Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney

Being brought up in the Midwest in the 60’s and 70’s (yes, I’m old. Just shush.), there wasn’t much in the way of “exotic” foods. There was a lot of sausage, a lot of pork, which was horrid back then for the record- really fatty and just nasty. I honestly stopped eating pork as a young adult because I thought it was horrible. Now I absolutely love pork. There was also a lot of chicken, etc etc. All the homey Eastern European foods that had been brought to the heartland and foods that were made by a depression era parent were part of our upbringing. But Indian foods? Thai Curries? Fiery spice blends? Nahhhh…. not in the Chicago of that time period. When I got into my early thirties, I wanted to branch out some in my cooking. I’m not even sure why. There was nothing in me that said, “oooo, that sounds delicious and I want to try to make it!” It was more like just cooking curiosity. I have always been very interested in reading about different cultures and when you combine that in a book with their food culture, you’ll have me hooked. I had no idea that once I started down that road, I would become a quick addict.

But I have. I could happily eat foods of that part of the world daily and not get bored with them. The problem is that it is difficult still to get good ingredients in my neck of the woods for the actual dishes and there are very few restaurants serving good Indian or Thai foods. So most of the time I settle for the condiments- mainly the chutneys. Some of what I make is Americanized because I want it to appeal to my not as adventurous family. I buy the “real” stuff from stores with good ethnic food selections and enjoy them myself. But I have made so many different chutneys it’s ridiculous- that tomato one up there, peach, cranberry, blueberry cranberry, pear ginger and so one and so forth. But my favorite will always be this spicy mango one I keep coming back to. It is a total amalgamation of a handful of different ones I have tried over the years until I finally got it to where I wanted it to be. It’s sweet, tangy from the vinegar, fruity and has a mild bite that adds so much to foods. I don’t just use chutneys with curries. I love them with baked chicken, fried chicken, any sort of pork. You name it, I’ll try it with chutney πŸ˜€ This doesn’t need to be canned, though you can do so if you’re feeling froggy. Just store it in the fridge in a covered container. It will keep well in there for months due to the high vinegar content.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Mrs. Cupcake, who is now craving a good Indian curry.

Spicy Mango Chutney

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vinegar, cider or white (white makes it a bit sharper in taste, but I rather enjoy that)
  • 4 ripe mangoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (use more or less depending on how much you like spiciness. This amounts puts it at about a 5 on a 1-10 scale)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (NOT ground mustard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a medium pot (I use a 3 quart pot to help contain any bubbling). Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then add all the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Stir well, then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down if it seems to be sticking. It will take longer to cook down, but it will get there. Cook until the chutney has reduced by about 1/3, is no longer watery, but looks thick and syrupy. It should take about an hour and a half or so.
  3. Let cool, then store in the fridge in a covered container. This can also be canned via water bath if preferred.

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Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney


We didn’t have a whole lot of luck with our tomato plants this year. It was such a wet, unseasonably cool Summer that they didn’t stand a chance. They would get decent sized and green, but few got enough sun to finish ripening. Out of about 12 plants, we got enough tomatoes for one session in the dehydrator, which we ended up eating like candy  and enough for this batch of chutney. I can sincerely say that this chutney was worth the wait for ripe tomatoes.

I’ve been canning for about 17 years or so now. I tend to stick to jams, relishes and chutneys. One of these days I’ll branch out and do pressure canning. I have the canner, just not the motivation or expendable cash. I keep saying that if I come across some fantastic sale on meat, I’ll can some, but who ever finds a fantastic sale on meat nowadays? Most of us are instead practicing meatless dinners a time or two a week because it’s so darned expensive to buy meat of any kind.

Is it horrid of me that I am enjoying this chutney so much that I keep going over to the bowl of it that is in the photo and snagging bites? Hehe This has a wonderfully unique taste in comparison to other, fruitier chutneys I have made in the past. You have the sweet acidity of the tomatoes, the bite from the peppers and garlic, the tang of the vinegar…. all melded together into a textural delight. Darn, I’m just soooo poetic today πŸ˜›

This has a decent amount of ingredients, but nothing hard to find and it all just goes into the pot together and cooks down, so it’s a fairly low maintenance recipe. I say again, as I’ve said before about canning recipes, practice safe canning, please. Do NOT listen to those who tell you it’s ok to just ladle the food into a jar, put the lid on and go on as if that’s sufficient for sealing. It’s totally NOT good enough. Even if the can seems to seal, you don’t know that it’s vacuum sealed, nor that any possible bacteria were killed. Never take that chance with your own health or that of your family. It’s too easy to do it right. πŸ™‚ Here’s a link to show you how to properly can if you’re new to it. If you want to make this but don’t want to can it, you can also freeze portions of it. Just thaw when you’re ready to use some.

Water Bath Canning

This chutney is wonderful with any Indian or Thai dish, as well as with any fattier cut of meat. The acidity of the chutney helps to cut the richness of the meat. It’s also great just off a spoon, but I am also a wee bit offbeat πŸ˜€

Spicy Tomato Chutney

  • 5 lbs tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (I like to leave them in fairly decent sized chop. They add a nice look to the finished product.)
  • 2 large onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt (non iodized)
  • juice and zest of one small lime
  • juice and zest of one small orange
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or crushed dried chiles (use more or less as desired, depending on how spicy or not you prefer it)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (same chop idea here as for the garlic. Chutney should have texture, not be smooth.)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  1. Put all ingredients into a large, deep pot and stir well to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once it gets to a boil, turn your heat down to a barely medium setting (I do this at 4 on an electric stove) and let it simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Cook until it has reduced to about half of it’s original amount and has become thick and rich looking, about 2 hours. If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot at all, lower your heat a tad and make sure you’re stirring enough. Keep in mind that it will continue to thick a LITTLE bit even after you can it so don’t get it too thick during cooking. You want a product that is about the consistency of a loose preserve.
  4. Can as per the above directions (I got 4 1/2 pints out of this), leaving 1/4 inch headspace and boil in a water bath for ten minutes. When done, remove to a towel and leave undisturbed until cool. Check your seal and if any jars didn’t seal, store them in the fridge. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for quite a long time.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

I Always Loved Count Chocula

Yes, that is a used jar with an old label there. I was too lazy to peel it all off. πŸ˜€


Though thinking about it and posting in all honesty, I’m not sure why I used past tense in that title; I STILL love Count Chocula the best. He’s my man. Don’t even try telling me he isn’t real and the relationship can never work. It’s fate that we stay together even when I am 96 years old and gumming oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ll just have to let the yummy chocolatey goodness sit in the milk a little longer is all. I’m also a sad portrait of a Cap’n Crunch addict but don’t tell the Count; he’s a jealous sort.

What are your favorite cereals. If you say you are madly in love with say, Shredded Wheat in soy milk I am going to worry about you. Same if you answer Grape Nuts. I mean c’mon, we’re all friends here… let’s quit trying to be all adult and pretend we really eat that crap for any other reason that it’s good for us and we know we need to take care of ourselves πŸ˜€ What cereal do you want when a cereal craving hits or you want something sweet and reminiscent of childhood?

Calvin is my hero btw.

While I like Count Chocula, I never cared for his friends, Boo-Berry and Franken Berry (that was today’s poor attempt at a lead in by the way. I wanted to make sure you caught it πŸ˜› ). Even as a kid, I knew the flavors were completely fake. They were like settling for a Tootsie Roll when what you really wanted was a Hershey bar but you only had a nickel (ok, a penny back in MY childhood but I’m hedging on that here. Shhh.). As an adult, I’m no different. I want real flavors when I’m eating not something made from chemicals and red dye number 4,328. Well, other than that Twinkie, Cheeto, Grape Laffy Taffy and Lemonheads issue. Those don’t count. Really. They don’t. Quit rolling your eyes at me youngun or I’ll put you to bed without dinner!

Going on the “I want real flavors” idea, today I made some homemade chutney. This is a canning recipe but it can be put into refrigerator or freezer containers too. It’s won’t keep forever but it will last about 2 months it kept refrigerated and longer in the freezer. Canning it however gives you the lovely sweet tart berry flavor for a year or twelve. I had some blueberries I needed to use as well as cranberries in the freezer (in case you didn’t know, you can buy a ton of them in season and they will keep for up to a year in the freezer. Just an FYI.) that I wanted to tell you.)  It is sweet and also quite tart as well as spicy and savory. It would be great with a nice salty piece of ham or a rich fatty pork chop or a piece of roast chicken. I can also see using it with ye olde block of cream cheese and crackers. Let me know what you think.

Spicy Sweet Blueberry Cranberry Chutney

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups raspberry vinegar
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (adjust to personal taste)
  • 7 cups blueberries (about 4 containers)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (NOT canned sauce)
  1. In a large non stick saucepan, stir together sugar, vinegar, onion, ginger, cinnamon, red pepper and salt. Stir well to mix. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the fruits. Return to boiling, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Stir frequently because this WILL stick to the bottom if you don’t. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes or until desired consistency. It will thicken up some as it cools so don’t let it get too thick while cooking. You want it thickened but still syrupy.
  4. Ladle the chutney into hot sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.. Make sure to wipe the rims well because anything left on the rims now can be future germ territory later. Process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes. Let cool and store in a cool dark place. It’s like Count Chocula; it likes the dark. πŸ˜›

I know; not the worlds most exciting photography today. It's hard to really showcase a dark colored condiment. Just make it and eat it πŸ˜›

You Put Da Lime In Da Coconut


And then you feel better,
Put the lime in the coconut, drink them both up,
Put the lime in the coconut, and call me in the morning.

One of the strangest songs ever written. Every time I think of it, I think of the Muppets Episode where Kermit sang it.  Yes, I realize my TV viewing leaves something to be desired… like maybe sophistication and intelligence but in my defense, I’ve been surrounded by kids since I was 21. What do you expect? Just please…. don’t get me started on The Fresh Beat Band *shudders* or Yo Gabba Gabba. I’ve been known to rant on the subject of our children’s brain cells being fried by the junk they advertise as educational television these days. Not to mention the perception kids must have of adults as babbling idiots by the time they reach school age if they watch those shows. Ok, I got myself started didn’t I? Ummm…oops?

Sunny Dayyyy… chasing my caressss awayyyyyyy!!! Lalalalalalalalalaaaaaaaa. Can you tell me how to get- how to get to Sesame Street!?

Now THAT was good kids TV. Cute puppets, kids learned their letters and numbers as well as moral lessons. We already know I’m easily amused so stop laughing; it’s not nice. Sesame Street taught you that. I know it  did. πŸ˜›

I’ve also mentioned that I love anything curry. So today I was playing around and wanted to do something interesting with the boneless pork Loin roast I had. Methinks I succeeded. I cut the roast into chops and marinated them in a coconut milk/lime/curry marinade and then cooked them up in the same marinade. By the time it was done, they were fall apart tender infused with the luscious taste of the marinade which had cooked down into a creamy sauce. I served this with a spicy peach & cranberry chutney I’ve been making for years, an extra squeeze of lime over the meat, basmati rice that we covered in the sauce and Broccoli florets. I tried to carry the flavors over from the sauce to the chutney and I think it worked well here.

Boneless Pork Loin Chops in a Coconut Curry Sauce

  1. 3.5 pound pork loin roast, cut into chops of desired thickness ( I made 10 chops from it. This gives us enough for 2 meals. You can make them thicker or thinner but that will affect cooking time so be aware of that. This can also be cut in half just using boneless chops for less people if you don’t want to use a whole roast)
  2. 2 15 ounce cans coconut milk
  3. 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  4. 1/4 cup lime juice
  5. zest from one lime
  6. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon onion powder (NOT onion salt)
  9. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  11. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Put your chops in and push them down under the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Longer is even better. You can marinade for up to a day. Mine was in for about 3 hours and I think it would have been even better for a full day.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 about 20 minutes before you need to get the meat started. Foil line a 13×9 inch pan then spray it with cooking spray. That will reduce your mess plus the chops won’t stick as much.
  • Put your chops, one by one, into the foil lined pan. Carefully pour 1 1/2 cups of your marinade over the chops (just discard the rest) and cover the pan with more foil. Cook in the preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on how thick you cut your chops, uncovering the pan after 45 minutes to give your sauce time to thicken up some. When you can  easily pull a piece off of a chop with a fork, they are done. Serve them with the chutney and preferably with some rice to soak up all the saucy goodness. Make sure you squeeze some lime juice over the meat for each serving. It adds that indefinable oomph that makes the dish great.

Sweet & Spicy Peach Cranberry Chutney

  1. 2 15 ounce cans sliced peaches in juice or light syrup
  2. 1 15 ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce (you can also do this w/out the cranberry sauce if you just want a Peach chutney. I have done it both ways.)
  3. 1/2 cup raisins
  4. 1 red onion, chopped
  5. 1 clove minced garlic (again; I used the kind in the jar. Ninety percent of the time, it works perfectly for your garlic needs)
  6. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use less if you don’t like spicy)
  10. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  11. 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • Dump everything into a medium sized sauce pot. Stir well to combine. Cook over medium heat until reduced by about half and thickened. This will take anywhere from an hour and a half to 2 and a half hours. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and if it starts to stick, turn your heat down to about 3 or 4 on an electric stove, low heat on a gas stove. This can be used the day it is made but it’s even better the next day.