Photo by Vida Gustafson
By Vida Gustafson
I like making my own condiments here and there. I’m no Martha Stewart, but an occasional hand-made pickle, relish or salsa is a great gift and can brighten up an otherwise uninspiring meal.
Chutney has long been adopted and anglicized by the Western world. While you could use this to top a curry and rice like we do in South Africa, it is also very at home on a cheese board, as a sandwich spread, or brushed on during the last minutes of grilling lamb, pork, chicken or fish.
2 C Peaches
½ C Red Currants (or tart raisins)
½ C Sugar
¼ C Vinegar
1 small Onion (diced)
1 inch sized piece of fresh Ginger (grated)
1 small Chile de árbol (diced)
¼ tsp Salt
¼ Cayenne Pepper
Juice and Zest of half a Lemon
Combine the onion, vinegar, sugar, ginger, cayenne, chili pod and salt in a small saucepan and cook over low to medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the mixture doesn’t scorch on the bottom. There’s a lot of sugar in there and sugar likes to burn!
Next prepare the peaches. If you’re using canned peaches they just need a rough chop. If fresh, bring a medium saucepan up to boil and drop your peaches in for 10-20 seconds to loosen the skins; 2-4 peaches will yield 2 cups of peach flesh, depending on their size.
Peel the peaches and remove the pit, slice them into roughly ½ inch chunks. If you were lucky enough to find fresh currants, pick them off their stems and rinse thoroughly.
Once the onions have softened and are translucent, add the lemon juice, zest, peaches and red currants (or raisins). Continue to cook over medium low heat for a further 30-45 minutes.
You will know when the chutney is ready when the fruit has broken down a little and the mixture has thickened to a spreadable consistency. Remove the chili pod before serving.