Making Mango chutney, a Christmas tradition in North Queensland

  Mango chutney recipe

  • 2 kg green mango flesh (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, and can be obtained very cheaply in the North as they grow wild.) Peel them, slice them, and chop them, or pulse them in the food processor into small pieces, not minced pieces.)
  • 2 kg sugar (use the cheapest white sugar you can find at the supermarket, it makes no difference)
  • 250g raisins, pulsed in the food processor, or chopped
  • 250g dates, pulsed in the food processor, or chopped
  • 250g crystallised ginger, or uncrystallised, pulsed in the food processor, or chopped
  • 90g salt (taste it toward the end of cooking and add more if necessary)
  • 900ml brown (malt) vinegar ( the cheapest brown vinegar will do)
  • 4-5 birds eye chillis, chop them and remove the seeds (use gloves to do this
  • 125g garlic cloves, chopped or pulsed in the food processor
  • This can make about 13 assorted size jars.
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 is 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. .

Use a long wooden spoon for stirring with. 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. 

 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 minute. 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.

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

Invert your full and lidded bottles for a few minutes, 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 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.

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