Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Guest Post: Mango, Date & Chilli Chutney by Gareth Groves

Gareth Groves is an ex-Chef turned wine merchant who is now Communications Manager at Bibendum. His best man once described him as a man who uses breakfast as an opportunity to think about lunch. Part of his job is to manage social media for Bibendum, so he spends a bit of time on twitter, where it's clear to all that he feels a real passion for food and drink.

Given my recent condiment craze, nay obsession, I was more than a little intrigued when he tweeted that he was cooking up his annual batch of mango, date and chilli chutney. Sounds quite a tasty treat doesn't it? Especially given that Gareth stipulates proper tasty mangoes!

box 1

Rather liking the sound of that, I invited Gareth to share the recipe (and it's history) with readers of my blog and, to my delight, he agreed.

Over to Gareth:

I've been making this chutney for something approaching ten years. I first came across the recipe in a cookbook celebrating the chefs of the town of Noosa on Australia's Gold Coast, when I was cooking in a Edinburgh fusion restaurant (God bless the 1990s).

We used to serve it with anything and everything: goats’ cheese tarts, grilled tiger prawns, Isle of Mull cheddar - you name it, it probably came with a small red dish of this chutney. It was our staple condiment: it is easy to make, reads well on a menu and, most importantly, is absolutely delicious.

Since giving up the professional cooking lark for the wine trade and moving to London, I've made this chutney every summer when the Indian and Pakistani mangoes have been in season on Tooting High Street.

Mango, Date & Chilli Chutney

Ingredients (makes 6-8 jars):
3 boxes of golden Pakistani mangoes (about 15-18 mangoes)
500ml cider vinegar
500ml demerara sugar
6-8 hot chillies
250g root ginger peeled or scraped
325g pitted dates



  • Chop the mango flesh into a big pan.
  • Boil the vinegar and sugar to make a light syrup.
  • Blitz the chillies (seeds and all), ginger and dates up to make a thick paste. Add a bit of water to the blender if necessary – it will boil off in the final cooking.
  • Add the vinegar syrup and chilli mixture to the mango.
  • Heat and simmer gently until thick and a dark burnished gold. This can take a few hours. Sunday's batch took about 3 and half hours. Take care the chutney doesn't catch and burn on the bottom of the pan.
  • When ready, jar up in sterilised jars.
finished jar
  • Wait.

How long do you have to wait? In truth, not that long. You can eat this chutney almost immediately and it will be hot, sweet and fruity. With time, it mellows and becomes more rounded with a deeper flavour. We've just finished our last jar of the 2009 vintage one year on and it was delicious.

And what should you serve it with? Almost anything you like. Cheese and cold meats are obvious choices but it also shines in fish fingers sandwiches. A favourite at our house is to make quite a plain dhal and serve it with rice and this chutney: perfect comfort food.

boxes 2


Helen (Fuss Free Flavours) said...

Oh goodness that does sound good. It has been too long since I preserved. I adore making chutney and have all my friends trained to save me jars. Off to the North End Road for some bargains.

Northern Snippet said...

Sounds great-will have to try that one would be great with a charcuterie board.

Kavey said...

@Helen - I have only been preserving since June last year and really have become quite addicted. This one is bookmarked to try next year - the mango season is pretty much at a close, and certainly the glut of cheaper mangoes that comes at it's height is past for 2010.

@Northern Snippet - oooh yes, sounds delicious.

The Grubworm said...

Dates. And Mango. I'm so there - two of my favourite things. This does look worryingly easy to do too. Looks pretty and pretty tasty all at the same time. I'm not sure any jar would last a whole year. This is so bookmarked.

I wonder how it would taste stirred into some pudding rice..?

Kavey said...

@Grubworm - Hi Aaron, I would never have thought of using it in rice pudding, when you try it let us know?

Julianna Barnaby said...

Mmmn, I was looking for a good chutney recipe to try - I think I've found it...

Gareth said...

Thanks for posting this Kavey, it was fun to guest post.

@Grubworm - I had never considered mango cutney with rice pudding and I am not sure I'm brave enough to try! Do let me know if it works.

@Julianna Barnaby, @Helen, @Northern Snippet - I'd love to hear your thoughts if you get round to making it