Mango Chutney: Jam with a Kick

Starfruit Mango Chutney

Starfruit Mango Chutney

This ain't your Grandma's jam.  Chutney takes the same basic concept of jam: sweet, ripe fruit simmered until soft, but still chunky.  However, the fusion of cultures of traditional Indian chutneys kicks up that traditional jam.  Spicy ginger, hot red chili, tangy vinegar, and deep cloves transform your traditional jam.

This mango chutney is traditional starting point for your chutney experience.  From here, you can experiment with a wide variety of fresh and dried fruits: peaches, dates, apricots, and even kumquats.

Makes about 2 cups

2 shallots, chopped

2 tablespoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Large pinch of ground cloves

1 cup water

16 dates, pitted, halved lengthwise, then halved crosswise

1 large mango, flesh only, cut into large chunks

1 starfruit, thinly sliced, seeds removed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

To make chutney:  Combine shallots, ginger, vinegar, orange peel, red pepper, cloves, dates, and water in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 3 minutes. Add mango and starfruit; simmer 1 minute longer (chutney thickens when chilled).   Add extra water if the mixture is too thick.  Stir in cilantro.

Serve warm or refrigerate and enjoy for up to five days.