Long before I started to make my own savoury preserves, mango had always been my favourite in Indian hot chutneys and fiery mango sauce served in Indian restaurants. After my three years’ experience of Hot Mango Sauce and Mango Chutney preserving, this is still my favourite fruit to pair with spices and chillies. Mango is versatile, makes thick sauces and doesn’t have any acidity, so the preserves don’t require lots of sugar. There is also something I love about mangoes: they are available most of the year, since they are imported from different parts of the world.
According to most bloggers who have origins or family in the mango-growing countries neither the smell nor the taste of the mangoes available in Europe can be compared to the real, fresh mangoes’ flavour and aroma. I was always wondering what they meant. Finally, I had a chance to experience the difference and realise what the real mango meant the day when my husband was offered a box of these African beauties, coming straight from mango trees in Mali:
And here is a mango with a standard-sized lime to show you how big they were:
Not only were they huge, chubby, with a funny shape, but most of all, their aroma and taste were extraordinary. The first thing I noticed was they didn’t have the nauseous, overwhelming smell usually ripe mangoes have. Cut into pieces and eaten raw, the Malian mango was refreshing, firm and its smell was delicate. I would say it was a sophisticated version of the fruit I have been buying here for years. Since the mangoes had to be eaten quickly, we partly had them raw and the rest was preserved in a Mango Chutney with Garam Masala. Now, every opened will bring back the memories of this unusual discovery and make us think about Zeïnabou, a kind and generous lady without whom I would never know what a “good mango” meant. Thank you, Zeïnabou, for the discovery we would have never dreamt of and for the exquisite mango feast we shall never forget!
Mango Chutney with Garam Masala is a smooth, sauce-like type of chutney, different from this, chunky, British-style Mango Chutney and even though the recipe is not genuinely Indian, garam masala gives it a warm, rich Indian touch. The tamarind pulp or sauce can be replaced with lemon juice, but the taste is really better with tamarind.
I found this chutney a long time ago on the Discuss Cooking forum and am particularly grateful to Clive from Venezuela (cliveb) for sharing this excellent recipe, which I have only slightly modified.
I don’t need to add that this particular batch, made with Malian mangoes, was exceptionally luscious!
Preparation: 1 hour (+hot water bath processing)
2 standard oval mangoes or 1 huge Malian mango
2 cm fresh ginger
120 g raisins
200 g brown, cane sugar
200 ml cider vinegar (4,5%) or white wine vinegar
40 ml tamarind juice/pulp or juice from 1/2 lemon
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
2 teaspoons garam masala
3 teaspoons chili in powder
Peel the ginger, the mangoes, add the rest and mix in a food processor or a blender.
Cook everything on a medium heat, stirring, for 30-40 minutes.
Adjust the taste if needed (more chili if it’s not hot enough, more vinegar if it’s too sweet and more sugar if it’s too acid). If you have made any modifications, let the chutney boil for 10 more minutes.
/At this point you can (after the chutney has cooled down) either freeze it or keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or process it in the jars, as described below, and store it in your pantry for at least a year!/
Pour the chutney, still hot, into sterilised jars. Cover with lids. Leave the jars to cool.
Place the cool jars into a big pan, bottom lined with an old kitchen towel folded in two (this will prevent the jars from breaking),, cover up with hot – but not boiling- water to the level just below the lid. Bring to boil and keep on a very low heat, in simmering water, for around 20 minutes.
Stick on self-adhesive labels, write the name of the chutney and don’t forget to mark the date.
NOTE: For the readers who live in the USA, the USDA-approved canning method is different. You can find it described here: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/using_bw_canners.html.