Maple Syrup Infused Green Tomato Chutney
This year my veggie patch didn’t seem to have produced much. The drought that hit much of the US, also hit my backyard. I tried my best to water the saplings but even then they didn’t grow well and the produce was quite feeble. In past years I have at least managed to get a lot of tomatoes and cucumbers out of the little patch but somehow this year even those didn’t do well. My backyard is weirdly shaped and a huge chunk of it is a lot higher than the level at which the house is situated. The vegetable patch is on the upper level of the backyard and I have to go up several flights of steps to get to it. This year because I was so disappointed with my “crop”, I got lazy about climbing up to the upper deck of the yard to check on the plants. Now that fall is here, yesterday I went up to the upper deck to rake the leaves and to my surprise, I discovered that there were several green tomatoes that were still on the vines. Of course, they were not going to ripen this late in the year and I knew that if I left them any longer, the squirrels would get to them before I could. So I picked them and decided to make a chutney out of them. Much of today was spent in making this chutney and canning it in little jars. I combined the tart green tomatoes with a couple of apples and maple syrup to get a thick chutney-like consistency out of them. My sister had gifted me with a very special bottle of maple syrup (which is aged in casks that have originally held bourbon in them). This syrup added an additional layer of complex flavor to the chutney! If you can’t find this syrup, I am sure any Grade A maple syrup would do just as well!
1. 2.5 -3.0 lbs of Green tomatoes
2. 2 tart apples (I used Jona Gold but Granny Smith would be equally good)
3. One medium yellow onion
4. 1/2 cup of sugar
5. 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
6. ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
7. 2 teaspoons of red chili flakes
8. 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
9. ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
10. 1 inch long fresh ginger root
11. Zest of one lemon
12. ½ cup maple syrup
13. 2 teaspoons of Panch Phoron (an Indian spice mix readily available at all Indian/South Asian stores. Wiki link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panch_phoron)
14. 2 teaspoons of Anise seeds
15. 10 all-spice seeds
16. 1/3 cup of dried cranberries
17. 1/3 cup of golden raisins
18. 2 teaspoons of salt (or more if needed)
1. Wash the green tomatoes and set them aside.
2. Peel and dice the onion.
3. In a large heavy-bottomed container, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat.
4. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions to it and let them cook over low heat till they are translucent.
5. While the onions are cooking, chop the tomatoes (remove any hard parts or stems attached to them).
6. Add the tomatoes to the pot and let them cook for 7-8 minutes. Stir them frequently.
7. Wash and dice the apples (remove the core and seeds).
8. Add the diced apples to the pot and stir again.
9. Add the apple cider vinegar and salt to the pot and cover it with a lid. Let the contents of the pot cook for another 7-8 minutes (covered) over medium-low heat.
10. Coarsely crush the all-spice seeds and add them to the pot.
11. Also add the dry mustard powder.
12. Add sugar to the pot and stir again.
13. Using a microplane, grate the ginger root and add it to the pot.
14. Also add the lemon zest to the pot and stir the contents and let them continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes.
15. Using a hand held blender, coarsely blend the contents of the pot (do not blend too finely – the chutney needs to be a bit chunky).
16. Add the raisins and the dried cranberries to the pot, stir and continue cooking on low heat).
17. Add the red pepper flakes and the black pepper and stir.
18. Now add the maple syrup and stir again. At this stage taste for salt and pepper and adjust according to your taste. The chutney should have a good balance of sweet, tart and savory. Continue to cook on low heat for another 4-5 minutes and stir regularly. Turn the flame off.
19. In a small sauce pan, add the remaining amount of extra virgin olive oil and heat it on medium heat.
20. Add the Panch Phoron and anise seeds to the hot oil and let the spices sputter for 30 seconds or so and then add the hot oil and spice mixture to the cooked chutney and stir.
21. When the chutney has cooled down, put it in small canning jars and follow the canning directions. You can store these jars for up to 4-5 months (if sealed properly). They make perfect gifts as well!
22. Serve this spicy sweet and sour chutney with any creamy cheese (I used Boursin), crackers and a summer sausage. You can also use it as a chutney with a roast pork tenderloin or with a baked turkey (in place of cranberry sauce).
Lovely recipe–would tomatillos work just as well? I am not sure! I have never ever used all spice. Great recipe!
Hey Gurpriya – I haven’t tried it with Tomatillos but my guess is that they would work well in this recipes because their texture and taste is very similar to green tomatoes. If you want, you can also use red tomatoes but look for the hard less than totally ripe ones. I use this chutney with cheese and crackers or even as achar with regular daal-chawal!
Looks wonderful and what a great way to use up those green tomatoes! Lovely!
Thanks Mary!!! yes, this is one of those recipes that I resort to at the end of each summer…I hate to waste the tomatoes I grew…and this year I have quite a few little green ones leftover (cherry and grape kinds) and they are too small for fried green tomatoes, so chutney it is 🙂