A look in the larder shows it’s time for chutney

THIS WEEK I am breaking from my approach of  spending £5 in Ridley Road Market in Dalston, Hackney, London E8 2LH, on seasonal food to devise a seasonal recipe. Instead, I am using up produce I’ve bought over the last three weeks. 

9 red onions bought 12 October 2012

4 mangoes ditto

Pickling onions ditto

Bonnet peppers ditto

1 large Spanish onion ditto

Equipment for all three recipes: non-reactive lidded saucepan, paring and kitchen knife, wooden spoon, heavy frying pan and a large ceramic bowl

Sterilised jars — see 26 October 2012 — and labels



Recipes: Mango chutney, red onion chutney and pickled onions

Mango chutney

Preparation: 15 minutes, cooking: 1 hour

4 mangoes peeled and cut into bite-size chunks

1 large Spanish onion peeled sliced and cut into small pieces

1 bonnet pepper descended and chopped into tiny pieces

1 large or 2 small Bramley apples peeled cored and cut into bite-size pieces

5cm fresh ginger peeled and grated

3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped into tiny pieces

Spices: 5 cardamom pod — remove seeds, 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon turmeric

350ml white pickling vinegar, 200g soft brown sugar, 200 granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon black onion seeds, 1 teaspoon salt

Place the first 5 ingredients in the saucepan. Dry-roast the first 5 spices in the frying pan and add to the saucepan with the turmeric, cinnamon stick, vinegar, black onion seeds, salt and sugars. Bring all slowly to the boil and simmer gently until the chutney has thickened and the liquid reduced but the mangoes and other ingredients are soft but holding their shape. Remove the cinnamon stick and place into warm jars, seal and label when the jars are cold. Ready in 1 month.

Red onion chutney

Preparation: 30 minutes, cooking: 3 hours

Ingredients: Peel and chop in smallish pieces all the onions, 425g soft brown sugar, 500ml vinegar — I used a mixture of Spanish sherry and balsamic vinegars, 1 tablespoon oil, 3 bay leaves and a good amount of black pepper.

Heat the oil in the saucepan and add the onion, stir and put on the lid. Cook very slowly for about an hour until the onions are soft. Add all the other Ingredients and bring to the boil. Then simmer gently for about 90 to 120 minutes. It can be left to cook but keep a check in case it sticks. Mine never has but one day it might if I choose to completely ignore it. When most of the liquid has evaporated it is ready. Drag a spoon through the thickened onion mixture and if you can see the bottom of the saucepan it is ready.

Pour into warm jars and seal. Label when cold. Ready in 4 weeks. 

Pickled onions
This takes 2 days to complete because the onions have to soak for 36 hours before cooking.

Preparation: 45-60 minutes, cooking: 1 hour

Ingredients: Pickling onions, salt, water, malt vinegar, 2 bay leaves, 10 black peppercorns, 1 whole dried chilli

Put the onions unpeeled in the ceramic bowl and cover with cold water and 3 tablespoons of salt. Mix and leave for 24 hours. 

The next day, drain the onions and peel but leave them whole. Replace the peeled onions in the bowl and cover with fresh water and another 3 tablespoons of salt and leave for 24 to36 hours. 

Make the spiced vinegar by putting the vinegar in the non-reactive saucepan, adding all the spices, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the spices to infuse for 24 hours. 

Next day, strain the vinegar and throw away the spices. Drain and dry with a tea or paper towel and pack into warm sterilised jars and cover with the spiced vinegar. Seal and then label when cold. Ready in 4 weeks.

Tip: fresh ginger freezes well. Peel and grate ginger roots and put in small freezer bags to use when needed.

* Previous articles hyperlinked:

Piccalilli 26 October 2012

Golden soup 19 October 2012

Roasted, stuffed squash 12 October 2012

Vegetable curry 5 October 2012

Carrot and coriander soup 28 September 2012

Ratatouille Gypsy stew 21 September 2012

Bubble and squeak Shooey styleBakewell pudding 14 September 2012

Coleslaw and radishes 7 September 2012

Turkish spinach pie 31 August 2012;

Tomato tart, marinated aubergines, fresh mango chutney 24 August 2012;

Roasted butternut squash soup and beetroot salad 17 August 17 2012;

A dish to make from a fiver in the market: the column launched 15 August 2012

If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment below.

To have future articles delivered to your feed reader, subscribe to the RSS feed.
You can also follow Loving Dalston on Twitter for daily news updates.