Sweet Savoury: Why You Need Chutney + a Rant About Feelings

December 15, 2013 § 4 Comments

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I’ve been having a magical time lately, in no small part thanks to a visit from my always inspirational London-based friend Natalie (of Magic Surrounds fame). She vibes flowers and beauty and scent and well-cut clothes, but, most importantly, ideas.
I have plans people.
Watch out.

And yes they involve food, of course. But really, it’s been so long since I’ve felt any kind of space to FEEL. That creative energy you get when you’re full up with inspiration, when you can’t stop taking notes, when your mind races at night for all the ideas. Oh brain fade, sure, that’s a given when you’re parenting young children full-time on little sleep; trying to maintain a steady train of thought or finish a sentence is the first thing you learn to say goodbye to. But I’d forgotten about the loss of feeling, that independent, wholly your own creative imagination that makes everything sparkle and the right things stand out. I’m not sure I even mourned it’s passing, it just left and I was too tired to notice.
For now I’m holding tightly, however long it lasts. And my pantry is reaping the rewards. I got rather obsessed last autumn with buying all the organic fruit seconds that appeared at my local store – sticky, almost too late bags of pears and apples and tomatoes and stonefruits – as well as the baskets full of feijoas collected from under trees at my secret foraging spots. After slicing and scooping and coring and freezing there they sat, taking up room for months. But not any more. I’ve been on a chutney-making binge and I’ve perfected the most delicately balanced combination of sweet, savoury and spicy ready to dollop on top of a plate of dhal and rice or serve alongside these wonderful gluten-free samosas or spread onto salad-stuffed sandwiches, and sometimes, when my kids aren’t looking, as a dip for a bag of corn chips.

This recipe makes enough for two 300ml jars, so if you’d like to make extra for gifts you will need to double it at least. Please note if you use tomatoes I would add an extra half cup of sugar.

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Fruitful Chutney (vegan, gluten free, oil-free)
4 cups chopped fruit (tomatoes/feijoa/pear etc)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup coconut sugar (or sugar of your choice)
1 cup apple cider vinegar (or another plain vinegar)
1 cup raisins
2 cloves garlic, crushed (opt)
1 tsp sea salt (opt)
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp allspice
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne (depending on taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer on low for 1-1.5 hours, stirring regularly to prevent burning, until thick and brown. Spoon immediately into sterilised jars and seal. I don’t have a jar rack for sterilising so I just boil a big pot of water and put the jars and lids in for a couple of minutes before filling.
Keeps well if bottled properly. Refrigerate once opened.

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