This year, the mango season in Australia hasnâ€™t been bountiful. Some years I can just about make myself sick of mangoes by the end of summer. Just about. But not this year. This year theyâ€™re like precious stones.
At Christmas I hit a windfall with a whole box of organic Kensington Prides at the markets at an almost reasonable price, because they were really really ripe, too ripe to keep over the Christmas holidays. I got them home, peeled them, cut them up, saved the seeds for Oliver and carefully froze the cheeks.
Then the floods hit, our power disappeared, and I had 18 thawing mangoes on my conscious. And I confess, while the waters were peaking, I snuck away from my muddy neighbourhood and went to the aid of my precious cargo instead. I made mango chutney. HEAPS of it.
Iâ€™ve not made it before and was nervous that I might not like the outcome. I didnâ€™t expect what happened, that the result would be ethereal, that I would find any excuse to eat it, that I would work my way through jar after jar after jar until one jar would remain, haunting me with its lesson in transience. Even with the power of preserving, one must still learn to go withoutâ€¦
Fresh Mango Chutney
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed with the edge of a knife, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1kg fresh or frozen mango flesh, roughly chopped
- 375ml cider vinegar
- 230g caster sugar
In a heavy based saucepan, heat the oil on a medium flame and then fry the garlic and ginger for just a minute, until fragrant. Add all the other ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for an hour, or until the mango has thickened considerably as in the picture below. Taste the chutney for salt and add if you think it needs it. I didn’t. And add more chilli, too, if that’s to your taste. I didn’t.
You can remove the whole spices or leave them in, it’s up to you. Pour the chutney into sterilised jars and store them in the fridge, just to be safe, unless you plan to vacuum seal them. Don’t worry, they won’t clog up your fridge for long.