Thursday, 15 November 2012

Chutney chaat


"A pungent relish made of fruits,and or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar, 
originating in India".

With the season of mellow fruitfulness upon us,and in my Beatrix Potter world of Squirrel Nutkin it is time to get thrifty and wise to whats around the corner.With the nights drawing in and winter drawers on, our houses become overwhelmed with the smells of spicy chutneys and other preserves bubbling away on our stove tops.If not, something is wrong.
There are few things in life more enjoyable than producing our own pickles, relishes and chutneys from a bountiful autumn, and even more to consume and enjoy the fruits of this labour, together with family and friends around an appreciative seasonal table.
During late summer and autumn your kitchen should exude delicious sweet aromas of luscious fruit, and and the heady scent of spices and drying herbs.November is the time to make preserves and practice cupboard maintenance and start planning your larder for the year ahead.

A good old -fashioned plum chutney
Come the deluge of fruit,a good chutney will make a condsiderable dent in any orchard of plenty.If there hadn´t been such a plethora of Portuguese plums this year I would not have brought myself to making this.At the end of the season, about a week ago, I over purchased plums and then forgot about them. They were now plump and ripe and ready for the preserving pan.I ain´t no "Chutney Mary" but here goes.
"Chutney Mary" is a somewhat derogatory term used to describe a "lass" in Bombay, India, typically someone from a lower social background who wears flashy clothes and puts on a fake 'accent' to try and appear as being from a higher social class (yes, the caste system is well and alive). It is the fake accent that usually gives her away.So here is my very own "Chutney Mary", a plummed up lass some pittlers might call mutton dressed as lamb, but put to the test this is a damn fine plum chutney.
1.5kg stoned plums
250g sliced onion
50g raisins
250g muscovado sugar 
1 level tsp salt
2 cloves
1 big thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger,peeled and grated
1 level tsp ground allspice
600ml good quality red wine vinegar
Place al the ingredients in a large stainless steel pot or preserving pan and mix well.Place the pan over a gentle heat and bring slowly to the boil.Let the brew simmer until it thickens and takes on the consistency of achutney.(about 45 minutes).Clean and sterilise some jars,ladle in the chutney and seal.
Don´t use metal lids,because these will react with the vinegar.While it is understandable that everyone will be itching  for a large spoonful,ideally the chutney should be allowed to mature for four to six weeks.You must be patient.




 

1 comment:

  1. She sounds like a right old doxy, but all the better for that. Perfect to accompany Christmas leftovers!

    ReplyDelete