Cucumber, tomato and onion chutney
What do you do when you have a glut of cucumber and half the household doesn’t like pickles? Chutney! I’ve never made chutney using cucumber before, so I did a bit of a hunt. I found a recipe and started playing around with it – that’s what recipes are for, after all. We have another glut of cucumbers and are really low on jars, but further experimentation is expected! The next batch will contain some surprise ingredients. I’ll be sure to post pictures when it’s done.
On to the cucumber, tomato and onion chutney…
6 large cucumbers (we used our own organic cucumbers!!)
6 medium onions (chopped)
6 – 8 medium tomatoes (we cheated and used less tomatoes because we ran out and added a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes). These can be skinned or not as you prefer
1 – 2 inch piece of fresh root ginger (1 inch or two… or three). Peeled, bruised and diced fine
400g Demerara sugar (or soft brown sugar)
500 – 750ml of malt or cider vinegar (I definitely will use less than 750ml, especially when using canned tomato)
Spices ground in a pestle and mortar (or coffee grinder):
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp mace (to taste)
½ tsp ground cinnamon (I used a cinnamon stick and left it whole)
Salt to taste (I used a teaspoonful)
Wash cucumbers and chop roughly. Smaller pieces are easier to manage when spreading on your sandwich ;)
Add your chopped onions, tomatoes. How big the pieces are depends entirely on how smooth or chunky you prefer your chutney.
Add your vinegar. I used a couple of tins of tomato, so the 750ml meant I had to thicken the chutney at the end.
Bring to the boil for 10 minutes and then add the sugar. Stir well until the mixture reaches boiling point. Reduce the heat immediately and simmer, stirring often to prevent it burning on the bottom of the pan.
Simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.
Wash your jars and lids well. A dishwasher should have them ready for bottling, but I like to put them in an oven set to 100°C (NOT the lids) while the chutney is cooking. The lids I boil for a few minutes.
When the chutney is ready it has thickened.The spoon should leave a path across the surface as you draw it slowly through the chutney. It will thicken as it sits.
Carefully pour your chutney into the jars. Spillage is Sticky! Jars with metal lids need a layer between the lid and the chutney, as the chutney will corrode the lid and you most certainly don’t want that. You can put some cling wrap or cut circles of wax wrap and put those over the jars before putting the lids on. Some people leave the chutney open until it cools before putting lids on. I prefer to put the lid on loosely right away to keep the contents of the jars clean. Don’t screw the lids down until it cools! I leave mine overnight.
Day 2: Grab a slice of really fresh bread, butter it, add some sliced cheese and dollops of your chutney. Sit back now and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Good, isn’t it?