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August 16, 2016

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How to make the perfect chutney

The sun is out, the sky is blue, and you've got leftover fruit and vegetables coming out of your ears. You've made enough jam, juice and gin to last until 2023, so what's left? Chutney, you say?
From the Hindu word chatni, chutney is a well loved preserve all over the world because it's a tasty way to use up end of season goodies. It can be made with the minimum of fuss and easily available quality kitchenware means you won't have to arrange a major shopping spree to get the job done.

If you love to experiment with flavour and food combinations, you'll get a lot of enjoyment from the process. Food cupboard staples such as seeds and dried fruits can be added as flavour enhancers. You can blow the dust off your spice rack and get experimental with those too. Onions, garlic, tomatoes, apples, rhubarb: anything goes. The main point to remember is that you'll need sugar and vinegar, as these act as preservatives.

Chutney is great for seasonal recipes, lasts for years as long as it's stored correctly, and the taste gets better with age. So, now you're on your starting blocks, read our basic rundown of the steps and equipment you'll need to hand.

Equipment:

• Large non-metallic pan (stainless steel is good)
• Long handled wooden spoon
• Chopping board
• Stainless steel knife
• Plastic colander
• Plenty of glass jars with air-tight lids (non-metallic)
• Preservatives
• High quality vinegar (acidity 5% or above)
• Granulated sugar
• Salt and spices

Ingredients

• Fruit
• Vegetables

Method

Work out quantities like this: 300g fruit, 100g sugar, 100ml vinegar

1. Wash, peel, stone, core and deseed all ingredients before finely chopping.
2. Add to large pan with spices and a third of your vinegar. Bring to the boil over a high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for one to two hours, stirring occasionally, until soft and pulpy.
3. Stir in sugar and remaining vinegar. Continue stirring occasionally for 40 to 50 minutes until mixture is really thick.
4. Turn off the heat and ladle the mixture into warm, sterilised jars (straight out of the dishwasher is fine). Seal and allow to cool before labelling. Store in a cool dark place and leave to mature for two months before eating.

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