Spicy pumpkin chutney is a delicious condiment and very easy to make. Chutney was first made in East India and is now popular all over the world. Spicy pumpkin chutney is a delightful mix of sweet and sour and goes very well with cheese, cold meats and many people add it to soups and sauces to give them a more interesting flavour. Almost any fruit or vegetable can be used – I usually use pumpkins – hence spicy pumpkin chutney, as they are comparatively cheap – and I sometimes try to grow my own. A great way to use up your pumpkins post halloween.
Yes, to make spicy pumpkin chutney, you will need a pumpkin – about 2kilos. The skin is pretty tough so you’ll need a sharp knife to remove it. Don’t throw away the seeds inside. Remove them from the flesh of the pumpkin with a fork. Next time you are baking, put the seeds in and roast them (a little salt improves the flavour). When they are roasted (and dry) put them in an air-tight container. Crack the seeds vertically between your front teeth and eat the yummy kernel inside.
I picked up 5 kilos of excellent Tunisian dates for 11.90 euros in my local market. They freeze surprising well and make a tasty snack straight from the freezer. Take about a kilo and remove the stones.
Fry about 5 large onions in some olive oil and then add the pumpkin and dates. Crush a few cloves of garlic in as well. Heat gently. Add a litre of vinegar, a kilo of sugar, salt and pepper, some chilli powder, some cumin and a handful of raisins.
One excellent spice that I add to my chutney is called Madras Rasam. It is wonderfully aromatic and gives the chutney a very Eastern flavour. Add about half a packet to the simmering mixture and stir it in. If you don’t have any Madras Rasam, you could use any kind of curry. Experiment with what you like.
Once the pumpkin flesh and dates have softened up, use a hand mixer to liquidize the chutney. Don’t make it completely homogenous. It will be more interesting if there are lumps in it. Leave the chutney to simmer on a low heat for at least two hours. Then put it in jars in the same way as described for tomato sauce.
And that’s it. It keeps for AGES and definitely improves with age. You can find out more about chutney from Wikipaedia.