Chutney is generally an accompaniment to a meal that does a wonderful job of spicing up and bringing life to a dish. Chutneys add unique and delicious flavours of their own, as well as bringing out the flavours in the meal (think mango chutney with Indian curries)
Over-ripe, soft fruit and vegetables are the best for chutneys as they will soften into pulp more quickly. You can use almost any fruit and vegetable to make chutney – here are some ideas: mango, banana, tomato, apple, rhubarb, apricot, zucchini, onion, pumpkin, pepper, carrot, and eggplant. Likewise, there are lots of different herbs and spices you can choose from – bay leaves, chilli, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, peppercorns, paprika, and garlic. Add interest to your chutney by adding dried fruit, nuts or crystallised ginger.
Beetroot and Orange Chutney
This is a delicious chutney full of aromatic spices and a great addition to those summer barbeques and casual meals – it would make a great gift.
Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for about 1 hour until the beetroot is tender. Make sure you stir every now and then to prevent sticking. The chutney should by this stage be of a thick consistency – let it cool down for about 10 minutes or so.
Ladle into the hot, sterilised jars. Seal the jars whilst they are still hot and, to prevent drafts, place a tea towel over them until they cool.
Store in a cool, dark place (this chutney will store well for about six months). Refrigerate after opening and use within 2 months after opening.