I am sure that there are many that have no idea what a Chutney is or where it is from. Well I am one of those people so I do what I always do when I need an answer….. I typed the name in my search line and hit enter. I was covered up with more information than I could ever use. One of the things that showed was Wikipedia. They are my source for definitions and other semi-important things. It had a great description of Chutney::
“Chutney (also called chatney) is an Indian word meaning sauce. It refers to a wide-ranging family of condiments from Indian cuisine/Pakistani cuisine that usually contain some mixture of spice(s), vegetable(s) and/or fruit(s). There are many varieties of chutney. Chutneys may be either wet or dry, and can have a coarse to a fine texture. The Indian word refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with preserves often sweetened. Several Indian languages use the word for fresh preparations only.”
There, I could not have said it any better. I realize that some of my relishes were really chutney’s and not relish. And some of my Chutney’s were really relishes. Well it is too late for me to change now. They were all sold years ago. I hope that the people who ate them did not confuse the name.
Now that we know what I am talking about, how about some ideas for chutney’s, a few recipes and ideas on how to use these chutney’s in eating and cooking.
I am going to start with our most popular chutney, Mango Chutney. We could never make enough to last more than a couple of shows. It takes a few steps in cooking, but the end results is well worth the effort. So with that said here is the recipe:
8 cups mangoes, peeled & chopped. 3 cups onions, chopped. 1 cup apples, peeled, cored, chopped (Granny Smith are best for this recipe). 1 cup golden raisins, chopped. 1 cup dark raisins, chopped. Yes, I mean two different types of raisins. They taste different so they are needed. 2 cups cider vinegar (important use cider in place of white vinegar for the taste difference). 2 1/2 cups brown sugar. 1/2 cup fresh grated ginger. In place of fresh ginger above you can use 1/4 cup dried chopped ginger or 1/8 cup powdered ginger. 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice. 2 tablespoons mustard seeds. 3 teaspoons celery seeds. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, kosher or canning. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground. 1 teaspoon grated lime rind (do this before you squeeze to get best results).
Add all ingredients into large pot. Mix while cooking. Bring to boil. Simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Also make sure that you mix completely so all the flavors blend with each other. Prepare your canning jars by making sure the are clean and dry. This does not mean straight from the box. Look inside the box and you will see all sorts of things. Dust is not the only thing collected. Wash your jars and if possible use your dish washer especially if it has a sanitizer option. Another important thing to remember. Do not use any jars that are from something else like Mayo or Peanut Butter. They are unsafe for home canning. They can and will bust when canning and processing. It might cost a little more buying jars, but safety is important. Do what is called a Hot-Pack.That means hot going into jars that are safe. Carefully ladle into 8 ounce canning jars. We use 8 ounce, but you can use any size that you have. Fill to within 1/4 inch of the top. This is very important! After all are filled take a damp paper towel and clean all the rims of the jars.
Uncleaned rims will not seal. Place a new dome, that has been rinsed in hot water, on the jar. Place a ring on the top and finger-tighten. That means do not over tighten. If you do the air in jar will not escape and your jar will not seal. Too loose and water will leak in and spoil your hard work. Process 10 minutes in water bath. The remove and set on a rack or towel to cool. After all have cooled, check for unsealed jars. They have to have new domes after the rim is re-cleaned. You can use the same ring, but new dome is a must.
You will enjoy this chutney with all types of meals or snacks at a party. Serve on a dish and spread on top of a soft cream cheese and a cracker. The same way you eat Pepper Jelly. But that is not the best way to eat Mango Chutney. If you take a Pork Roast and a crock pot and a jar of Mango Chutney, you have the fix-in’s for a great meal. Not familiar with the word fix-in, it is southern for getting ready and all other descriptions for that purpose. Well back to cookin’ (that is Southern also). Place your roast in your crock pot (not sure if that is one word or two), then pour your jar of Mango Chutney over the top. Place the lid on and turn on low. Go to work, the beach, or just hang around. By supper time you will only have to make rice or a side veggie. You are in for a special treat. The chutney has everything need to spice, flavor and season your roast. It makes having this chutney around in the cabinet in case you catch a case of the lazy and want to take the day off in the kitchen. Something else about this dish, if you have left overs, awesome sandwiches can be made the next day or if you made enough, just nuke and make another side or salad and you have another great supper (that is Southern for evening meal, some parts call this dinner. That is the noon meal for us folks south of the Mason-Dixon line). Those folks are called Southerners, as well as other things.
Look how much we have covered and with just one chutney. We got to get busy and make another favorite. We were told by many that this is their favorite veggie/fruit mixture. Now really this one has two fruits, but we won’t tell if you don’t. (What you did not know a tomato is a fruit).
Apple-Tomato Chutney: This chutney is awesome on pork, but is great on chicken as a garnish to chicken roasted on the grill. Something about cooking chicken over charcoals or a gas BBQ makes it just a whole different taste than the flavor of something cooked in an oven. Yellow rice and the chutney as a side makes a delightful meal. Just get a piece of chicken and some of the chutney, you are in for a taste treat. Y0u can also serve this with Texas BBQ other-wise known as brisket. In Georgia we spell Bar B Que P-I-G, so that is a main difference between us and our friends in Texas. As long as it is good to eat! The recipe for this chutney: 2 1/2 quarts tomatoes, cored, peeled, chopped. 1 quart Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, chopped. 2 cups cucumbers, chopped. 1 1/2 cups onions, chopped. 1 1/2 cups bell peppers, red & green – chopped. 1 cup raisin, chopped. 3 cups brown sugar. 1 cup jalapeño peppers, seeded, chopped. 1 dove garlic, minced. 1 tablespoon ginger, ground. 1 teaspoon salt, kosher or canning. 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground. 3 cups cider vinegar. Combine all ingredients. Cook in large pot for 2 – 4 hours (until thick). Stirring occasionally. Us the same method as above for jarring and processing this chutney. In fact the directions for jarring and processing all home canning is the same. Get it right and you have no troubles. Try to take a short cut and you are in for big troubles. You take too much time getting everything together and cooking to take a bad shortcut and spoil what you made. Believe me, if there was a short cut, I would have found it. I didn’t.
Our next one goes against the definition of Chutney, sort of like our last recipe. This one is made from just one fruit, Pear. While it is made from just Pear, it is a favorite on many kitchens shelves all over the world. It is called Curried Pear Chutney. Don’t let the word curried scare you off. Curry doesn’t mean it is super hot of full of spices that does not taste good. Curry powder means (again I go back to Wikipedia).
“Curry powder is a spice mix of widely varying composition based on South Asian cuisine. Curry powder and the contemporary English use of the word curry are Western inventions and do not reflect any specific Indian food, though a similar mixture of spices used in north India is called garam masala. Curry powder is actually closer to the Tamil sambar powder, and the word curry is widely believed to be derived from the Tamil word kari, variously meaning something like sauce, cooked vegetables or meat. In the western world, curry powder mixtures tend to have a fairly standardized taste, though a great variety of spice mixtures are used in Indian cuisine.”
See it does not say extra hot or extra spicy. Well back to my recipe.
Curried Pear Chutney: 13 cups pears, peeled, cored, chopped (I am talking about hard pears, not the soft pears you usually get in the grocery store). 2 cups brown sugar. 4 cups sugar. 3 cups golden raisins. 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard. 1 1/2 cups crystallized ginger, chopped. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. 3 tablespoons mustard seeds. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg. 1 teaspoon ground allspice. 1 quart white vinegar. 2 teaspoons lemon zest. 3 tablespoons garlic – minced, or 2 tablespoons dried minced. 1/4 teaspoon salt – kosher or canning. 2 tablespoons curry powder (make your own, or get some from a friend or even buy it in the store). 1 1/4 tablespoon dried pepper flakes.
Mix all ingredients in pot, bring to boil. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes (until pear pieces are tender). Follow instructions for jarring and processing. Another note, if you can’t find hard pears in your area, try to find pears that are not completely ripe. They are still firm and should work. It will just take less cooking time.
This chutney goes with just about everything. It has such a well-balanced flavor, you won’t find any trouble including it in your cooking and eating. Don’t tell someone it is Curried and they might not know.
Lastly I will finish with a chutney made for Georgia. I live there some this goes out to my friends and neighbors. You can try it anywhere, just use the biggest, firmest, juicy peaches you can find. You might have to go to a farmers market to find these. But you may get lucky in your grocers. Peach Chutney: 8 cups fresh sliced Peaches. 4 cups sugar and 2 cups brown sugar. the juice of a fresh lime. 2 teaspoons sweet onion (Vidalia is best) chopped. 3/4 cup golden raisins. 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. 1/4 teaspoon salt, kosher or canning. 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper (white pepper looks better if you have it). Combine in a large pot cook till the veggies are soft. Usually 30 to 45 minutes. Jar up and process as above. Chicken and pork works really good with this chutney.Even tried it on baked ham and enjoyed it. How can anything made from the best peaches tastes bad. I even tried some that leaked on the table-cloth and it still tasted good. Use this chutney for cooking or as a side garnish, either way works great.
For an extra special treat try this recipe. Use this and bake pork chops in the oven. Just pour over thick chops and wrap in aluminum foil. Make sure you have a tight seal in your foil. Cook til chops are done. Serve chops and chutney over white or yellow rice for a great southern treat.
Now you see why so many people love their chutney’s they are so many ways to use them or eat them. You can garnish a dish, cook a dish or serve with Brie or cream cheese as an appetizer or party treat. They last forever on your shelf. All you need to do is put left overs (if there is any) in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container. They will absorb taste from other foods as well as add flavor to those same foods. So either way, keep them sealed.
I hope that you noticed that in all my recipes, I have not used really hot peppers. Now to some people bell peppers are hot. I am talking about Habanero or Cayenne peppers. Chutney’s have enough flavor without adding hot peppers. Now for someone who loves hot peppers, this is hard to do. but we did it. Now when you are cooking, if you get the over whelming urge to use hot peppers, go right ahead. This is going to change the final flavor. But if you want everything spicy hot. Go ahead and do it. But remember the age-old kitchen saying “once you put something in you can’t take it out.” This goes for peppers as well as salt. So remember that you can add heat at the table if you like. Someone else eating with you might not like the heat.
I know I keep saying this, but it is true. Seems like we just started and it is time to wrap it up. Hopefully you got some ideas to try in the future. Don’t be afraid to cook. Some of the worst mistakes made in kitchens become family favorites. Not all of them, but some of them. So experiment, you are the cook. Being the cook means you make the choices just how much to add or make. The only cooks that can’t cook are the ones that don’t imagine. People ask my how we come up with so many recipes. I tell them that it was easy, we just think of a taste or flavor and made something to match. It was not hard. Everything should be in your mind’s eye before you cook it. The more you think the better it gets. How do you think we got so many things to eat. Some one had to think them up and then cook their ideas.
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