Finally I’m back with a proper food post. Although I have to admit the lazy cow in me almost got the upper hand when I woke up and realised it was already past 11:30 am! I didn’t feel like getting up and having to cook straight away, so I decided to chill for a bit with some coffee and a book and hoped it wouldn’t be too late in the day to takes pictures once the chutney was cooked.
I love chutney, the way you can combine it with so many different things. I like it both on rustic bread as well as on toast, and both with hard or soft cheeses. This time I used toast, spread some freshly made hummus on it and then added the soft cheese and beetroot chutney.
I’ve used this recipe before, it’s a slight adaptation of a recipe for tomato chutney from a book called Preserve (Hamlyn). I just left out the raisins and replaced the tomatoes by beetroot. I’ve also made this carrot chutney, although with a different adaption.
The preparation time in the book says 15 minutes, but from experience with the tomato chutney I knew this would take longer. Way longer, in fact, because having to do quite a bit of peeling and then placing everything – bit by bit – in a manual food processor to finely chop just can’t be done in 15 minutes. All in all, the prepping took me about 45 minutes. So don’t attempt making this chutney if you’re in a hurry.
The result is well worth the prepping time, though! I love the smell before cooking, with the spices and the vinegar, and once it’s on the boil I can’t wait for it to be done.
Replacing the tomatoes with beetroot was a great idea. What I particularly like about this chutney is that you can taste every single ingredient, and the combination of them is very, very delicious. Normally when I make chutneys I give away some of it, but I think I’ll keep this one all to myself!
Note: When making chutneys or preserves, once the ingredients are ready to be cooked I put the jars, lids, and rubber rings in the dish washer on the hottest setting so the jars are still warm and ready to use when the cooking’s done.
1 kg beetroots, peeled + finely chopped
500 g onions, peeled + finely chopped
500 g cooking apples, peeled, cored + finely chopped
2 fresh green chillies, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground ginger
generous pinch of ground cloves
generous pinch of ground turmeric
250 g soft dark brown sugar
300 ml white wine vinegar
Mix all ingredients together in a large pot, bring to the boil, reduce heat and cover pan. Stir frequently while letting the mixture simmer for 1½ hours. The chutney will have thickened by then.
Transfer to clean, warm, dry jars, top with airtight lids, and let mature in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks before using. Unopened, this chutney can be stored for 6 – 12 months.
[Note: When transferring the chutney to jars, I only transfer part of the liquid into the jars, not all of it.]