Pantry: Easy Mild Chutney

Sunday September 11, 2016

Ever roast some meat or grill and wish you had some nice homemade chutney to serve alongside? Nothing spicy. More jam like to complement the flavors of the meat or cheese. Here are a few of my favorite little chutneys for that glut of summer fruit. It is mostly fruit. It is so easy to make, its ridiculous. In Ayurveda there are 6 tastes: sweet, astringent, sour, salty, spicy and bitter. One meal should contain all flavor elements.

Hence, fruit chutneys make up an essential part of an Ayurvedic meal as they help to balance the flavors. Moreover, they add taste and help nutrition and digestion. Fruit is well known for its vitamins, minerals and natural antioxidant content. It provides your body with healthy enzymes that help to break down the following food.Chutney is a spicy-sweet-sour condiment often made with fresh and dried fruit, sugar, vinegar and chiles. My sweet and savory chutney recipes are the perfect complement to many main-course meals and appetizer bites. From plum chutney to nectarine, green tomato, ripe tomato, mango chutney, these easy chutney recipes act as a fantastic addition to beef, pork, chicken, vegetable, and fish dishes. One of the best chutneys commercially for years was Narsai’s spicy Nectarine Chutney. My easy chutney recipes also make excellent, do-it-yourself homemade gifts in a pretty jar. Try an easy chutney recipe today to enhance your meal! Chutney is a great well appreciated gift.

Mango Chutney

Ingredients

¾ cup sugar

½ cup water

½ cup apple cider vinegar or honey cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

6 cardamom pods, crushed

1 cinnamon stick

3 ripe mangos, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½-inch chunks

1 cup golden raisins or currants

2 ounces crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Sea salt

Directions

In a large, deep heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vinegar, ginger, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the mangos and raisins and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until the fruit is translucent and the liquid evaporates and is thickened and glossy, about 30 minutes. Stir in the crystallized ginger. Remove from heat. Taste for salt. Let cool, then transfer to a large jar and refrigerate.  Serve with sliced meats, chunks of cheese, sandwiches, and bread. Pick up some nice 8 ounce storage jars, springtop, at world market for storage in the fridge.

Pineapple Chutney

Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) can juice-packed crushed pineapple

2 tablespoons raisins

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped onions

2 tablespoons chopped red or green bell peppers

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

In a 4 cups glass measure, combine all the ingredients except the raisins. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes. Stir in the raisins. Microwave 1 minute. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve warm or cold. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Blueberry Chutney

One way to spice up your dishes is with an interesting sauce. Most chutneys are jelly-like and often lackluster. As Chef for Kookez Café in San Francisco, Deano Lovecchio created an old southern-style family recipe with our local Webb Ranch blueberries that goes great with sliced tri tip steak, turkey, game hens, or grilled chicken. Customers at the café were always amazed at the flavor it added. They would try to guess the ingredients, but never came close. Deano is sharing his secret recipe here. Recipe can be halved.

Ingredients

6 cups – 1lb fresh organic blueberries
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped white onions or shallots
1/2 green bell pepper chopped finely
1/2 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
2 tablespoons powdered ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cloves
6 oz. frozen unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Preparation

In large deep saucepan combine all ingredients, bring to a boil, then on a low simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours. Don’t cook into a jelly, the blueberries should remain whole and not disintegrate. Store sauce in the refrigerator for extended period for use with meals.

Ina’s Apple Chutney

Ingredients

12 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and half-inch diced

2 cups chopped white onions

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

4 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1½ cups cider vinegar

2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon whole dried mustard seed

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 cups raisins (golden or dark)

Directions

1. Combine the apples, onion, ginger, orange juice, cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seed, red pepper flakes, salt and chopped chilies in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or less until most of the liquid has evaporated. (Do not overcook. Mind that the apples keep their shape).

3. Remove pot from heat and stir in the raisins. Covered and cooled, the chutney will last in the refrigerator for two weeks, more or less.

Plum Chutney

Makes 3 half pints

Ingredients

4 cups chopped fresh plums (about 2 pounds)
1 cup minced white onion (about 1 small onion) or shallots
3/4 cups raisins
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 lemon, zested
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a wide, non-reactive pot (give yourself at least 4 quarts of space to work with). Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it bubbles, reduce heat to medium and simmer gently, stirring regularly, until slightly thickened.

As the chutney gets closer to done, make sure to stir every minute or so to prevent scorching. You’ll know the chutney is finished cooking when you can pull your spoon through the chutney and the space you’ve created doesn’t fill in immediately.

Cherry Chutney

Ingredients:

3 cups pitted and fresh dark sweet cherries
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup chopped white onions or shallots
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup raisins/and or tart dried cherries (the combination is good)
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon each ground allspice, ground cloves, ground nutmeg

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and simmer, covered, for one hour. Uncover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes more.
Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Makes 4 cups

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016. Recipes adapted by Grace Parisi, Ina Garten, Deano Lovecchio Kookez Café, Cherry Growers of California

Please enjoy the recipes and make them your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.


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