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.
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.
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.
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.