What is chutney and how do you use it?

momto6April 24, 2007

Hi ya'll, I've canned a grand total of 12 pints of strawberry jam without pectin, 2 with pectin, 2 preserves and one syrup, all within the last 48 hours. and that is the grand total of my canning experience. I think I'm hooked. =0) I'm also a bit confused.

My cook books (not the canning ones) give examples or suggestions on what to do with this or that recipe..... serve with Ginger chicken, try with candied carrots, etc... But looking in the canning books (that would be the Ball book at this point) there isn't anything like that..... Some things.... jam, fruit jellies, applesauce, those I think I can figure out, but what the heck are chutneys? (OK the ball book explains what, just not how to use them) What do you do with green pepper jelly? (I don't think it's a PB&J kind of thing) Tomato jelly? There are a million (at least) recipes on the web, but even then most go to the point of "pull the jars out of the canner" and no further.

Now as my children will all attest to, I do not mind experimenting at all. Perhaps pepper jam is really good on something..... I'm just afraid of a revolt if I spend too long finding out WHAT it's good on (and they outnumber me). But I really hate reading a recipe that sounds like a good mix of flavors, or at least interesting, and then having to pass it by because I don't know what it's used for.

So is there a canning book (or heck even cookbook) out there that can tell me what Tomato Jelly goes with? Or the millions of chutneys? Or any of the other recipes that sound good? Or is this more of a look up each individual sauce on the net, and see if maybe I can find one recipe that has what to use it for?

Or am I over complicating the whole thing?

Thanks for any help

one confused newbie canner in training


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Chutneys are served on the side to accompany assorted curry dishes, or with cold meats - much the same ways as you'd use pickles or herb jellies. They are condiments. I like to toss in a spoonful or two of chutney into a meatloaf or meatballs just for a flavour change, or you can add some to a gravy for the same reason.

Use chutney with roast pork instead of apple sauce; with lamb instead of mint jelly; with turkey instead of cranberry sauce; with chicken nuggets instead of ketchup or sweet and sour sauce; with ham instead of mustard. Pour 1/4 cup over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers or cocktail bread slices.

Mix 1 tablespoon into a mild vinaigrette to make a salad dressing.

Stir 1/4 cup or so into a pot of plain rice to make a pilaf.

Mix half mayonnaise and half chutney and serve on hamburgers.

Toss 1/4 cup with steamed broccoli, carrots or green beans.

Serve with baked sweet potatoes.

You can toss chutney or savoury jellies into sour cream or other base to make a dip. This mixture is delicious on jacket potatoes!

I've got heaps of pickle recipes - pickled mushrooms, pickled carrots, pickled this or that, and I often wonder how I'd serve them! I guess I'd just do it as I've described above, if ever I got around to making any.

As for the savoury jellies, they can be used as a condiment, on the edge of your plate to go with cold meats, or they can be spooned over hot vegetables for a flavour change. Personally, I think they're great on a sandwich with leftover, cold roast meats or chicken. I happen to like chutney or savoury jellies on a sandwich with cheese!

Really, uses are only limited by your imagination.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 6:17PM
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Wow!! It seems very versitile. =0)

Do they tend to be on the sweet side? With the amounts of sugar I would think they would have to be, but then there's the vingear.... I guess I'll just have to make a batch and see.

Thank you for your detailed answer. You've been very helpful.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 10:18AM
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my favorite chutneys are (like my favorite people) sweet AND hot!!!

the thing I can't figure out is why so many American chutneys have raisins in them.... I like the chutneys without raisins. Until the internet came along, I thought it wasn't chutney unless it had raisins. And then I had some great tomato chutney in London (my firsts and only trip) and went wild-- no raisins!!!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 12:37PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)


Welcome to the wonderful world of canning, and this forum!

Don't worry, as addictions go, it's pretty harmless, and the side effecs are GREAT, other than the fact that you run out of room in your pantry/basement/home to store all your canned goods, and you get a bit crazy when you pass a farmer's market....

There are a few preserving books that give better suggestions than the BBB on how to use things. But it's true that many exist in a vacuum!

I can help you out with the pepper jelly: It is FAB on crackers with cream cheese. (At least, the red is. I like red peppers so much better than green I wouldn't bother with green pepper jelly.) It also makes a nice glaze for a pork tenderloin.

Chutneys I mostly eat with Indian food. Which in my small town means buying a jar of Patak's sauce and cooking it up with some diced chicken, then serving over basmati rice. A chutney or two on the side, and a little raita (a sort of cool salad with yogurt, e.g. with grated cucumbers & a bit of mint), makes it feel like a meal.



    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 12:36AM
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I hate raisins and other little dead black flies, too, so I usually omit them from any recipe. On the rare occasion I add them to a chutney (to be 'genuine'), I spend a lot of time picking them out and discarding them before bottling.

How silly is THAT??

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 9:16AM
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i like raisins in some things ... just not in chutney ... I think I object to the way they swell up and pretend to be grapes again. For the sake of authenticity, can we just throw them in the food processor.

Incidentally I have a chutney recipe that calls for 2 D ground ginger ... is that the infamous dessert spoon?

AND is there a difference between UK D and Aust D?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 9:53AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Cheese and chutney sandwiches. Must be good bread, preferably white, crusty, unsliced and good Cheddar. I usually make apple, rhubarb or green tomato since those are the things I get gluts of. Personally I love raisins.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 12:55PM
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I also like chutney on turkey sandwiches, but then again, I like hot pepper jelly on turkey sandwiches too. I also like both on bagels with cream cheese.

Some of my chutney is sweet, some less so. All have the "hot" spices, either "savory hot" like peppers or sweet hot like ginger and cinnamon.

The tomato marmalade is wonderful on corn muffins, BTW, thanks to a jar I got from RobinKate.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 4:41PM
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I have never seen D used as an abbreviation for dessertspoon. Out of curiosity, I'd like to see the recipe.

I would imagine that the British dessertspoon is the same as the Australian dessertspoon, but I don't know for sure, never having been there.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 7:30PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

The teaspoons are the same and as a dessertspoon is two teaspoons, there shouldn't be a difference. There is a difference in the tablespoon, as the Australian tablespoon is 20 ml. (4 tsp.) and the American and British tablespoon is 15 ml. (3 tsp.). In many cases it isn't critical, but in baking it could certainly make a difference.

Like Daisy, I've never seen "D" used as an abbreviation, and I have lots of British and Australian cookbooks. That would be 4 teaspoons, so unless it's a large recipe, it's a lot of ground ginger. Perhaps a typo?

I do love chutney and have no objection to "grape pretenders," aka raisins, especially the golden sultanas. Chutneys are great on meat sandwiches but really shine with cheese. They can also enhance the character of many a bland casserole, including plain baked beans.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 11:11PM
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Recipe follows (Daisey, I can't put my hands on your conversion chart ... do the lbs/kg numbers compute? I made it using 2 tsps chopped fresh ginger and thought something was lacking)

Green Tomato Chutney
A good chutney. There are several important points to remember: the chutney will burn if you're not careful. Also, be careful with ground ginger; this spice is unusual in that it's stronger than the fresh variety. Finally, chutney mellows and improves, the longer its kept.

2 1/2lb 1kg Green tomatoes
2 1/2lb 1kg Cooking apples
2lb 900g Onions
6 Large cloves garlic
1lb 450g Raisins
1lb 6oz 625g Soft brown sugar
1oz 25g Pickling spice
1/2t Cayenne
2 level D Ground ginger
1/2t Salt
3pt 1.75l Vinegar

Coarsely chop and then waz all the big bits in a food processor. Mix all the ingredients up in (probably two moderately-sized) pans(s). Bring to the boil and simmer until cooked (about 3 hr's). You can tell when it's done, because a trail left by a spoon will not fill with liquid for several seconds. Store for at least 3 months

source is: erb.org.uk/cookbook

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 7:23AM
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Here's a translation for you! This is how I'd do it.

2 1/2lb 1.5kg Green tomatoes
2 1/2lb 1.5kg Cooking apples
2lb 1kg Onions
6 Large cloves garlic
1lb 500g Raisins
1lb 6oz 660g Soft brown sugar (what a weird measurement - I'd make it 1 1/2lb - 750g, or for a less sweet result 500g/1lb)
1oz 30g Pickling spice
1/2t Cayenne
2 level D Ground ginger (I'd say dessertspoons - make it 4 teaspoons or 1 Australian tablespoon).
1/2t Salt
3pt 1800ml Vinegar (if it's a British recipe, pints are 20oz, 600ml.)

You'll see a lot of conversions for 1oz as 25g. Ignore them. It's 30g (rounded). The actual figure is 28.something - so that's closer to 30, isn't it, than 25?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 8:58AM
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cinsay(z5 OH)

I really love mango chutney. And my all time favorite way of eating it?....Over corn chips of course (the salty little ones not tortilla chips although that is good too). DH and I have gone through canner loads of mango chutney in this fashion. Not very fancy but oh so good.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 10:42PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Daisy's translation sounds good. Personally I would not whizz the stuff in a processor. a) I haven't got one and b) I like my chutney to have some texture other than slime. Chutney is very forgiving and quite often I just chuck in whatever spices take my fancy at the time and I frequently leave out stuff and substitute. Unlike jam and jelly it doesn't need to gel, just to thicken so proportions are not critical. The vinegar makes a differenc to both flavour and colour. I always use malt vinegar which gives a dark brown result and strong pickly flavour.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 7:48AM
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david52 Zone 6

The classic Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich takes on a whole new dimension with chutney replacing the jelly, on whole wheat toast. Which I'll have for lunch, I think, using some cherry and chipotle (smoked jalapeño) chutney.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 1:50PM
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Thanks for asking this question.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 3:49PM
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Some of the best restaurants here in Sacramento serve chutney as an appetizer alongside warm brie, roasted garlic and crackers or toast. It makes a wonderful combo putting the three together on melba toast rounds, crostini or toasted sourdough or french bread. Ummmm! Put "chutney brie garlic combination" in your search engine and watch the delicious results (check the images)! Nice on pork and turkey too!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 1:53AM
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Monique_CA(z9 CA mothrlode)

kjsacramento, please dish on which restaurant!!!! I want to go!!! :)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 2:45PM
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msmarieh(Z5/N IL)

The Apricot Chutney in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is WONDERFUL!!! I love it, especially served with roast pork or chicken (and if the meat ended up a little dry or overcooked, the chutney REALLY improves it).

Tomato jam can be used where ketchup might be used - so on burgers, sandwiches (delicious with turkey sandwiches). It's also delicious on crackers with cream cheese or an herbal dip (my preference). Some like them on a rustic bread with a soft cheese.

The pepper jellies are very often warmed up a bit (if too firm) and poured over a brick of cream cheese to serve with crackers and small bread slices at parties. Absolutely yummy. The cream cheese can help with the heat of the pepper jellies if they are a little too hot (many people love them that way). They also can be a lovely glaze for grilled meats like chicken.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 7:18AM
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