Thursday, 19 December 2013

Have a Spicy Christmas

Following on from last week's post I can now confirm that the peppermint creams were delicious (and gone in two minutes).  I took a box of them along to a friend's party and they were gratefully received - by the adults as well as the children.

So as I have one culinary success (!) under my belt I thought I would branch out this week and have a go at making...Chutney.

My Dad loves chutney and as I am hosting the big 'Turkey Dinner' this year I thought it would be a nice touch to make him a jar of spiced apple chutney. 

I decided to utilise the Internet to find a good recipe and during my search I stumbled across the history of chutney...until that moment I hadn't even given the origin much thought, but it made for an interesting read so I thought I would share my findings with you before we all rush off to soak our apples.

Legend has it that a British Army Officer by the name of Major Grey, who lived in Colonial India in the 19th century, loved curries so much he made his own chutney using mango, raisins, vinegar, lime, onion, tamarind and spices.  This is where some believe the classic Mango Chutney originates.

Of course, prior to Major Grey, chutney was a regular guest at any dinner table in India and the exotic spices were brought back by traders in the 18th century.  Usually made as a relish of fresh fruit and spices, chutney can be made from almost any combination of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices.  There are plenty of varieties out there.

The word 'Chutney' is Hindustani and as far as I can ascertain, means either 'crushed' or 'lick' - both are quite apt!

If you are looking for a perfect chutney recipe then you can't go wrong with a good old Delia Smith variety, however, Delia does recommend potting and sealing your chutney for 3 months before eating - this causes me a slight problem as Christmas day is 6 sleeps away!

Fear not - I managed to tweak a recipe for a 'no cook spiced apple' variety which only needs to rest for 2 - 3 days.  I say 'tweaked' with some trepidation.  As my larder appeared to be missing a couple of core ingredients I opted for the famous 'whatever is left in the cupboard' ingredient list.  I shall report back after Christmas dinner to confirm that my Dad is still alive and well!

This is what you need:-

No Cook Spiced Apple Chutney
2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 red onion, chopped
125g sultanas
80ml red wine vinegar
40g dark brown soft sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cumin
Pinch cayenne

Mix all the ingredients together, give them a good stir and season well.
Pour into a sterilised jar and leave in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Shake once a day.
Shake before eating. 
Keep for up to a week once open.

So there you have it, quick and easy chutney ready for Christmas day.

Do you have a Chutney recipe you would like to share?
Maybe you prefer to make something else at this time of year - a family tradition of your own?

I hope you have enjoyed my December challenge - I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful comments and feedback I receive on the blog, by email and on my Resolution Challenge facebook page - I love to hear what you think so please do keep in touch.

Merry Christmas Everyone x

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