Seriously, when I realised that it had been a month (and a very odd month indeed!) since my last post, I felt like I had stepped inside an episode of The Twilight Zone and time and space had eaten me. There have been rather a lot of ups and downs with medical issues, but I am hopeful that things are on the upswing now. (fingers crossed!)
We did our very-few-blocks walk across the river to the Saturday market here in St. Girons yesterday and came back with a new digital kitchen scale and all of the ingredients for something wonderful — tomato chutney!
9 completed jars of tomato chutney
I laughed at the online instructions that said that the chutney took half an hour to prepare and one and a half hour of simmering before it was time to jar it. Perhaps if someone works a lot faster than I do they could do the prep in half an hour, but it took me an hour of peeling, chopping, and stirring. And Mark, the darling man, had to step in right at the end because I was gasping from chopping the onions.
This simmered for over 2 hours before it became the colour and texture that made me happy, but here is the recipe for anyone who’d like to try it. And it made 9 jars of recycled-marmelade-jar size final product. I tweaked the basic recipe with lots of spices after reading several versions of tomato chutney recipes online and deciding that just tomatoes, sugar, and onions was going to be a bit too bland for our taste.
Spicy and fragrant tomato chutney simmering atop the stove as it thickens
This totally fits in with our ethos of trying to live in an eco-conscious manner. We didn’t spend a penny on fuel since we walked to the market, we bought local produce with very low food miles, and we used recycled glass jars. The total cost for the ingredients was just about €7, I got 9 jars, and frankly that’s a much more sensible economic idea if you enjoy cooking than spending €3-4 or more per jar
for quality chutney.
Glass jars simmering in boiling water to sterilise them
Here’s the recipe below. The amount of seasoning can be adjusted up or down according your own idea of what is spicy enough. Enjoy!
2 kilos of ripe tomatoes
500 grams of sliced and slightly chopped onions
8 fat cloves of garlic
8 cm piece of ginger peeled and chopped
375 grams of brown sugar
325 ml of cider vinegar
Juice of one lime
1 large or 2 medium apples — peeled and chopped
1-1/2 to 2 cups of raisins
10 cardamom seeds
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp smoky paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
4 tsp cumin
4 rounded tsp allspice
3/4 tsp cinammon
Bring all ingredients to a full boil in a large kettle-style pan with a heavy bottom. Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for at least 2 hours, perhaps longer, until you see the liquid significantly reduced, the mixture thickened, and the colour of the chutney change from bright red to a brown-red.
Jars of hot chutney turned upside down as they cool to give a tight seal
Spoon mixture into hot, sterilised glass jars making sure to wipe the rims clean before sealing the lid tightly. Turn the jar upside down whilst cooling to allow for a tight seal.
Cooled jars of tomato chutney
©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page.
All rights reserved.