So I’m well into preserves these days, and building on my recent course in chutney making, I thought I’d put the lessons to good use – getting ride of two things I had a glut of: runner beans and sun-dried tomatoes.
There are a few basics to any chutney recipe: veg, salt, sugar, vineager and spices. When you understand the basic techniques of how to assemble these ingredients, you can then experiment at will with varying levels of sweetness, spices and chili.
Here are my basic technical tips:
- All veg must layered with salt in a colander to drain on moisture for at least 3 hours before you prepare the chutney, and potentially overnight for more watery ingredients like apple.
- Sugar and vineager should always be combined seperately into a syrup that is stirred and warmed gently until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Spices should be added to this syrup and simmered for a few minutes to diffuse
- Only then can the veg be added to the mixture. This should then be simmered for up to 40 mins, or until a spoon drawn along the bottom reveals the metal (ie: the mixture doesn’t immediately reform behind the spoon
For my chutney, I used the following:
500 g Green beans, trimmed and chopped into 2cm pieces
500 g runner beans, trimmed and chopped as above
1-2 yellow onions, chopped
400g sultanas or raisons
200g dried tomatoes, rehydrated with boiling water
150g sea salt
25g Cumin seeds
25g coriander seeds
5-6 dried whole chilies
2-3 bay leaves
250ml White Vinager
Following the techniques above, layer the onions and green beans in a colander with salt. Weigh down with a book and leave to sit for at least 3 hours.
In a seperate large pot mix the vineager and sugar over low heat until completely dissolved. Then add the bay leaves, chili, coriander and cumin (although if I made this again, I might substitute the cumin for powdered tumeric). Let simmer for 5 minutes before adding the sultanas and veg.
Allow the mixture to simmer, stirring constanty for up to 40 minutes or until suitably thick. Spoon into warmed sterilised jars. Although at its best in 3 months, it will probably taste pretty good immediately!