A Mediterranean inspired chutney full of sun-drenched eggplants, red capsicums and garlic that's spiced up with fresh ginger and a good curry powder. Very versatile and with the twist of the lid it adds a new dimension to an antipasto platter, a ploughman’s plank or a bitey cheddar cheese, alongside a curry or with grilled and cold meats. I’ve even had it with my Sunday morning bacon and eggs and home-made sourdough bread. A truly delicious combination. We now grow extra eggplants and capsicums to make multiple batches. By the time its shared with family and friends I need to make sure there’s always enough stashed away in the pantry for our use. It's easy to make and a great chutney that uses up excess eggplant and capsicums.
Preparation time: 50 minutes
Cooking time : 1hr
Quantity: 7 x 300 ml jars
Sterilise sealable glass jars and lids.
Pre-wash eggplant, capsicum and chili
3 medium red capsicums
2 large Granny Smith (green cooking) apples
250 gm brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
5 cm fresh ginger root (2 inches), peeled and finely chopped
2 medium hot red chillies,
1.5 tablespoons curry powder
375 white sugar (or light brown if this is your preference)
600ml Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
- Leaving the skin on chop the eggplant into pieces approximately 1 cm square.
- Cut the red capsicums in half, remove the white membrane and de-seed. Finley chop.
- Peel, core and finely chop apples.
- Remove brown skin form onions and finely chop.
- Peel and finely chop or using a micro plane grate the garlic and fresh ginger.
- Remove stalk end from the chili. Remove the inner white membrane and for a milder chili flavour de-seed. Finely chop.
- Place the chopped eggplant, capsicum, apple, onion and eggplant in a large preserving pan with the garlic, chili, ginger, vinegar, curry powder and salt. water. Bring to the boil and simmer until soft.
- Add the sugar and simmer uncovered, until all the vegetables are cooked, become slightly mushy and has a thick spoonable consistency. Stir occasionally to prevent it from catching and burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat and place on a heat resistant board.
- Allow the chutney to cool slightly.
- Using a funnel, pour into warm dry sterilised screw cap sealable jars. Fill to approximately 2.5cm (1inch) from the top and seal using your preferred method.
- Label and store in a cool dark place in the kitchen or pantry.
- Allow the chutney to mature for at least 4 weeks before eating.
- Choose clean ripe fruit. Do not use overripe and never use mouldy fruit or vegetables as this will produce a poor-quality chutney.
- For a chunky chutney texture, cut the vegetables into larger pieces.
- Stir occasionally to prevent the chutney from sticking on the bottom of the pan. But not too often so the fruit doesn’t break down into a mush.
- The cooking time is an approximation only. Cooking time will depend upon, the size of preserving pan- the broader the pan and quicker the evaporation, degree of fruit ripeness – the riper the fruit, the sweet and juicer the initial chutney will be and the degree of heat when cooking – the higher the heat, the greater the boil which will produce greater evaporation. .
- It is important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling and de-seeding chillies. Chilli oil is easily transferred from the chillies to hands. If you touch your eyes or any delicate areas, the chilli oil will be transferred on contact and create a burning sensation.
- The type and colour of the sugar and vinegar used will affect the final colour and flavour of the chutney. Malt vinegar and brown sugar will produce very dark brownish red chutney with a more earthy/molasses background flavour, while white wine vinegar or apple cider and white sugar will produce chutney that has a fresher and brighter tomato flavour. This is a matter of personal choice.
- To test the chutney is cooked to the right consistency, spoon a little of the mixture on to a plate. The chutney should hold its shape.
- Towards the end of the cooking process, it may be necessary to stir regularly. It is important that the fruit does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Your chutney will be tainted with a burnt flavour and it is not very pleasant.
- For a fruitier chutney add 185 gm seeded chopped raisins with the sugar and cook as the recipe.
- For a spicier chutney add additional curry powder, chilli and ginger to your taste.