What do you do when you have three trays of ripe or quickly ripening mangoes on hand? Well, there are lots of options - eating them straight up, pancakes, cakes, jam, salsa, smoothies.... But if you want to spread the mango love across the year, preserving them in one way or another is a good idea. Drying them, either straight up or as fruit rolls, is one option. Or you can turn a bunch into chutney, to spice up drab meals and accompany Indian curries all year long.
Andy and I have made a few batches of this chutney recipe, but have found it, at various times, too spicy, or too vinegary, so have modified it a bit and come up with a configuration we quite like. Andy bought a starter canning kit from Green Living Australia, so this year we could make a very big batch (or several) and keep them in the pantry - in years past we have been limited by refrigerator space.
10 ripe mangoes
1 onion, finely diced
4 cups of vinegar
1 cup of dried fruit (Andy used dried mixed fruit, with the cherries picked out, which was actually better than I expected. The citrus peel gives it a bit of zing every few bites)
1 chilli, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
Cut the cheeks off each mango. Score each cheek into fairly small squares, and then scoop the fruit out with a spoon. Put all the fruit from the cheeks into a very large, non-reactive bowl. Peel each seed. Cut the flesh from the seeds and put into a separate smaller bowl, or a jug, or a blender. Blend this up and then mix it with the diced fruit.
Put the diced onion into a jug and cover with boiling water. Let this sit for a few minutes and then drain the water and add the onion to the bowl (I do this because I find the raw onion a bit bitey. If you like raw onion, skip this step). Then mix in the vinegar, dried fruit, chilli and ginger. Cover this and let it soak overnight at room temperature. We stuck ours in the oven, so it was out of the way.
The next day, put the mango mixture into a very big pot with:
2 and 2/3 cups of sugar
Heat this over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then add:
4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. mixed spice
2 tsp. ground ginger
4 cloves of garlic, minced
chilli powder to taste, if you want it spicier.
Bring this up to the boil and then lower the heat down to a simmer. Cook the chutney for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until it has thickened up.
If you are canning these, put the clean jars and new lids into a big canning pot filled with hot water (with a trivet or something in the bottom) and bring them up to a simmer, then turn the heat off and leave it on the stove. Do this about 20 or 25 minutes before the chutney is finished cooking. When the chutney is nearly done, remove the jars from the pot. Using jar tongs, shake out the extra water and then place them onto a tea towel.
Fill each jar, and then clean the rim of the jar with a damp cloth. Remove the lids from the hot water with a fancy magnetic lid wand thingie, and seal each jar up tightly. Put the full jars back into the hot water, ensuring they are submerged by about an inch, and bring it back up to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes, cool a bit, and then removed the jars and let stand at room temperature until they are fully cooled and have sealed.