I’ve been sequestered in my Teotitlan del Valle casita for some days now (without internet connection), more out of choice than anything. Best to hide from the heat of the day under the ceiling fan with a sewing or cooking project.
So, after a trip to the Tlacolula market on Sunday where I saw an overabundance of fresh mango and papaya piled to the rooftops, I had to have some. Then, there were the tomatoes, everywhere. Did you know that tomatoes are one of Mexico’s gifts to the world?
I went home and made up this recipe for a chutney jam that is great on toast or to accompany meat, poultry fish or top on steamed veggies and rice.
- 1 large, ripe mango, peeled and cubed (1/2″ cubes)
- 1 small, ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, cubed (1/2″ cubes)
- 1 small, ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed (1/2″ cubes)
- 8 plum tomatoes, peeled (score top, immerse in boiling water for 30 seconds until skin can be removed), and quartered
- 2 medium white onions, peeled, julienne cut
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled, whole
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 2 hot red peppers (see example)
- 6 cubes of candied ginger, diced fine (can substitute candied kumquat)
- juice of six small limes to equal 1/2 c. liquid
- zest from 2 limes
- 3 cups granulated natural cane sugar
Put all fruit and spices together into a six quart saucepan. Add lime juice and zest. Stir in sugar. Stir well. Put saucepan on a heat diffuser over low heat for temperature control and so bottom of pan doesn’t burn. Sugar and juices will dissolve together into a thin syrup with fruit floating around. Bring to simmer.
Note: Remove the peppers mid-way through the cooking process if you don’t like spicy.
Continue cooking on simmer, stirring frequently, until liquid reduces by 50% and thickens to a jam consistency. You can use a thermometer or test for doneness if liquid drops in thick globules from a metal spoon raised about 12″ above the sauce pan.
We live at 6,000 feet altitude here in Oaxaca, so cooking takes time. The chutney jam was ready after about 2 hours on the burner. Patience here is a virtue!
Refrigerate to eat within the next week or two. Or, process for 10 minutes in canning jars in a water bath until the tops seal.
Tips: Last week I used cantaloupe and did not use tomatoes or pineapple. I also substituted kumquat for ginger. You could also add thin slices of oranges and lemons instead of the lime and use 1/4 c. vinegar. Muy sabroso!
I want to acknowledge two friends who gave me recipe inspiration: Natalie Klein from South Bend, Indiana, and David Levin from Oaxaca and Toronto. Natalie is a friend of 40+ years who shared her tomato ginger chutney recipe with me and I have adapted it many times, even canning and selling it.
David (and friend Carol Lynne) returned from Southeast Asia a few months ago where they took cooking classes. David has made chutney ever since. He inspired me to try my own hand at the concoction.
More years ago than I care to count, I owned and operated a gourmet cookware shop, cooking school, and cafe. It’s in my DNA.