Things are a bit crazy here atm, (especially since Christmas started way earlier this year don’t you think?) but I wanted to have time to squeeze in a recipe that was requested in the comments from my last post (thanks Izzy!)
Now I love the whole process about making chutney. It was one of the first things I did when I dropped out of college (the first time..) – cycled to Kingston, pick up all the ingredients (for like £3 or something so yes, approved student budget friendly) cycle home, prep, bubble, can, enjoy.
My chutney repertoire expands year by year, and this one strikes the balance between easiest and most popular. The all time favourite is green tomato chutney, but you’d be hard pressed to find home grown (rah) green tomatoes in early December – stick to red and pair with onion and you get this super easy super delicious classic.
Not that I can eat cheese but if I could, I would pair this with some strong cheddar or maybe on a jacket potato. To be honest, you can pretty much put it on anything and spice up the plainest and blandest of dishes.
It also makes a wonderful gift! Write a pretty label (I love these cute Cath Kidston ones a dear friend gave to me for my birthday this year) put a bow on it… buy a little selection of cheeses from the supermarket deli counter… maybe make some homemade cheese biscuits… You get the idea.
One thing you must do is sterilise the jars. Chutney keeps for an extraordinarily long time as long as the jars are prepared properly. To do this, put a sheet of newspaper into an oven at turn it on to about 140°C, then pop the jars in for about 20 minutes. Keep them hot – you need to add the hot chutney to hot jars so it will set properly. Once the chutney is in the jar, put a wax disk on the top (you will find them in jam canning kits that you can get at home ware shops or you can buy wax paper and cut them into circles). Wait for them to cool, then put the lid on. Done!
Chutney is always better if you can wait a little while for it to mature. I would give it three weeks (if you can!) then you can tuck in. After it’s opened, keep it in the fridge.
- 500g red onions
- 1 kg on the vine tomatoes - you could use cherry or larger ones
- Large piece of peeled ginger
- 250g soft brown sugar
- 150 ml red wine vinegar
- 5 whole cardamom pods
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 chopped and de seeded red chilli
- Chop the tomatoes and onions into equal size chunks. Have a little cry because this amount of onion will make you weep. Then finely chop up the garlic, and ginger. Add the ingredients to the largest pot you have as you go along - this will help save space in the kitchen.
- Add the sugar, red wine vinegar, cardamom, and chilli. Give the mix a good stir to coat in the sugar and vinegar.
- Bring it all to a boil, then allow to simmer for about an hour. It should be thick, dark and jammy.
- If you wish, take an immersion blender and whizz the ingredients together a little. You could use a potato masher to the same effect.
- Then put the chutney into the hot sterilised jars, pop on the wax disks and allow to cool before putting the lids on.
- Always make sure to sterilise more jars than you think you could need! I go for 5 of different sizes that have been washed and de-labelled beforehand.