In the four months since I moved to Tonga I haven’t seen chutney in stores anywhere. So I thought I’d give making it a go. I made chutney once in high school but haven’t tried it since so I wasn’t sure how successful I’d be. If I’d been smart I would have decided to make this chutney during tomato season. When tomatoes are in season it’s 3 pa’anga (the local currency) a bag. It’s currently about 1 pa’anga for a very small tomato.
This chutney recipe was inspired by this one. I made quite a few changes and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
I roughly chopped the onion and chucked it in the saucepan with a quarter cup of raw sugar and a quarter cup of balsamic. Because I was cooking over a low heat it took what felt like forever (but was probably 10-15 minutes) to get to the point I wanted it to be.
After this photo was taken it started to bubble a little and took about five more minutes to get to a point where almost all of the balsamic had absorbed into the onion. Don’t worry if your onions look really dark, as long as they don’t smell burnt you’re fine.
When the onions are done chuck in everything else except for the whey. I used green capsicum in mine because that’s what I had, but if you want your chutney to be more red use all red capsicum.
Once everything (except the whey) is in the pot give it a good stir. Make sure the heat is turned down to a nice simmer, then leave it to do its thing for a while. If you’ve got other things to do in the kitchen, do them now. I started my washing up at this point, because there is nothing worse then spending an hour cooking only to spend another twenty minutes washing up. Every five minutes or so come back to to the pot add about a quarter of a cup of whey, give it a good stir, then go back to whatever you were doing. When all the whey is in the mixture is should look something like this:
Leave it to simmer until there is more vegetable mush than liquid (sorry I forgot to take a photo. Then turn the heat off and pour it into your containers. Glass jars are best.
Leave the chutney in the jars (or whatever you’ve put it in) on the bench until it’s about room temperature, then put it in the fridge. As it cools it will thicken so don’t worry too much if it’s still a bit thin when it goes into the jar.
In our household we have an unofficial rule that whenever something you made yourself goes in the fridge it must be labeled with what’s in the container and when it was made. It’s a pretty good policy to have as it generally stops you from accidentally eating something that’s gone off. This chutney should be good for a few weeks as long as the container you put it in was perfectly clean.
Tomato and capsicum chutney
1 400g tin of tomatoes (if you’ve got fresh tomatoes use them, just take the skins of first)
5 capsicums seeded and chopped
1 mild green pepper
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vineger
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
I cup liquid whey
- Put the onion, sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a large saucepan and cook over a low heat until the onions start to caramelise.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan.
- Cook over a low heat and periodically add the whey until the whole cup is added.
- Cook until everything is nice and soft and the mixture has thickened, stirring regularly to make sure nothing sticks.
- Pour into a clean sealed container (I used old glass jars cleaned thoroughly) and leave on the bench until cooled then refrigerate.