Monday, 3 December 2012

Chutney Time

Behold the golden goodness of a jar of homemade spiced carrot chutney. There's plenty more where that came from too... It's fairly garlicky, with a little hit of chilli, just right with cheese and biscuits.

I was given this recipe by my lovely friend Jo, I checked with her and she is more than happy to share the love, so the recipe is below. Just a few words of warning before you start, especially if you haven't made chutney before.

Firstly, you will need a REALLY big pan, as this is quite a lot of chutney that we're dealing with here. If your pan is a bit on the small side, stirring will be tricky (and messy). I was lucky enough to be given a Maslin pan for my birthday last year which does make things easier.

Secondly, your house will reek of vinegar while you're cooking this, and possibly for days afterwards, sorry. Best to keep kitchen doors shut and open a window if possible.

Finally, and most important, do make sure that you sterilise your jars and lids properly. You don't want to spend hours over a hot chutney pan to discover mouldiness when you check your chutney stash later on. I give my jars a good scrub with hot soapy water and then put them into a low oven (about 110) for 30 mins. Fill the jars while they're still hot from the oven.

Ingredients
(makes about 10 x 454g jars)

1.8kg carrots (grated)
110g fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 litre cider vinegar
8 dried red chillies
4 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp coarsely crushed coriander seeds
2 star anise
60g coarse sea salt
3 heads of garlic
500ml water
1.5kg granulated sugar

How to make
1. Put carrots in a bowl with ginger, vinegar, spices and salt, mix together and cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.
2. Next day separate heads of garlic and peel all the cloves.
3. Put carrot mixture in a big pan and add garlic and water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins.
4. Stir in the sugar and bring back to the boil, stirring occasionally, until the chutney is thick and jammy. 
5. Remove the larger items (cinnamon sticks/star anise and its up to you re: chillies) but leave the garlic in.
6 Let it settle off the heat for 3 mins before ladling into sterile jars and screwing the lid on tightly.

You can eat this straight away, or it's even better if you leave it for a few weeks. Still time to make some for Christmas - and good for a gift too, especially if you pair it up with a nice piece of cheese and some crackers.


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