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How to Make your own Chutney

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April 6, 2015 / English / By
Nicola

 

"TomatoChutney" by Paul Goyette from Chicago, USA - simple tomato chutney. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TomatoChutney.jpg#/media/File:TomatoChutney.jpg

 

Recently I wrote a post about farmers’ markets, in which I briefly mentioned the fact that the vendors often sell a wide variety of homemade goods. These include everything from crafts to condiments, and believe it or not it isn’t actually that difficult to make any of these things yourself.

 

Jams and chutneys are very common wares sold at farmers’ markets, and often you’ll find some incredible flavours that the sellers have created themselves. However, what you probably don’t realise is that you can create some of your own fantastic flavours in your own kitchen – with very little effort.

 

There are many benefits to making your own chutney. For starters, it’s a great way to make your fruits and vegetables last much longer than they usually would – homemade chutney can last for several months at the very least. In addition, it’s the ideal way to use up excess or misshapen fruits and vegetables, or those which are about to go out of season. This is because they all get chopped up so you won’t notice any imperfections, as you would if you ate the individual fruits and vegetables as normal.

 

That said, it’s important to be selective when it comes to choosing your fruits and vegetables. Consider the fact that you’re effectively pickling the food, so if you don’t think it’ll taste nice with a slightly strong, vinegary taste, then steer clear. However, it’s a matter of personal taste. Most fruits and vegetables can be turned into pickles and chutneys, so take your pick! The only stipulation would be that whatever you go for, choose fruit and vegetables that are reasonably good quality, rather than those that are soft or bruised.

 

There are many different recipes and flavour combinations which you can try; there are too many to list here, so search around (or experiment!) until you find one that appeals to you. It’s important that you use the correct amounts of each ingredient as stipulated by the recipe, or your chutney could turn out far too strong.

 

Most chutney recipes should follow a similar guideline, which involves boiling the fruits or vegetables, combining spices, sugar and vinegar, then bottling it up.

 

Throughout the entire chutney making process, it’s crucial that you use equipment that is as sterile as possible. If you plan to make a business out of chutney production then you might want to consider investing in some specialist equipment, but otherwise some careful sterilisation of your utensils, pans and jars should be enough. Remember that in these jars you’ll be storing fairly wet foodstuffs for several months at a time, which is usually the ideal hiding place for bacteria to grow. As such, you’ll need to ensure that everything is as clean as possible; if you start off with no bacteria, then your chutney will last for even longer!

 

If you follow these simple steps, by the end of the afternoon you can have your very own delicious jar of homemade chutney. Seal it securely then store it in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to eat it. The best chutneys rest for two to three months before you even consider trying them, but that’s a matter of personal taste and experimentation!

 

As you can see, making your own chutney at home is a very cheap and economical way to use up fruits and vegetables – not to mention the fact that it’s so easy. If you try it and have success then maybe we’ll be seeing you selling your own varieties at a farmers’ market sometime soon!


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$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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