I love mangoes. I love them raw, I love them cooked – in anything; cakes, jams, chutneys, smoothies. . . So when I was taking my dog for a run one morning (she was running, I was riding my bike) I was pretty excited to come across a mango tree on public land, with mangoes on it. Under the tree were 2 as yet unripe mangoes, obviously knocked off by the wind or something. I picked these treasures up and headed home. They were a hybrid variety of mango, so the tree had been planted where it was. Over the next few weeks I managed to collect half a dozen of these ‘windfalls’.
I decided to use them to make chutney.
A friend had a huge native mango tree in her back yard, and put the word out for anyone who wanted some to come and get them before the bats/flying foxes got them all. They weren’t yet ripe, but I collected as many of the bigger ones as I could reach. This would mean quite a few jars of chutney rather than just one.
Chutneys are really very simple and straight forward to make. Here is how I made my Mango Chutney:
2 kg mango flesh
3 onions finely chopped
4 apples peeled and finely chopped
2 tomatoes, skinned and sliced into squares
1 level teaspoon chili flakes
4 cloves of garlic
2 cups sugar (coconut sugar)
Piece of fresh ginger finely grated – I used a piece about 1 x 2 inches
5 cups vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
As I hadn’t purchased a tray of nicely ripened mangoes, I had to add a few extra steps into the preparation of the mangoes. Firstly I put them in a newspaper lined box to ripen.
The Native Mango is Very stringy when ripe, making it hard to eat or use. To get past this I cut the mango flesh up into smallish squares just as the mango started to ripen – before the fibers had chance to develop. The few mangoes that ripened into the stringy stage before I had chance to get the flesh cut into little squares and frozen, I would peel and squeeze the juice off, leaving the seed and fibers behind. I froze this juice too, ready for making the chutney later, once I had collected all the mango flesh.
When I was ready to make the chutney, I put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and slowly brought it to the boil. I let it simmer slowly, without a lid on for about 2 hours, stirring regularly to stop it sticking or burning on the bottom. The lid is off the pot so liquid can evaporate, leaving tastier and thicker chutney behind.
When the chutney was ready I sterilized my preserving jars in hot water, filled them with the chutney still hot from the stove. Wiping any spills from round the top to ensure a good seal, I then screwed the lids on, and left them to cool.
Delicious Mango Chutney to complement any meal and enough for the year ahead!