Sunday, 15 February 2015

Mango Chutney, not just a great cubby!

Mango Chutney More to a Mango Tree than just a Great Cubbie!

Well as promised, my Mango Chutney recipe!

I pick our mangoes as the first ones start to ripen. This year it was a late season in The Burdekin/Townsville, so I assumed our mangos would be a little late in maturing.
Normally the Mangoes in North Queensland are well & truely finished by early December. Mangoes were a flourishing business in Qld but once the mangoes from the Northern  Territory flooded the market, it annialated the Qld market. 

Once the parrots start eating the mangoes, it's a sign to pick them. If I leave them to ripen on the tree, the fruit fly have a field day. so picked, washed in warm soapy water to remove any sap, drain, then process. 
I dry some in the dehydrator, peel & slice some into snap lock bags to freeze. Then I slice about 8 greens mango & 8 riper mangoes for my chutney. 
When I first made mango Chutney, I only used ripe mangoes as I thought it strange to use green fruit, but I since learnt that green mangoes are a common treat in different cultures. I can appreciate that now, so I venture into using green mangoes.The recipe I used, called for 1/2 green & ripe Mangoes.. 
I've been saving my jars, washing & drying them, then putting them through the dishwasher when I made the Chutney. I used to boil the lids & jars. 

Ingredients: 
8 green & 8 riper mangoes.
1 handful of salt
2 litres of black malt vinegar ( I used cornwalls)
1 kg of brown sugar
1 large knob of fresh ginger
1 whole clove of fresh garlic
250 gr of sultanas
1 kg of pitted dates
5 chillies 
                                                        



Step 1. Peel & slice the mangoes into a saucepan. Sprinkle the salt over them, cover & refrigerate overnight. (when I'm busy this gives me a chance to come back to the recipe later, but if I'm prepared, I'll start cooking after several hours)

Step 2. Chop Dates, garlic, chillies & grate ginger. I removed the seeds from the chillies, but next time I added the seeds of 2 chillies, it wasn't very hot. 

Step 3. Rinse the mangoes lightly return to saucepan & add the malt vinegar & bring to the boil. 

Step 4. Add chopped dates, garlic, ginger, chilli, sultanas.
Cover with the lid & simmer gently until tender. Stir regularly to make sure chutney doesn't stick to the bottom & burn. 

Step 5. I simmer for about 1 hour & remove lid to allow cooking down the chutney (to allow moisture to evaporate)
Finally adding sugar, stirring occasionally to avoid burning sugar. cooking time is about 2 hours depending on consistency of the chutney. 

Step 6. Remove jars from the dishwasher while hot, so the steam will evaporate & jars dry. I spoon chutney into a jug to pour into the bottles. Then I place a piece of glad wrap over jar opening & seal with the lid.
As usual, I make changes depending on ingredients. I had some currant left from Christmas so I added them to the recipe. I cut back on the sugar, which made the chutney a little runnier, but didn't hurt the integrity of the flavour. A nice tart/sweet combination, rather than sweet. 
I'm off to do a jam making workshop at Putia in Banyo soon. So I'll learn the finer art of preserving & may find I'm doing it all wrong. For preserves to last, it's important to follow ingredients & measurements, but most of my recipes come from the kitchens of ladies of the Burdekin, who used recipes from their mums, not neccessarily written down. 



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