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 😀 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… 🙂
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Let cool, then store in the fridge in a covered container. This can also be canned via water bath if preferred.
Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.