Rarely do I meet a chutney that I do not like. Which is strange, because chutney is basically a pickle and I hate pickles. Hmmm. The exception that proves the rule, perhaps? At any rate, this chutney – this chutney with its adorable, tiny, yellow peach tomatoes, its subtle hint of sweetness, its lightly curried Indian flavors and just enough heat on the finish – this chutney is no exception. It’s simply lovely.
I have to give it up for the authors of The Art of Preserving, a preserving book from Williams-Sonoma, because rarely do I make something with a complex flavor profile like a chutney, make little to no changes to the recipe, and like it just as it is right off the bat. A rare commodity indeed! Although I might take slight exception to the off-hand statement that “Indian cooks” grind and blend their own spices for curry powder: though my Irish-Finnish-Scottish background claims not a whit of Indian heritage, I too, make my own curry powder. I’m wacky that way.
You can, of course, use commercially prepared curry powder; I have some in my pantry and I use it when I run out of “the good stuff.” But if you love curry like I do, I encourage you to try out making your own. I use this version from Tigress as a starting point, and vary as my moods dictate. Someday, I’ll record my version here on LK, if only so I can stop looking up Tigz’ version on Hungry Tigress every time I need it! I would, however, recommend sticking with the milder, sweeter yellow tomatoes for this recipe; not only does it allow you to get away with adding very little sugar, but it makes a nice change from the more robust red Indian tomato chutney.
- 2 tbsp butter, ghee, or vegetable oil
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp brown mustard seed
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp red chile flakes
- 1 long green chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 small hot red chile, stemmed and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ½ lbs yellow tomatoes (I used mostly yellow peach tomatoes), cored & quartered or cut into chunks
- 1 large yellow onion (about 8 oz), diced
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- ¼ cup raw sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the butter or oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add curry powder, ginger, mustard seed, cumin and chile flakes. Stirring constantly, fry the spices until fragrant and toasted, about 1 minute. Add the green and red chile and garlic: fry, stirring, for another minute. Add tomatoes, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring every half hour or so, until chutney has reduced, thickened, and will mound on the back of a spoon, about 2 – 3 hours.
- Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Taste the chutney and make any final adjustments to salt, pepper, sweetener, etc. Fill hot jars with hot chutney to ¼-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with a chopstick, wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Yields approximately 4 half-pints.
- The original recipe called for fresh grated ginger, which I didn’t have on hand. If using, reduce garlic to 2 cloves and eliminate the red chile; use 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger and eliminate the ground ginger.
- I let my chutney sit overnight on the stove prior to canning; mostly because it was late, and I was tired, but it did allow the flavors to blend and the chutney to set up a bit overnight, perfect for taste-testing in the morning. Simply bring the chutney back to a boil before canning.
- For the sugar-adverse, I suspect honey or another less-refined sweetener would work well here. The sugar, in such a low amount, has little to do with setting up the texture and more to do with taking the edge off the vinegar and acidic tomatoes.
Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year.