This recipe for an Anglo-Indian Chutney comes from 1926 and a recipe submitted for publication in a charitable book by The Lady Redesdale, of Asthall Manor, in Burford, Oxford.
Chutney: Beginning in the 17th century chutneys were shipped to England as a luxury good and then soon people in Britain were making similar spiced vegetable and fruit preserves for themselves. The word Chutney is a ‘loan’ word incorporated into English from the Hindi describing a paste or sauce in Indian cuisine; a term for a class of spicy preparations used as an accompaniment for a main dish – chutney is still a very popular condiment today for cold cuts of ham, chicken, beef, and fish.
Asthall Manor in Oxford: The core of the current building at Asthall was built in 1620 for Sir William Jones on the site of the mediaeval hall.In 1688 the estate was sold to Sir Edmund Fettiplace; it stayed in branches of the same family for the next 130 years, when it was sold to John Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale in 1810. Redesdale had never planned to make Asthall Manor a permanent home, and in 1926 the family moved in to nearby Swinbrook House which Redesdale had had built on the site of a derelict farm.
The recipe comes from: ‘A Book Of Scents And Dishes’, by Dorothy Allhusen, printed in 1926. “[with] The suggestion of compiling such a book and devoting the proceeds of the sales to charity from Mrs Thomas Hardy [Florence Emily Dugdale] … charities in which I take a personal interest.” The weights and measures have been adapted for the modern kitchen and the method expanded to aid explanation.
Indian Chutney Recipe
All quantities have been reduced by half from the original recipe.
- 250g green tomatoes
- 250g apples
- 250g raisins
- 70g blanched almonds
- 1 small onion
- 250g natural brown sugar (Demerara)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tbsp Indian Curry Powder (mild, medium or hot, depending on taste)
- 1/4 tsp French mustard
- 300ml white wine vinegar
Blanch and skin the tomatoes. You need two medium sized bowls and a sharp knife. Do the tomatoes four at a time. Use the knife to place a small, skin deep, cut into the tomatoes. Put them in a bowl with boiling water from the kettle in it, remove them after 30 seconds to a minute, with a slotted spoon, and place them into a bowl of cold water. Then peel at the place where the skin was cut. Refresh the hot water if it starts too get too cold.
Peel the apples (core) and the onion. Wash the raisins.
Chop the tomatoes, apples, onion and raisins all up small (minced) or recommended: put this mixture through a food processor, with a fine blade, and blitz on the pulse setting.
Put the minced tomatoes, apples, onion and raisins into a bowl – add in all the other ingredients – mix thoroughly and then allow to stand, covered, for 6 hours or over-night.
Tip the bowl of Chutney ingredients into a saucepan and bring up to the boil, once at the boil reduce the heat, stir and simmer gently for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Simmer for a shorter or longer time if needed, to get the right chutney thickness and texture.
After 3 hours transfer the chutney to warm, sterilized jars. To pot the chutney: it is best to use a wide-necked jam funnel to transfer the chutney into the sterilized jars. Use a long-handled teaspoon (or similar) to press and poke the chutney right down into the pots to exclude any trapped air pockets. Press wax discs on the surface of the chutney before sealing the jar. Wipe the jars immediately, then label them when they are cold.
To Store: store in a cool, dark place and leave to mature for at least 1 month. The chutney will keep unopened for up to 1 year. Once the jars have been opened, store them in the refrigerator.
— Use dry, sterilized preserving pots or jars to store your preserve in. Always sterilize all the jars and lids etc, run them through a dishwasher on a hot rinse setting, or wash, rinse and then put them in the oven for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Be careful if using rubber seals etc., do them separately. Sterilized storage equipment means you can keep your preserve for well over six months when made. —