Chutney is a condiment we often associate with Indian cuisine. But this condiment has now gone global and offers a punch of flavor that pairs so well with roasted and smoked meats, adds a new dimension to a cheese and charcuterie platter, and sweeter versions can be spread onto a bagel or French toast.
Here are some of my favorite chutney recipes. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
BLUEBERRY RED WINE CHUTNEY
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
This interesting chutney is great with roasted pork, lamb and game meats such as venison. It’s also delicious on French toast, waffles and as an accompaniment to cheeses such as aged cheddars and a topper for good cream cheese on a toasted bagel! If possible try to find wild blueberries or huckleberries. They are much smaller, have a better texture and lots more flavor. In my market I find a great IQF wild blueberry from Jasper Wyman & Son in Maine, www.wymans.com.
2 ½ cups hearty red wine
2/3 cup sugar
1 whole cinnamon stick, broken into 3 or 4 pieces
2 one x two-inch strips of orange zest
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces wild blueberries, fresh or frozen (3 cups)
Add the first 7 ingredients to a deep saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 15 minutes. Strain and discard spices, return to pan along with blueberries and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes or so being careful to preserve the whole berry shape.
Strain and place blueberries in an attractive jar with a lid. Return juices to pan and over high heat reduce liquid to about 3/4 cup (12 minutes or so). Pour reduced syrup over blueberries, cool and cover. Store in refrigerator for up to 8 weeks.
FIG LIME CHUTNEY
Makes about 2 cups
This is a simple chutney with amazing flavor. It’s wonderful as an accompaniment to cheeses and I often use it to stuff a pork loin roast. Try adding some toasted chopped walnuts or hazelnuts too. I also use the same approach to make a smooth jam to make the best fig newtons you’ve ever had (and also to spread on toast or bagels, etc.). Just leave out the ginger, shallots and chile and puree it instead of leaving it chunky.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped, peeled ginger
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
Big pinch red chile flakes
3/4 pound dried calmyrna figs, cut in large dice
3/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup sugar, or to taste
3/4 cup port or sweet marsala wine
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from 3 large limes)
In a sauce pan heat the oil over moderate heat and sauté the ginger, shallots and chile until soft but not brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to cook and gently stir until mixture is thick but figs still retain their shape, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Store covered in refrigerator for up to a month or for long term storage can using the water-bath process.
FRESH CRANBERRY RELISH WITH TANGERINE AND MINT
Makes about 3 cups
This fresh, uncooked relish is excellent with roast turkey and also ham, pork, and game. Try it with smoked meats and sausages too!
12 ounces (3 heaping cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
2 unpeeled mandarins or tangerines, scrubbed
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1-1/4 cups sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 – 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1/2 cup chopped, lightly toasted walnuts (optional)
Wash and pick over the cranberries. Cut the tangerines into eighths, peel and all, and remove and discard any seeds. Place all of the ingredients (except walnuts) in a food processor and chop relatively finely in short bursts. Be careful not to over process, you still want some texture. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if desired. Stir in walnuts just before serving, if using. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Can also be frozen.
FRESH GREEN CHUTNEY
Makes 3/4 cup
Great with grilled lamb and chicken and as a topping for rice crackers or crispy Indian pappadam.
1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
3 scallions (white and green parts), cut into large pieces
1 cup packed fresh mint (leaves and some stems)
1 cup packed fresh cilantro (leaves and some stems)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 jalapeno, stemmed (ribs and seeds removed if you don’t want it too hot)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 to 2 tablespoons water, optional
With the machine running, drop ginger into the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add scallions, mint, cilantro, yogurt, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt. Process to a textured paste similar in consistency to pesto, adding water to adjust the consistency, if desired.
FRESH PEACH CHUTNEY
Makes a generous 2 cups
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, seeded, diced 1/4 inch
1/2 white onion, peeled and diced, about 1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds firm, fresh peaches, blanched to remove the skin, pit removed, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
Put the vinegar and sugar into a non-reactive pot, place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the red pepper, onion, red pepper flakes, raisins, garlic, ginger, salt and simmer for 6 minutes or so. Add the peaches and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until softened but not mushy. Drain peaches, set aside and return liquid to the pan. Reduce over high heat until syrupy, 3 – 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add peaches back in and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pot. Serve at room temperature. Transfer any remaining to a clean container and refrigerate, covered, for up to one week.
Makes 1 quart
This is a delicious condiment for grilled meats and fishes or as an accompaniment to rice and curry dishes. Try a little mango pickle with a smoked cheddar cheese, it’s delicious! The same approach works well with other fruits such as firm ripe peaches, plums or fuyu persimmons.
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 pound peeled, whole shallots (cut in half lengthwise if large)
2 small red serrano or jalapeno chilies, cut in half and seeded
8 quarter size slices of fresh peeled ginger
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large firm ripe mangoes (2 pounds)
In a small non-reactive saucepan, dissolve the sugar, vinegar and water over moderate heat. Add the shallots, chilies, ginger, coriander seed and salt and simmer partially covered for 7-8 minutes or until shallots are just tender.
Meanwhile, peel and cut mangoes into large 1 inch cubes, discarding the seed. Place fruit in a clean, sterilized 1 quart jar and pour the vinegar mixture over.
Cover and refrigerate up to 1 month.
MISO WALNUT CHUTNEY
Makes about 1 cup
This is a simple little condiment that I first had in Japan. It was served it a fresh cucumber “boat” with chilled sake. Delicious!
1/2 cup miso (white if you like it milder, red if you like it stronger)
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons sake
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
Hot pepper sesame oil
In a small saucepan combine the miso, mirin, sugar and sake and cook over low heat for 3 – 4 minutes stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar and drive the alcohol off the mirin and sake. Remove from heat and stir in the walnuts and drops of hot pepper sesame oil to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon or so).
To serve with cucumber: Split an English or Armenian cucumber in half and scoop out the seeds with the point of a teaspoon. Cut into 2 inch sections and spoon a little of the chutney into each. Top with a walnut piece or half, if desired.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
This brings together 3 of the basic flavors: salt, sweet and sour in an interesting way. We don’t usually thing of olives in a sweet environment but like any other black fruit they can be interesting. I’m using oil cured olives here which can vary widely in terms of their saltiness. You’ll want to taste and decide how salty you might like the end product. In the recipe below I’m doing a preliminary blanch of the olives to help remove salt. You may need to do it twice or even three times if the olives are especially salty. One of my favorite accompaniments for the cheese plate.
3/4 pound oil cured olives (generous 2 cups)
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (use a microplane)
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary
Lemon juice to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
With the flat side of a cook’s knife gently smash the olives and remove and discard pits. Cut olive in half and add to a small sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil then drain. Return olives to pan along with brown sugar, wine and honey and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook over moderate heat until mixture thickens. Stir in zest, rosemary, drops of lemon juice and black pepper to taste. Cool, cover and stored refrigerated for up to one month.
PINEAPPLE ALMOND CHUTNEY
Makes about 1 quart
This is my favorite chutney to serve with baked ham. Like most other chutneys it needs to sit for a few days for the flavors to blend and mellow. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 6 months or can be water bath canned (10 minutes) and stored at room temperature for up to a year.
1 large pineapple (4-1/2 pounds or so)
1/3 cup candied ginger, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large bay leaf
1 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons mustard seeds, preferably black
2 teaspoons coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon each whole allspice and cumin seed
1 teaspoon each fennel seed and whole black peppercorns
1/3 cup raisins
1 – ¼ cups blanched slivered almonds
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
Peel, core and cut the pineapple into 1/2-inch cubes. Mix the pineapple, ginger, vinegar, sugar, salt, red pepper, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and mustard seeds together in a large non-aluminum saucepan. With a small piece of well-rinsed cheesecloth, tie the coriander, allspice, cumin, fennel, and black peppercorns together and add to the rest of the ingredients.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often, for 25 – 30 minutes until fruit has softened but still retains its shape. Stir in the raisins and almonds and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so. Off heat, stir in zest. Cool, remove and discard the spice bag, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Cover and refrigerate for up to a month. Return to room temperature when serving.
WINTER FRUIT CHUTNEY
Makes about 1 quart
This chutney is a delicious accompaniment to smoked and roasted meats and poultry dishes and as an accompaniment to cheese.
1- 750ml bottle of dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
3/4 cup sugar
3 whole star anise
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon coriander seed, slightly crushed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, slightly crushed
1 cup raisins (preferably golden, unbleached)
3/4 pound assorted dried fruits such as apricots, cherries, mangoes and/or figs coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons minced candied ginger
1 large tart fresh apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks
3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
Add wine, sugar and spices to a non-aluminum pan and simmer uncovered over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Off heat and let it cool. Strain discarding spices. You should have about 2-1/2 cups strained liquid. Return liquid to pan and add raisins, dried fruits and candied ginger and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add the fresh apples and simmer gently until they are just tender, about 3 minutes. Off heat and cool. Stir in lime juice.
Store covered in the refrigerator for several weeks. Serve at room temperature for best flavor.
John Ash © 2013