Chutney is a spicy-savory-sweet condiment usually made from fruit. The intense, concentrated flavor goes great with meat, fish, or veggie dishes, or even mixed into yogurt.
Chutneys and any fruit-based ferments are FAST (not more than 4 days). Due to their high sugar content, fruit-based ferments tend to go toward alcohol fermentation. We are trying to achieve lactic acid fermentation with this recipe rather than alcohol, so we want to create an environment that favors lactic acid bacteria and doesn’t give yeasts (the organisms who create alcohol) a chance to do their thing.
If you want a thicker-style chutney (more like traditional cooked varieties), you can either strain the fruit pulp first, or cook it down to a thicker consistency. If you cook it, it will be especially important to “backslop” with some probiotic liquid like pickle brine, kombucha, or liquid whey to get the bacterial fermentation started. If you don’t strain it, it will still be delicious, but a lot more liquid-like, almost like a fresh salsa (which is why I sometimes call this a “ch-alsa”) and require stirring before using, as the contents settle.
- 1 lb. (450g) peaches, nectarines, or loquats plus ½ lb (200g) red mango
- ½ cup (about 60g) raisins (any variety)
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml or 40g) honey
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) pickle or sauerkraut brine
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice, vinegar, or kombucha
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) black, white, or mixed peppercorns
- 1 fresh jalapeño or other chile pepper
- Peel and dice peaches or nectarines and mango into ⅛-1/4 inch cubes. For a smoother texture, blend them using a blender or pulse them a few times in a food processor or blender.
- For a thicker chutney texture, either strain the mixture first through a mesh strainer over a bowl for a few hours to let the juice drain out, or cook fruit until water evaporates. If cooking, allow fruit to cool down to body temperature before finishing recipe.
- Add honey, vinegar/brine, lemon juice/kombucha to a wide-mouth quart-sized mason jar.
- Chop raisins and add to jar.
- Add diced fruit to jar.
- Mince garlic and add to jar.
- If using jalapeño, cut top off, then lengthwise in half. Remove seeds and membranes with a knife, or leave in for a hotter chutney. Mince pepper and add to jar.
- Crush or crack peppercorns or leave whole, adding to jar.
- Stir together well.
- Secure ring and lid on jar.
- Leave in a warm spot in your kitchen. "Burp" the jar every day or so to release the CO2 buildup pressure.
- After a few days, you should see bubbles form, letting you know that fermentation is underway. Stir contents together.
- Taste! When you’re happy with how tangy it tastes, tighten lid and store in refrigerator.
- Contents may separate from liquid. Stir before using.
- Keeps up to a month in refrigerator.