

Makes 3 jars

1 cinnamon stick or a few pieces of cassia bark
1 whole nutmeg
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp whole cloves
½ tsp white peppercorns
1 Indonesian long peppercorn (optional)
3 large mangoes (slightly under-ripe are best)
juice of 1 orange, plus the rind of 1 quarter, finely chopped
2 red onions, finely chopped
250ml white wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 red chillies, finely chopped (I kept the seeds but you might want to remove these)
450g demerara sugar

Place all the spices in a piece of muslin and tie with string to form a little spice bag.

Peel, stone and chop your mangoes – keep half of the flesh big and chunky, and cut the other half into smaller pieces. We all have different approaches to cutting mangoes and I generally end up hacking mine to pieces. But for more professional tips, check out a YouTube video – there are videos on YouTube for absolutely everything, aren’t there?

Reserving the sugar and larger mango pieces until later, put the rest of the ingredients, including the spice bag, in a really large stainless steel pan. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 to 25 minutes until the mango and onions are soft.

Throw in the rest of the mango and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Then increase the heat and boil until the mixture becomes thick and jam-like, stirring every now and then.

Remove from the heat and take out the spice bag. Leave to cool for 20 minutes, which gives you enough time to sterilise your jam jars. Wash them in soapy water, rinse clean and dry. Then pop the jars in the bottom oven of the Aga or a conventional oven preheated to 110°C / gas mark ¼ for 20 minutes.

Pour the chutney into the hot, sterilised jars and seal.

As well as being a traditional accompaniment to Indian food, mango chutney is delicious with cold meats and very good in a Cheddar cheese sandwich.

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I’m entering my mango and chilli chutney into the Spice Trail challenge, a monthly food bloggers event which I host and is this month celebrating spiced preserves and pickles.

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Green goo iced buns for Halloween

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I always say this, but when I cook with my children, I have to be in just the right mood. A laid-back, chilled-out, hey-it’s-fine-to-wreck-the-kitchen kind of mood. Because cooking should be fun, right? For all of us, kids and parents alike. Which also means I won’t be too precious about what the end result actually looks like.

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Take these Halloween iced buns for example. Who in their right mind wants to eat something smothered in black icing? Well, my daughters it would seem. Especially when covered in hundreds-and-thousands and oozing with green jam – or green snot as my two like to call it. Delightful pair. Continue reading

White chocolate, beetroot and cardamom mousse

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Look away now if you’re on a diet. While this mousse might contain a generous helping of roast beetroot, I can make no claims for it being at all healthy. It’s rich, indulgent and highly calorific. Which is why it tastes so darn good.

Isn’t it the most amazing colour? You can imagine the look on my girls’ faces when they first saw it. Continue reading

Norwegian gravlaks and a simple beetroot pickle

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Normally I have the family in mind when I post recipes on my blog, but on this occasion this dish is all about me, me, me!

I adore fish and seafood you see, but I don’t get to eat or cook with it as much as I might like. My husband is sadly unable to eat most fish and seafood and I don’t really like cooking separate meals for different family members if I can avoid it. That’s why you don’t generally see that many fish recipes here. Continue reading

Pretend it’s still summer with an Appletiser mocktail

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The weather’s turned rather grim here in the West Country. Just yesterday we were out paddling in the local stream, and then the heavens opened overnight and it suddenly feels rather chilly and wintry today. The slippers and big jumpers have come o ut and I think the central heating might be back on soon.

But that hasn’t stopped us from pretending it’s still summer. Appletiser sent me some bottles of their new Apple & Pomegranate sparkling fruit juice to try out, which are the perfect base for some summerlicious cocktails and mocktails, particularly if you have a bag of berries stashed in the freezer. Continue reading

Cooking with kids: October’s Family Foodies challenge

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We’re already into October and I’m pleased to say it’s my turn to host the Family Foodies challenge. This month our theme is Cooking with Kids and we’re looking for your recipes and ideas to encourage little ones to get active in the kitchen.

Children are never too young to help out with the cooking – although I use the term ‘help out’ quite loosely here! Since my girls were little babies, I’ve been getting them to ‘help’ me prepare meals; from playing with pasta shapes or rolling dough sat in their high chairs to banging pots and pans on the kitchen floor as I did pretty much the same thing on the stove top. Even before they could walk, simply watching and playing alongside me has meant they were learning about where food comes from and how it is made.

PizzaCollageAs my daughters have got older, so they’ve grown more and more independent in the kitchen. When they were toddlers, their role was to put the toppings on the pizza. Next they’d be allowed to chop the ham and grate the cheese. And now, aged nine and six, they pretty much make the pizzas from scratch, from preparing the dough to popping their finished creations in the oven.

And as often as possible I encourage the girls to plan and cook their own meal for all the family. We start by leafing through children’s cookbooks to choose a main course and a pudding, before writing a shopping list and then helping me buy the ingredients. Spaghetti Bolognese and chocolate cake tend to be popular choices. I can just about let our oldest Jess get on with it alone now, although I tend to hang around in the kitchen in case she needs a hand, while I act as Mia’s ‘kitchen slave’ so that she’s in charge and I only do what she instructs me to do – within reason!


I can’t wait to hear how you involve your children or grandchildren or nieces and nephews in the kitchen. What are your favourite recipes to make with children? And do you have any tips for making sure the whole thing doesn’t turn into complete and utter mayhem? Post your recipes in the usual way and link up to this challenge by the end of the month or feel free to dig out posts from your blog archives and link those up too.

gingerbread houseWin a gingerbread house cutter set!

Our prize this month is this brilliant Lakeland cutter set to make your very own gingerbread house. With Christmas just around the corner, this could come in very handy.

The set includes a gingerbread recipe and 12 cutters to stamp out walls, roof, tree, a snowman and his gingerbread friends. You then simply mix some icing sugar to ‘cement’ the house together, before decorating with all your favourite sweeties and a dusting of icing sugar snow.

Family Foodie entry guidelines

  • You may submit any recipe on your blog that fits this month’s theme, new or from the archive, and there is a limit of three entries per blogger. You’re also welcome to submit the post to other challenges too. If the recipe is not your own, please give the appropriate credit.
  • Send your recipe URL to me at vanesther-at-reescommunications-dot-co-dot-uk, including your own email address and the title of your recipe or post. The closing date this month is Friday 31 October 2014.
  • Display the Family Foodies badge (above) on your recipe post, with a link back to both Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, as well as details of this month’s challenge.
  • If you’re on Twitter, then please tweet your post to myself @BangerMashChat and Lou @Eat_Your_Veg and include the hashtag #FamilyFoodies. We’ll retweet all that we see.
  • You may enter from anywhere in the blogosphere, but prizes can only be posted to UK addresses.
  • At the end of the month a guest judge will choose a winning recipe. The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries. Winners will get to display a Family Foodie Winner annotated badge on their blog if they wish and their recipe will go through to the Family Foodies Hall of Fame on each of our sites.
  • All entries will be added to the Family Foodies Pinterest Group Board.

Any questions, do drop me an email at the address above.

Thanks so much to everyone that entered the August/September challenge hosted by Louisa at Eat Your Veg, where the theme was The Under Twos. Louisa will be announcing the winner of the M&S Tiny Taste Buds goodies very soon.

For the low down on other foodie challenges, competitions and giveaways, head over to The Food Blog Diary.

October’s entries

  1. Chocolate Hummus from Recipes From A Pantry
  2. Holy Eggs! from The Hedge Combers
  3. Indian Rice pudding with Fluffy Indian Bread from Home Cook Food
  4. Chilli Cheese Sandwich with Chinese Tomato Soup from Home Cook Food
  5. One Minute Microwave Masala Omelette from Home Cook Food
  6. First Day at School Chocolate Cake from Tinned Tomatoes
  7. Oaty Ginger Chocolate Biscuits from Chocolate Log Blog
  8. Chocolate Popcorn Triangles from Farmersgirl Kitchen
  9. Green Goo Iced Buns for Halloween from Bangers & Mash