Ch Ch Ch Chutney!


I love Chutney. For those of you who are not familiar with it, get familiar and quickly because it is the perfect condiment. In the same category as jams, jellies, salsa, and relishes, chutney can be chunky or smooth (chunky is way better). You can serve it with meats and vegetables, and one of my favorite ways, is with cheese. And if it’s a spicy chutney, I like it alongside green eggs and ham in a tree or on a bus.


Chutney is mainly sweet and sour, but many variations of spices are used. Chutneys are simmered slowly and because of this when you prepare one, they make your house smell as if you’re walking through a beautiful spice market somewhere exotic or down the spice aisle at your local Stop & Shop, it’s your fantasy, you chose.


If you make chutney after reading this, and want to send me some, I like mine chunky so don’t overcook it, if you do overcook it, the fruit will break down, and who the hell wants a smooth chutney? Not me.


Chutney originated in India and was imported to Western Europe in the 17th century and one of the main fruits used in making Chutney back then was Mr. Mango. (I adore mangos, do you?)  –Okay, this history lesson is officially over, because if I am bored, you’re bored.

Anyway, I made some great chutney the other night and I don’t have measurements, sorry. But I can tell you what I put in it and that it came out rocking-good! If you’re hung up on measurements just use common sense, for example, I used ground cloves, hello, you’re not going to use a cup of ground cloves. I suggest you season a little bit at a time and keep tasting. Add spices to your liking.

As a side note, in case you’re interested, I have been eating my homemade chutney with brie, blue and cheddar and I am having a pretty hard time stopping.


Okay so here is how I did it. I cubed-up the following, onions, pears, peaches, rhubarb, mango, and I had a few cherries hanging around so I threw those in there too. I also chopped a red sweet pepper and minced one small chili pepper (I didn’t use much, just enough for slight bite.) I sautéed the chopped onion and peppers in oil for a few moments until just soft. I added a bay leaf, the fruits and stirred. Then I added some ground cloves and some freshly grated ginger, a pinch of cinnamon and a good amount of brown sugar and I cooked that down until the sugar melted. I then added some vinegar and reduced it, not a ton of vinegar but enough to wet it. I packed it in small jars and chilled it and within hours I was busy spooning sweet and spicy mounds of it on my brie, blue and cheddar that sat on a bread bed. YUMMY BABY!



About johncpicardi

Welcome to my blog. I am the author of the novel Oliver Pepper's Pickle and the published plays The Sweepers and Seven Rabbits on a Pole, both plays have been produced off Broadway and around the US. I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales University where I majored in Culinary arts. I have a BA from The University of Massachusetts and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. This blog is about food and food memories and every other fantastic and scrumptious thing to do with it. My appetite and passion for food is large and runs deep, sometimes its indulgent and wild and other times wholesome and simple, often humorous and always immeasurable. I grew up outside of Boston and spent many hours of my childhood in front of the TV watching Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and Julia Child prepare all kinds of luscious meals that would make my mouth water. Other days I’d follow my mother and two grandmothers around their simple, tidy kitchens as they busily prepared hearty fragrant meals, hand-cut pastas, preserved fruits and vegetables, baked yeasty breads, spicy cookies and frosted lopsided cakes. I was there by their side asking questions and helping where needed and there were plenty of times I was ordered to leave if I was in their way. It was a given that by the time I graduated High School I would be going off to Johnson & Wales University to study Culinary Arts. Those years were fine and good. I loved the hands on creativeness of cooking whether it be the simple lesson of washing a sink full of colorful salad greens, trussing a chicken or peeling a gorgeous carrot or the complicated lessons of making a French Country Pate or Julia Child’s Cassoulet or making Brioche, it all thrilled me and my dream had arrived!
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15 Responses to Ch Ch Ch Chutney!

  1. Saajida says:

    looks lovely!


  2. Chutney chutney chutney 🙂


  3. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

    Chutney and cheese – great combination… 🙂


    • johncpicardi says:

      Thank you, you never got back to me about the rhubarb cake I made of yours,
      do you mind if I post it and give you credit? It came out pretty good.


      • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

        Actually I did and I can see it on my post, but maybe something went wrong with “delivery” to you…
        I’m glad it came out well and of course you can post it and thanks for any references. 🙂


  4. softmechanic says:

    Great post! Now I know what to do with my rhubarb stragglers, lurking in the fridge!


  5. jensine says:

    okay so if I give you my address will you send it? … mmmhhh yum yum


  6. mmm I love chutney and haven’t seen a decent recipe. thanks for posting about your method! there is a lovely little restaurant on the other side of town that serves a platter of chutney, nuts with honey, cheeses, and toast points (all of which change by the season) as a tasting platform for wines. it’s really awesome and I’ve been obsessed with chutney ever since. now I can recreate this at home for entertaining (or for pigging out). :]


  7. My apologies for drooling on your blog, Make chutney. Check.


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