Summer in South Florida means mangoes, and in our family, mangoes mean homemade chutney.
This recipe comes from Nai-Nai, who uses a newspaper clipping from the 1960s as a rough guide – there’s plenty of dabs of this and pinches of that involved in the process.
Chutney is usually served as a flavorful accompaniment to Indian curries, but we’ve embraced the South African tradition of using it in something like a British ploughman’s lunch… as a sandwich with sharp cheese on crusty bread – thick-sliced, if you can get it. A proper cheese-and-chutney sandwich is sweet, tart, savory, sharp, fruity and sticks to the ribs quite nicely.
But it’s hard to get the right kind of chutney. Store-bought varieties tend to taste more like mango preserves or some kind of apple butter relative.
This recipe (or guide) creates the real stuff.
- 4 pounds firm mangoes, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
- 3 cups cider vinegar
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 cups seedless raisins (we used both golden and dark)
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 inches of fresh ginger root, sliced finely
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mace
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried hot red pepper
- salt to taste
Once the mangoes and garlic have been peeled and chopped and the ginger scraped and sliced (which takes longer to do than to write), place everything in a big pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the mango chunks are tender but still intact. Ladle the chutney immediately into jars.