Mango Chutney

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Jennifer Pallian
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If you've been around for the last few weeks, you know that my fiance and I recently moved into a new apartment. To say it was a huge task is a major understatement. All the organizing I had neglected for years suddenly needed urgent attention.

Shelves of books and notes from university; boxes of art supplies from and craft projects abandoned half-way through; drawers and shelves and closets full of seldom-worn clothes; a makeup case with eyeshadow specimens rounding the bend on a half-decade; cupboards full of mismatched glasses and hand-me-down dishes; a massive storage unit full of camping gear/Christmas decorations/sports equipment (and no, neither of us play any sports). You get the picture.

Several dozen bottles of wine later, we had thinned out 6 years of accumulated possessions down to only the things that were either a) highly useful or b) very sentimental, and ideally both.

After such an undertaking, when we got into the new digs, all I wanted to do was relax and recover. So here it is, a month later, and we still don't have our photos up or curtains hanging in our bedroom windows.

(If you're reading this, new neighbours: I'm sorry.... or... er... you're welcome? Awkward).

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With the never-ending to do list compounded by travel, house guests, and work, exploring our new neighbourhood has been a slow process.

The absolute highlight of our sparse wanderings so far was the discovery of a bustling produce market in the thick of china town (called Sunrise Market, if you're in Vancouver!). It. is. so. cheap.

See this box of mangoes? How much do you think it cost? $15? Maybe $10? NOPE.

This glorious box of perfectly ripe mangoes was mine for not a penny more than THREE piddly little dollars. I lugged them home with an air of smug triumph over the major grocery store down the street, and immediately embarked on a chutney adventure.

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I made two batches to get this perfect. The first batch was small, I didn't preserve it. I served it with little potato-and-pea samosas made with puff pastry. The second batch I made larger, and canned it. You can cut this recipe in half if you want to go small.

Chutney is a delicious addition to any Indian themed dinner, but is equally delicious in a plethora of non-Indian ways. In my version I kept the spices warm, but not decidedly ethnic. Cloves and ginger. Simple and delicious.

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I have a tremendous affinity for chutney and turkey sandwiches with red onion and arugula - a nod to the traditional turkey and cranberry sauce. It is also a delicious accompaniment to pork, chicken, or salmon. You can warm it up to loosen it then brush it on any of the above as a glaze toward the end of cooking, or serve it on the side.

I have to keep reminding myself that there are onions in there, and that this would not taste good on ice cream.

If you decide to can it, follow the guidelines outlined here, processing it in the boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Mango Chutney

Makes five 8-ounce jars. Recipe may be halved (using 2 mangoes) to yield about 2 cups of chutney.

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 5 mangoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks

  • 3 tbsp grated fresh ginger

  • 3/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

  • 1 cup raisins

1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add an inch or so of water to the bottom to prevent scorching. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat as mixture softens and begins to bubble. Stir often, breaking up the mango chunks with a wooden spoon, until the chutney is thick and fairly homogenous, with a just few intact mango chunks; about 40 minutes. Ladle into jars, and either refrigerate for use within 2 weeks, freeze, or process in a boiling water bath.