If there’s one condiment that pairs itself almost universally well with food of a spicy disposition it has to be mango chutney. The devilishly-difficult-to-rival flavour of well-made mango chutney manages to behave amiably with similar ingredients, no matter how slight their shared characteristics may be.
There is also an element of experimental fun to the preparation of any chutney, mango or otherwise. You see, this particular chutney recipe is based upon my own personal tastes and fancies; yours needn’t be entirely the same. Indeed, the only ingredients vital to the success of this recipe are the mangoes, vinegar and sugar – all else can, but shouldn’t, be done without.
Though, I would highly recommend the use of black onion seeds since they always manage to take mango chutney to the next level, or even the one after that, wherever that may be.
Those among you who don’t suffer from debilitating visual issues or absurdly frequent bouts of catastrophic memory loss will notice that my dear little space on the web has undergone yet another change. Those of you who do have problems pertaining to the above mentioned faculties of the human body should entirely ignore my vitriolic comments; it clearly (or rather unclearly) is not your fault.
Anyway, I really must describe to you just how wonderful this chutney really is. It doesn’t pussy foot around flavour like those one might purchase at one’s local supermarket; it really adds something special to a dish.
No longer will mango chutney be spooned in a deprecating manner onto the very edge of one’s plate. Happily, it is extremely easy to reproduce and requires only a modicum of planning. If you ever thought that you might like to make one of my recipes this truly is the one to choose, if only because of the fact you needn’t follow the recipe at all – how conveniently ironic.
Fills one 500ml pot
• 2 large, fairly ripe mangoes
• 1 chopped apple, any variety will do (I used a braeburn)
• A thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 300ml white wine vinegar
• 260g of caster sugar
• 1 tsp black onion seeds
• A small shard of cinnamon bark
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp chilli flakes
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• A pinch of salt
1. The night before you want to make the chutney it is necessary to peel one’s mangoes, cube them and sprinkle them with salt. This draws out some of their moisture and softens them. Make sure to rinse before use!
2. Tip the apple, ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar, onion seeds, cinnamon, turmeric, chilli flakes and chilli powder into a pan. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the mango and bring to a gentle simmer.
3. Simmer the chutney for 30-40 minutes until it has achieved a thick, sticky consistency. Season to taste. While waiting for the magic to happen one should sterilize one’s vessel to ensure the chutney stays good for at least a couple of weeks. Once the chutney is done transfer it to the jar and allow to cool before applying the lid. Allowing the chutney to mature for a couple of days will only increase the pleasure it gives your mouth.
Cost: The leading brand of mango chutney in Britain sells for roughly £2 per jar, though the jar is smaller than mine. Thankfully, mangoes are very cheap at the moment which allows me to make this large jar for £2.50. Though the cost/g is only a little better, the quality of homemade chutney far outstrips that which is mass-marketed. Enjoy!