Pack a punch: Chetna Makan’s Christmas chutney gifts – recipes

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To me, a chutney is a fresh condiment that makes any meal sing. Most chutneys in India are freshly prepared, ready in minutes and still pack a punch, so I was surprised to find that in Britain chutneys are made to have a long shelf life, and contain vinegar and sugar to preserve their fresh ingredients. Here I am sharing a wider variety, with a bit of sweet, sour and spicy; they’ll be great for your festive table or jarred up as little gifts.

Apple, mango and pineapple chutney

Prep 15 minCook 1 hr 20 minMakes 2 x 300g jarsKeep 2 weeks4 tbsp rapeseed oil4 cardamom pods1 tsp cumin seeds1 tsp coriander seeds1 tsp onion seeds1 onion, finely chopped½ tsp turmeric powder2 eating apples (I used jazz), peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces1 mango, peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces200g pineapple (about half a fresh one, but you could also use tinned), chopped into 1 cm pieces 2 birds-eye red chillies, finely chopped200g caster sugar200ml white wine vinegar

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/gas 6. Wash some jam jars with their lids, put them on a baking tray into the hot oven for 15 minutes until dry. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the cardamom, cumin, coriander and onion seeds. Sizzle for a few seconds, then add the chopped onions and cook over a low heat for eight to 10 minutes, until completely soft. Add the turmeric, apples and 300ml boiling water, cover and cook for 20 minutes, until the apples have softened.

Now add the mango, pineapple and chilli, cover and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes, until all the fruits are soft and yielding.

Next, add the sugar and vinegar and cook over a medium-high heat for 30 minutes until the chutney is more gloopy than liquid. Divide this between two sterilised jars and store in the fridge for up to a month.

Ginger and chilli chutney

You can find jaggery online or in Asian supermarkets.

Prep 10 minCook 20 minMakes 1 x 400g jarKeep 1 month4 tbsp rapeseed oil120g ginger, thinly sliced10 dried red chillies 100g jaggery, grated (or 100g dark brown sugar)2 tbsp tamarind paste¼ tsp saltTo finish2 tbsp rapeseed oil2 tsp sesame seedsWash and sterilise a jar as in the first recipe. Heat the four tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and add the ginger. Cook over a low heat for eight to 10 minutes until the ginger starts to change colour.

Add the chillies and cook for another minute. Blitz this to a paste with four to five tablespoons of water. Return the paste to the same pan and add the jaggery, tamarind and salt, and cook for five minutes, until the jaggery has melted and the mixture starts to bubble up. Pour this into a serving bowl.

Heat the two tablespoons of oil and add the sesame seeds. Cook for a minute over a low heat; as soon as they start to change colour, pour the infused oil over the chutney. You can serve this warm but cooled down would be much better.

This will store in an airtight box or a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can add a few drops of more water if you want a thinner consistency.

Peanut and onion chutney

Prep 15 minCook 20 minMakes 1 x 400g jarKeep 5-6 days

4 tbsp rapeseed oil2 medium onions, roughly chopped10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped6 dried red chillies½ tsp salt100 g roasted salted peanuts (skinless)

To finish2 tbsp rapeseed oil1 tsp black mustard seeds4 dried red chillies, broken into halfWash and sterilise a jar as in the first recipe. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until golden.

Add the garlic and chillies and cook for another five minutes until deeply golden in colour. Now add the salt and the peanuts and cook for a minute. Leave to cool slightly. Blitz with 120ml water to a smooth chutney.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop, add the chillies and leave to sizzle for a minute. Pour this over the chutney and serve.

You can transfer this to jars and store in the fridge for five or six days.

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