Legend goes that a British army officer of the same name made Major Gray’s Chutney during colonial rule in India. Now, commercially produced Major Gray’s Chutney is popular all over the world and is often served over creamy sharp cheeses. I love the combination of sweet and sour mangoes with Indian spices but it is often hard to find green mangoes in the US. So I improvised with tomatoes and pineapple instead and came up with this chutney. It is a versatile recipe because I serve it with cheese or just over a warm buttered toast for a quick snack, or with rice and daal/lentils to give the plain meal some pzazz. I usually make this chutney when I have surplus of tomatoes from my backyard veggie patch or when my store-bought tomatoes are getting wrinkly and I need to use them fast.
1. 1.5-2 lbs of tomatoes
2. One 20 oz can of pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple in juice
3. ½ cup of sugar
4. 2 table spoons of Panch Phoran (Bengali five-spice available at Indian stores – a combinations of the following spices: cumin seeds, onion seeds, yellow mustard seeds,fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds)
5. One teaspoon of sugar
6. One teaspoon of red chili flakes
7. 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
8. 20-25 dried apricots
9. 10-12 dried dates
10. 3-4 oz of raisins
11. 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1. In a medium sized sauce pan pour two tablespoons of olive oil and place the pan over medium heat.
2. Chop the tomatoes into small cubes and put them in the pot containing the hot oil and mix thoroughly.
3. Open the pineapple can and add all the contents into the hot pan and mix again.
4. Add the salt and cider vinegar and cover the pot with a lid and let it cook on low heat for 15-20 min, stir frequently.
5. Chop the apricots and dates and add them to the tomato and pineapple mixture.
6. When the tomatoes and pineapple pieces look almost cooked, blend them with a handheld mixer to a rough paste consistency (do not blend totally!) and continue cooking them on low heat for another 4-5 min.
7. Add the sugar and the raisins to pot and continue cooking.
8. In a separate small sauce pan, warm the remaining two tablespoons of oil and add the red chili flakes and the Panch Phoron and cook for 1-2 minutes (until the spices start to pop).
9. Add the heated oil and spices to the tomato-pineapple mixture and stir thoroughly.
10. Taste the chutney for a balance between salt and sweet and if you need it tempered to your taste, go ahead and add a little bit more salt or sugar. The chutney should not have too much water content, if it looks watery, cook it for a bit longer.
11. Let the chutney cool a little and you could then serve it over some soft creamy Brie cheese or over Boursin cheese with water crackers on the side (as shown in the picture) or over a warm buttered toast.
12. The chutney can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for later use.