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!