•    Chutney: Make Every Meal Amazing   

    Chutney is most commonly associated with Indian cuisines, but its usage should not be limited to just that. Chutney is easy to make at home from scratch which can be fresh or cooked and ranges in flavor from sweet or sour, spicy or mild, or any combination of these. They can be thin or chunky and can be made with fruits or vegetables or both. The combination of sugar-sweetness and vinegar-acidity has become the hallmark of preserved chutney.

    The British have a fondness for fruit preserves that dates back at least as far as the Tudors, according to food historian Ann Wilson. Britons returning from India would also bring back local flavors the best way they knew how by preserving them. Because chutney is not meant to be overwhelmingly sweet, it would have made sense to preserve chutneys with both sugar and vinegar.

    Probably the most famous chutney, Major Grey’s, is not a brand name but a type of mango chutney, according to Mimi Sheraton in The New York Times. “Considered a mild chutney, as compared to spicier blends such as Colonel Skinner and Hot Bengal Club, Major Grey’s is the most popular in the United States,” the Times reported in a 1982 article.

     

    Chutney: A Secret Among Great Chefs

    Chutney has long been a secret among great chefs. The balanced blend of spices and flavors is a perfect base for sauces, marinades, dressings and glazes. Use of chutney can save hours of preparation. Chutney is a natural accompaniment to poultry, fish, meat or vegetarian entrees. Chutney is a great secret for terrific hors d’oeuvres or sandwiches. Give leftovers a new life with  creative use of chutney.

    Linda Ziedrich, author of The Joy of Pickling has compiled a short list of foods that chutney complements:

    • Cheeses, hard and soft, with or without crackers

    • Toasted breads

    • Grilled and roasted meats, especially pork and poultry

    • Indian curries

    • Rice dishes

    • Hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages

    • Chicken or tuna salad

    • Sandwiches of all kinds

    • Stir-fries

    • Ice cream

    Chutney also makes an excellent glaze for roasting meat. When grilling, use chutney for basting. Sweet chutneys tame spicy foods, while spicy chutneys boost bland foods.

    I recently used our Mango Chutney to glaze ribs. See the photo below. Plus we Mango Chutney Glazed Ribsadded more Mango Chutney to each bite straight from the jar.

    When using on chicken, pork , or beef use Mango Chutney just like you would a barbeque sauce.

    Marisa McClellan, who writes the blog Food in Jars, recommends opening chutney an hour before serving it. “Just like wine, chutney needs a bit of time to breathe,” she says. “Otherwise, all you’ll taste is the vinegar.”

     

    Make Your Own Chutney

    Chutney is a good place to start if you want to learn to can at home. Chutney can be easily produced by the canning method known as boiling water bath. To learn more about canning and to find several chutney recipes we recommend the National Center For Home Food Preservation or any of the other websites we list on our Recommended Resources page.

    If you are new to chutney, try a little taste right out of the jar. You could be surprised how truly amazing it is.

    Thanks for reading!

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