Makes 1.3kg (3 lb)
- 450g (1 lb) onions, roughly chopped
- 450g (1 lb) or 2 small aubergines, chopped into 5mm (0.25 inch) cubes, skin on
- 450g (1 lb) courgettes cut into 5mm (0.25 inch) cubes, skin on
- 3 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 5mm (0.25 inch)cubes, skin on
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- A good pinch of hot chilli powder
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 300 ml (10 fl oz) white wine vinegar
- 450g (1 lb) granulated sugar
Make chutneys on a day when you can open windows, as the smell of vinegar is very strong! In the AGA it is especially easy to make, as chutney is cooked in the Simmering Oven so there aren’t too many vinegar fumes in the kitchen. I think a jar of home-made chutney makes a lovely present if going out for dinner, instead of chocolates or flowers. If the jars are sealed well, a chutney will be even more delicious a few months after making as the flavour matures.
Tip the onions, aubergines, courgettes and tinned tomatoes into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, and simmer over a low heat for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Add the remaining ingredients, stir until the sugar has dissolved, then reduce over a high heat for about 15 minutes until you have a thick chutney consistency and there is no surplus liquid. Spoon into sterilised jars (see below) and seal.
2, 3 and 4 oven AGA: Cook the first stage, cover with a lid and place in the Simmering Oven. Remove the lid, add the other ingredients, and boil on the Boiling Plate for a further 10 minutes until a thick chutney consistency.
Tip: To sterilise the jars, pour boiling water inside and pour out again, or put through a cycle of the dishwasher. Ensure the lids fit properly to prevent any mould forming. The secret of a good chutney is to reduce the liquid – don’t bottle when too wet.
From Secrets from a Country Kitchen by Lucy Young