It’s time to make winter chutney!
Plump, silky plums, blushing apples, the vibrant orange of mandalina (Mandarin oranges).
And the rich, brown chestnuts that sit comfortably alongside the lush greens of winter chard, yeşillik (any type of edible greenery that passes as salad leaves), broccoli and spinach.
And this is the time of year where we head out on a mission to buy some extra ingredients; ingredients for our festive Christmas chutney recipe.
If you grow your own fruit and vegetables, the great thing about homemade chutney is it’s a perfect way of making use of the glut of whatever is in season at a given time of year.
In our case, we shop at the local markets and we love to buy up all those seasonal goodies.
At the end of summer, we make our homemade ketchup, kahvaltılık sos, with all the end of season tomatoes and peppers.
In winter, it’s all about our chutney recipe!
Fethiye market is a perpetual glut of seasonal food so we should probably make chutney more often, but for us, chutney is a food that feels wintery.
And even festive, hence why we make it in November and December. A chance for it to mature.
Actually, our chutney recipe makes two jars. Only one of them is given a chance to mature.
That’s because our homemade chutney is going to taste fantastic as soon as it’s cooled down so we can’t resist but delve into it straight away.
Our Homemade Chutney Recipe
British TV chef/food campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a bit of a hero of ours and this recipe is loosely based on the suggestions in his book, The River Cottage Year.
You can use our weights and ingredients as a rough guide – and substitute any ingredients you may not have for something similar.
That’s why homemade chutney is so easy to do. The biggest difficulty with it is waiting (anything from 2 weeks to 2 months) for it to mature.
Waiting is not our forte!
Our jarred chutney is on the right hand side in the photo above (the jar on the left is filled with our homemade mince pie filling – oodles of brandy in there).
Our chutney recipe will fill the large jar and the small one next to it which is approximately 1.5 litres in total.
Okay, let’s get going.
Here’s how to make a chutney. A perfect accompaniment for cheese platters, cold meats – and just about anything else you would like to serve with it.
Recipe For Chutney – Ingredients & Method
First of all, we’re going to be making a little spice bag so that the flavours can infuse as the chutney simmers. We often use a piece of old t-shirt to do this but of course, you can use muslin if you have it.
Then we’re just going to put all the ingredients into a large pan.
Our biggest pan holds just short of 3 litres and, as you can see in the photos, this mixture fills it right to the top.
Even though your chutney ingredients will reduce after a while, if you’ve got a bigger pan, use it. It just makes life easier.
With our chutney recipe, you’re going to leave the pan uncovered and let everything simmer down for two to three hours, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
So now, just imagine all those festive aromas filling the air as your chutney cooks down.
They really whet the appetite and get the taste buds prepared for what’s in store. And those taste buds will not be disappointed.
Homemade Chutney Recipe
- Muslin or thin cotton fabric (cut into 10cm square or round)
- String (for tying your muslin spice bag)
For The Chutney Mixture
- 500 g courgettes cut into small cubes
- 500 g apples peeled, cored & roughly cubed
- 250 g tomatoes roughly shopped
- 250 g plums stones removed & roughly chopped
- 250 g onions peeled & roughly chopped
- 250 g raisins
- 250 g brown sugar
- 10 fresh chillies chopped
- 400 ml apple vinegar topped up to 500ml with water
- 1 tsp salt
For The Spice Bag
- 1 cinnamon stick broken into pieces
- ½ tsp peppercorns smashed
- ½ tsp cloves smashed
- ½ tsp cardamom pods smashed
- ½ tsp coriander seeds smashed
- Add all of the ingredients to a large saucepan and place on the hob on a medium heat.
- Stir occasionally to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Whilst your chutney is gently heating, prepare your spice bag.
- Place your spices into the centre of your square, bring the corners together and tie with a piece of string.
- Place your spice bag in the centre of your mixture and push it down into the chutney.
- Simmer your chutney for 2-3 hours until it starts to darken, thicken, reduce and the ingredients have softened.
- Your chutney is ready when you can drag a wooden spoon through your chutney to reveal the bottom of the pan.
- Remove your chutney from the heat and discard the spice bag. Then leave to cool before placing it into sterilised jars and sealing.
- If possible, leave your chutney to mature for at least two weeks before eating.
- This is a perfect chutney for cheese and cold meats.
Time To Indulge
Look at the difference in colour between the finished product in the top photo and the early stages in the second set of photos.
You know your chutney is ready when the fruits have softened, the mixture has reduced and the colour has darkened.
If you want to do a test, you should be able to drag a wooden spoon through the mixture to reveal the bottom of the pan.
And now it’s time for a bit of patience. Allow your chutney to cool and then jar it up in sterilised jars while it’s still a little warm. (We sterilise our jars with boiling water.)
Put the lids on your jars and forget about your chutney for a while (if you can).
As mentioned above, you’re supposed to leave your chutney sealed so that it can mature for between 2 weeks and 2 months. We also mentioned that waiting is not our forte.
Just one large jar is set to one side to mature. The other – well, after all those tempting aromas during the simmering process, we just have to tuck in!
It’s fruity, it’s spicy, it’s sweet, it’s sour.
It’s so good served with a tangy Izmir tulum cheese or a platter of cold meats. It’s difficult making sure the second jar of chutney sees Christmas!
Our Chutney Recipe – Afternotes
- If you can’t find all the ingredients listed above, it’s fine to experiment with other similar substitutes.
- Homemade chutney makes a great addition to your Christmas table. You could also make jars of pickled red cabbage and muhammara to join your chutney.
- This is a spicy chutney recipe. Don’t be too horrified by the amount of chillies in the list of ingredients above. As the chutney matures, the heat of the chilli reduces considerably. Feel free to add more or reduce the number accordingly.
- You can find our recipe for chutney in our international recipes section on the blog. If you want to stick with a more Turkish dining experience, try some dishes from our list of Turkish recipes.