Sunday, November 5, 2017

My Green Mango Chutney recipe, it's spicy and sweet

This Mango Chutney, made from green mangoes freshly foraged, is a family recipe from my Mum and her family which I have always used. Anglo-Indian style chutneys basically consist of a fruit or vegetable, malt or cider vinegars, sugar, herbs and spices. The sugar and vinegar act as preservatives and as the ratio of sugar to fruit is the same, it should only be eaten as a condiment because of the high sugar content which is similar to jam. You could say that this is a sweet and sour version of a mango jam. The cooking technique is similar to jam making. It is delicious eaten on the side with Christmas Ham (which is traditional in our house), grilled bacon, Indian curries and dishes, chickpea salads or with cheese. I sometimes add it to some minced beef dishes or any that I think need added flavour. Beef Chow Mein comes to mind. When I make this, it also means that Christmas is just around the corner.

Dates, raisins and ginger ready for the pot

This recipe makes from 13-15 jars depending on the size of your jars. Smaller ones are good for gifts, and are always appreciated by friends as this is a big project in the scheme of time spent preparing the ingredients and stirring the pot, and then bottling. This time, I peeled and chopped up the mangoes by hand the day before, refrigerated them overnight in a covered container and they were still beautifully fresh the next day. We had handpicked them (see story here) only the day before from the nearby Old Station Teahouse. A word of caution about handpicking mangoes if you haven't done it before. As you pull the mango off the branch, stand clear of the sap which drips with gay abandon and a very sweet smell.  

My chutney making became a 3 day event. Picking them one day, peeling and chopping them and sorting out the other ingredients the next day, and cooking the mixture up on the third day, as well as chopping and slicing the other dried ingredients. However the flavour is worth it and this sensational, caramelised reduction will last in your pantry for 3-5 years, and then the opened bottle continues to mature in the refrigerator for a long time. I have never had to throw any out. There is no need for any nasty numbered preservatives or additives that we see on the supermarket chutney and relish labels. The vinegar, sugar and spices do the preservation work.

Ingredients are ready on the bench for the following day
Let's cook:


There is no need to buy expensive ingredients for this recipe.
  • 2 kg green mango flesh, the seed definitely not included (Use any kind of very green mango but Common mangoes have always been the traditional mango to use because they are great for chutney making but not for eating, they have stringy flesh,  and can be obtained very cheaply in North Queensland and the Northern Territory as the trees grow wild.) Peel them, slice and chop the flesh, but not the seed, or pulse them in the food processor into small pieces, but not minced pieces.
  • 2 kg sugar (use the cheapest white sugar you can find at the supermarket, it makes no difference)
  • 250g raisins, chopped
  • 250g pitted dates,  chopped
  • 250g crystallised ginger, uncrystallised or naked, chopped. Fresh can also be used if you have enough.
  • 90g salt (taste it toward the end of cooking and add more if necessary)
  • 900ml brown (malt) vinegar ( the cheapest brown vinegar will do)
  • 5 birds eye chillies, chop them and remove the seeds (use gloves to do this)
  • 125g garlic cloves (chopped or pulsed in the food processor)
  • This recipe makes about 13 assorted sized jars. Have 15 ready just in case.
TIP: It is good to use some small jars as well, to give away to friends at Christmas, and throughout the year.

Sterilise your jars and lids: 

Start to sterilise your jars and lids before the cooking begins, by either washing them in the dishwasher, and then drying them off in the oven at 120 degrees, or hand wash them in hot soapy water, rinse them, and then heat them in the oven at 120 degrees for 20 minutes. It is good to time the final process of heating the jars and lids in the oven, to ensure that the bottles are still hot when the chutney is cooked and ready for bottling. The hot chutney needs to be ladled into hot jars using a wide funnel if possible. Remember to sterilise your funnel and ladle as well.

Let's cook:

Place all of your ingredients into a large heavy base stock pot. This recipe uses a manageable quantity of mango. If you double the amount of ingredients, you run the risk of burning the chutney and having to use a huge pot.

I use a long wooden spoon for stirring with. It is necessary to stir the mixture regularly to prevent the risk of burning on the base of the pot.

After about 45 minutes, the mixture will start to transform into a rich, caramel colour, and to thicken. This is when constant stirring is essential so that it doesn't thicken too much on the bottom of the pot and burn. Anytime after this you can start to test it to see if it is ready and is setting.

This is the same process as testing if jam is set. Test if it is ready, by putting a teaspoon full on a small saucer which you have already placed in the freezer for 10 minutes. Place it back in the freezer for a few minutes. If you can run your finger through it when it is cold and it leaves a gap then it has gelled and is ready for bottling. However at this point the colour and consistency of the chutney will be changing to a darker colour and thickening.

Neil is a great help with the ladling of the chutney into the jars, and cleaning up afterwards.

Our young neighbour from up the road dropped in for a chat and a lesson on how to make chutney, ha, ha. He's a bit camera shy though. He even liked the taste.

Bottle the chutney while still hot, and be careful. Use a large soup ladle, and a large necked funnel makes the process a lot easier.

Invert your full and lidded bottles for a few minutes, careful though because they are hot, and then stand them up the right way to cool.

You may hear some of the lids popping as they cool, which is a good sign that they are well sealed and the chutney will keep in the pantry for a few years.

The flavour and texture will develop beautifully during that time. An aged bottle of mango chutney is a precious commodity.

Another annual tradition is completed and it looks like a good batch. Every time I make this though, I learn something new, and now I cook it outside on the gas burner because the heat is better controlled than on my stove hotplates.

All of my jars are now labelled and stored in the pantry. Oops, I forgot to take a photo of them labelled.

Have you started any Christmas preparations yet or made some chutney? I know it is only November, but life can get busy from here on.

Jump to recipe here:

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I would enjoy hearing from you in the comments section at the bottom of the post

Best wishes



  1. What a lovely gift this would be to receive! You've got some lucky friends and family Pauline! And I've heard that that about the sap, that it really burns!

    1. I don't find that the sap burns but it does stain clothing and you certainly don't want it on your face near your eyes or your mouth.I have years of practice :) Thanks Lorraine Or D

  2. That must taste delicious, Pauline. I had to give up chutneys due to the high sugar content unfortunately.

    1. Yes I know that is a problem, but years ago I went to Weight Watchers and they were happy for us to eat chutneys and relishes which is interesting.I only eat a small spoonful now and then. Thanks Chel.


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