My aunt recently found a few of my grandmother’s recipes. That might not sound like a huge deal, but I’m more excited about that than I would be if someone found those sapphire earrings Nana always wore that she totally said I could have, though no one remembers that except me. These are recipes that she’d hand-written and the ones behind some of the amazing food she’d made. Given the fact that we only ever come close to recreating her famous recipes, this find is akin to striking gold as far as I’m concerned. Well, even better, since those sapphire earrings are also set in gold.
To continue with the analogies, this mango chutney is bright, sticky, mid-afternoon tropical sunshine in a jar. The original recipe is for peach chutney but Nana noted that you can follow it to make mango chutney too, which I opted to do. I think it would work well with other stone fruit, like apricots, but now that I’ve tried this, I’m keen on digging through the pile my aunt found for recipes for mint chutney and other interesting versions my grandmother might have made. You’ll notice that this one calls for a whack of cayenne pepper and I find the spice to be a welcome balance to the intense sweetness–we prefer spicy chutneys in our family. Feel free to scale back the heat if you prefer a mild one. And there’s another adjustment you might want to make that I considered too…
I don’t love raisins but I feel obliged to do as Nana would have, so I added them as instructed. If you told her you didn’t like raisins either, she would tell you that you could omit them. But she would also tell you this chutney is nice with raisins and she would giggle, at which point, you might add them anyway. Her laugh was way more sparkly than any gemstone, ever.
YS note: To make peach chutney, follow the same recipe but use firm peaches.
1 lb peeled and seeded ripe mango, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 lb sugar
1/4 c white vinegar
2-inch piece of cinnamon bark
2 oz garlic, pressed or grated
1/2 oz ginger, grated
1 1/2 tsp cayenne powder (or 1/2 tsp if you want your chutney a hint of heat)
2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 lb sultana raisins
Add all of the ingredients except the raisins to a small pot and mix well. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently. When the fruit starts to break down, and the mixture darkens, press some of the fruit into the sides of the pan with the back of your spoon. Add raisins and stir well. Remove from heat, carefully remove and discard cinnamon. Transfer to a heat-proof jar and let cool completely. Ready to eat now and will keep for a couple of weeks, refrigerated.
Makes about 2 cups.