I made mango chutney a while ago, and let it sit in the refrigerator. In fact, it’s still there, but I’m afraid to eat it now that it’s been sitting there for a while. We didn’t even get to use it! I know. Such a tragedy. And such a waste, too! Sigh. I’m still kicking myself for it. When I realized that we hadn’t touched the chutney, I had an epiphany that I was lacking skills in the food preservation area. But I’ve been too afraid to learn with the numerous online instructions because the last thing I want is to misread the instructions (which I often do a lot of), and then die from botulism.
Luckily, a friend from work was talking about how he made a strawberry balsamic peppercorn jam (yum, right??) during his weekend off. I immediately hugged him and said that I would pay him if he could teach me how to can. We made a date, and I learned how to can just a few days ago! It was a jammin’ (no pun intended; okay, maybe just a little) party. It was such an exciting, yet somewhat scary process. All I could think about while learning to can was botulism, botulism, and botulism. Ugh. But as the studious learner that I am, I took plenty of notes and transcribed them onto the computer as soon as I got home.
I was determined to can something the next day. So as I peered into my refrigerator, I immediately took notice of the mango chutney that had been sitting in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, guilt overtook my happy emotions as I poured the old chutney into the trash can. So, in honor of my first batch of mango chutney, I decided to make it again, this time to preserve it so that we can use it at the pace we want without having any pressure of eating it right away!
And it couldn’t have been anymore perfect the second time around…
Mango chutney with a hint of spicy (adapted from Simply Recipes)
6 cups ripe mangoes (about 4 large mangoes), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2.5 cups sugar
1 cup white distilled vinegar
1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 whole small dried red chilis (optional)
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods, cracked
Using a piece of thin muslin cloth, tie up the cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and cardamom pods into a bundle.
In a medium-sized stockpot over high heat, combine sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil, while stirring occasionally.
Add mangoes, onions, raisins, crystallized ginger, garlic, whole red chiles, and the muslin-tied spices to the vinegar-sugar solution. Reduce the heat to medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, until syrupy and slightly thickened, about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Pour into sterilized, hot jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace; close jars. Process in a water bath for 15 minutes.
Makes 5 (1/2 pint) jars.