Spicy mango chutney

What better way to feel at one with this season than by using all the abundance of fruit and vegetables and pickling, preserving, making jam, my favourite brown (plum) sauce, or chutneys.

OK, so these mangoes weren't exactly grown locally, but I use and love mango chutney more than any other - so that's what I'm making.

And the apples at least were straight from my parents' orchard, so I'm not entirely missing the point of seasonal eating!

This recipe is very much based on that of one of my very favourite food writers, Diana Henry, and taken from her wonderful book, Salt Sugar Smoke .... I just simplified (to me) the quantities as I don't like weighing things and changed the spices a bit - just due to personal preference!

So, to make approximately 3 jars of delicious and easy spicy mango chutney, I used:

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

400ml white malt vinegar

2 red birds eye chillies, very finely chopped - I keep the seeds in (you can use more or less chillies of course to suit your taste)

1 green chilli, very finely chopped

2 tsp black mustard seeds

3 mangoes (around 1lb each), peeled and the flesh diced (I can't stone mangoes so just slice around the stone and then cut the pieces of mango into smaller pieces)

2 smallish (or 1 large) apple, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces (a tart cooking apple would be good, but I used eating apples)

1 lb granulated sugar

Fresh ginger, grated, approx 2 teaspoons

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

grated zest and juice of 1 juicy lime (or 2 less juicy of course)

Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney

Into a large pan go the onions, vinegar and chillies - bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes, when the onions will have started to soften.

Toast the mustard seeds - just put them into a dry frying pan and as soon as they start to pop remove them from the heat.

Add the mangoes, apples and mustard seeds to the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes when the fruit will have started to soften.

Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney

Tip in the ginger, coriander, cumim and lime zest and then slowly bring it all to the boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve.

Reduce the heat if need be to a simmer and cook until it's yummy and thick and jammy.  

It'll take 30-45 minutes and do keep stirring regularly as it'll stick to the bottom if not!

Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney

When it's done, squeeze in the lime juice, stir and remove from heat.

While it's still hot put the chutney into warm, dry, sterilised jars, cover with waxed paper discs (confession - I don't have any so I don't do this - also it never hangs around long enough in this house!) and seal with a lid.

It'll keep for AGES too - up to a year - but, as I  said - not in this house it doesn't! 

We tried it immediately for dinner the same night as it was made - with chicken jalfrezi and some carrot salad in place of rice (shredded carrot with a big squeeze of fresh lemon and topped with toasted flaked almonds).

And you can also use it in this recipe for sardine or mushroom mango chutney curry.

Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney




Plum sauce (it's home-made brown sauce)

Ah, now I KNOW it's autumn.

Every year we make plum sauce in my family.

The vinegar smell permeates throughout the house.

The bottles stashed away in larders and cupboards for the year ahead. 

The best 'brown' sauce you can get (in my opinion).

The plums are in season right now, and if you have plum trees, you'll probably have a glut of them you're not sure what to do with ... here's the answer! 

This is an old family recipe. The measurements are imperial ... one day I'll get round to doing a conversion and add it here but in the meantime you'll have to do your own I'm afraid!

But DO make it - like most pickles and chutneys it's time you need, not cooking ability (you just need chopping ability) ... oh and a blender or food processor (or willingness to stand over a sieve for a while).

Let's do it!

I LOVE this sauce and in all honesty, I haven't met someone yet who doesn't like it.

You'll need:

6lb plums

3 pints malt vinegar (yup the cheap brown stuff)

2 lbs dark brown sugar

2 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp mace (I didn't have any so used ground nutmeg)

6 tsp salt

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp ground ginger

6 nice fat cloves of garlic (peeled and squashed - no need to chop)

Halve (or quarter or whatever it takes to remove the stones) and de-stone the plums - and get all the ingredients ready.

Rachel Redlaw plum sauce
Rachel Redlaw plum sauce
Rachel Redlaw plum sauce

Put into an enormous saucepan or preserving pan with all the rest of the ingredients.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 - 2.5 hours (check it after 2 hours - I tend to stop at 2.25).

Rachel Redlaw plum sauce
Rachel Redlaw plum sauce
Rachel Redlaw plum sauce

It will reduce a lot - keep stirring it so it doesn't stick.

Rachel Redlaw plum sauce
Rachel Redlaw plum sauce
Rachel Redlaw plum sauce

Cool a little and then liquidise in a blender, food processor or with a sieve.

When cool put into a jug to pour into jars or bottles.

Rachel Redlaw plum sauce
Rachel Redlaw plum sauce

It keeps for AGES ... just in the larder or in a cupboard (just keep it in the dark not in direct sunlight).

I'm excited to share this one - it's been one we've kept in the family for years and years but it feels right to share so I hope you make it and love it too.

And even pass it down through your own family ...