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Monday, 27 June 2011

How to make your own chutney

Chutneys are a great method for dealing with surplus fruits or vegetables. Chutneys are made from chopped and cooked fruits and vegetables with the addition of dried fruits and are mixed with sugar, whole spices, vinegar and other ingredients into a smooth pulp by cooking slowly until thickened. There are endless combinations for ingredients and many recipes which can result in a hot, mild, sweet or sour chutney. 

To make chutney it's worth investing in a stainless steel preserving pan which unlike iron, brass or copper will not react with vinegar. The investment is well worth it as the pan can also be used for jam and pickle making. The basic method for all chutney recipes is to wash, peel and dice your fruit and vegetables and place them into the pan with the vinegar, sugar, dried fruit and spices. Stir until the sugar dissolves and simmer gently, without boiling, whilst continuing to stir occasionally until the ingredients are soft which takes about 2-3 hours. Pour into clean jars which have been warmed in a low oven and put on the lids immediately. Once cooled, label and store in a cool and dark place. Chutneys should be allowed to mature for three months before use but will improve with age and can be stored for at least two years.

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