Every now again I see a bargain that I cannot resist. Before Christmas a local greengrocer was selling boxes of six mangoes for next to nothing, so I bought them, cut them up and stashed them in the freezer. This week I finally got round to making them into chutney. I didn't have a recipe, but improvised.
This is a recipe in one of my old books, Modern Cookery Illustrated, from the 1930s. I have never made this particular chutney because I am not fond of apple chutneys, and absolutely hate sultanas in any chutney, but this recipe has given me a formula, which I have used time and time again.
The magic formula can be summarised as a pint of white vinegar, a pound of sugar, and about 5 and a half pounds of anything you want, which can include dried fruit.
Also I checked the ingredients in my favourite shop chutney so I could give my own version a spicy kick.
This is what I ended up using:-
1 pint white vinegar
1 lb white granulated sugar
3 lb 10 oz mangoes
1 lb 10 oz dried apricots
a few pieces of crystallised ginger, chopped
2 fresh chillies, finely sliced
several cloves of garlic, cut into large pieces
half a teaspoon of salt
half a teaspoon of cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cardamom pods
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons black onion (nigella) seeds
Everything went into a large pan to stand overnight. By the next morning the apricots had soaked up vinegar and were nice and soft.
At this stage it looked and smelt delicious. Sometimes the smell of chutney can be overpowering when it is being cooked, but this one wasn't so bad, most probably because there were no onions.
I gave it a long slow simmer until the mango was thoroughly cooked and the consistency was right.
It ended up looking like this - not beautiful, but with recognisable chunks of mango in it.
Now I have eight jars of chutney to forget about for about three months. Or three years. The longer you leave it the better it tastes.