Fruity banana chutney

Ah, chutney. A loanword from the Hindi chatni, it means “spicy preparations to accompany a main dish”. It is also an awesome accompaniment to grilled foods, roasts, and cheeses. As an added bonus, chutney is a great way for parents to sneak extra fruit and veggies onto the plates of fussy eaters!

This recipe combines bananas and dates, two of the favourite foods of our own non-fussy eater, producing a wonderfully tangy, sweet and fruity condiment. Preparing chutney combines two skills you probably already have – making jam and making pickles.

Yield: between 5 and 8 jelly jars (8oz), depending on how thick you like it:
1.5 cups cider vinegar
1 cup chopped, cored, peeled apple
1.5 cups mashed bananas (approximately 3 medium sized bananas)
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 cup chopped putted prunes
1 cup chopped onion
0.5 cup chopped dried apricot
0.5 cup mixed candied peel (I omitted this when I made this recipe as I didn’t have any!)
3 cloves chopped garlic
1.5 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
0.5 cup water
1.5 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp fresh grated ginger

In a large stainless steel saucepan combine vinegar and apple. Add bananas, dates, prunes, onions, apricots, candied peel (if using) and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add brown sugar, water, coriander, cayenne, allspice, turmeric, and ginger, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil gently, stirring frequently, until it reaches your desired consistency – I like a thicker, more spreadable chutney but you may prefer a more liquid one.

While this is going on, have your jars in the hot water bath canner to sterilise. Clean and prepare the lids and rings.

Ladle the hot chutney into the hot, sterilised jars, leaving 0.5 inch headroom. Remove bubbles and adjust headroom by adding or removing hot chutney. Wipe rim, centre the lid on the rim, and screw down the ring until finger-tight (just tighten the screw ring until the jar starts spinning, don’t screw them down tight).

Process in your hot water bath canner for 10 minutes at a boil. After 10 minutes remove the canner from the heat, remove the lid from the canner, and let them sit for 5 minutes. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a cookie rack or a towel and leave for 24 hours to cool. Label, store, and eat 🙂

chutney with cheese and crackers

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