Sometimes it is that extra touch that makes a dish, that butter mustard sauce poured over roasted fish, the herb-y vinaigrette lightly drizzled on top of roasted vegetables, homemade croutons floating in a pool of savory creamy soup, or sweet, savory, and spicy chutney dolloped on top of a bed of rice and curry. This recipe for mango chutney was my love attempt of re-creating a version from a favorite tea store. We decided it was a success.
It is sweet, with just a bit of a bite of spice that hits you after the sweetness (I was especially trying not to make it too spicy so that my 5 year-old would still enjoy it). Rather then adding a lot of different spices, I’ve used a simple ingredient list. That way it could be paired with very flavorful dishes without confusing the palate.
It’s a balanced condiment of sweet, sour and spice and is a delicious addition to a wide variety of dishes. Whether you are serving it with curry and rice, samosas, pita bread, or slathering it on hamburgers, it adds a lot of flavor and zing. Some people adore it with roasted chicken; others slather it on turkey or ham. Spread it on a sandwich, pair it with goat cheese and crackers, or eat it straight off the spoon. Or make it into zingy spinach rolls for a snack (recipe coming soon!).
As you know, I’ve been really into simple food lately. That means I have been buying my salsa instead of making it, precooking soaked grains, and doing a lot of slow-cooker meals. All of those simple meals, however, help make you feel doing some extra cooking projects a fun job, instead of a chore.
So…my five-year-old and I decided to make a mango chutney together, and we loved it! Most of the time goes into simmering it, but it really is an easy thing to throw together. I let it simmer while I worked on loading the dishwasher and washing counters.
I am thinking that this would make a great food gift, in particular to a friend who enjoys ethnic food. Any home canners out there with advice on how to safely can this recipe? I’d love to get your advice!
Makes 1 to 1 ½ cups
A few notes on the ingredients, you can substitute powdered cardamom for the pods, just use a small amount so that is complements rather then overwhelms. You could also use fresh ginger instead of powdered (which I generally do), but somehow the dried and powdered works really well in this chutney. Increase the chili flakes for more spice, if desired. Mango chutney could also be great with curry powder or garam masala added to it.
2 tablespoons of fat of choice (coconut oil, olive oil, etc)
½ sweet or red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ cup coconut sugar, whole cane sugar, or sweetener of choice
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar (or mild vinegar of choice)
1 cup filtered water
2 cups of fresh or frozen mango cubes (peeled)
8 whole green cardamom pods
1. In a medium/large pot, heat fat over medium heat until hot. Add onions and garlic. Sprinkle with just a dash of salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are softening, stirring as needed to prevent burning.
2. Meanwhile, place the flat side of a large knife on each cardamom pod and give it a sharp rap with your fist to split it open. Remove all of the seeds. (I left the seeds whole which gave flavor to the chutney as a sauce, but also gave a burst of flavor when you get a bite with a seed in it. You could also grind the seeds into powder)
3. Add the rest of the ingredients (including the cardamom seeds) to the onion and garlic. Bring to a simmer, and keep at a low simmer for 30 minutes. If the chutney ever gets too thick, simply add a bit more water.
4. Puree the chutney using an immersion blender, food processor, or blender. Cool. Keeps at least several weeks refrigerated.