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Onion Chutney Recipe #1

There is such a variety of onion chutney recipes it's astonishing that they are all called the same thing. I'm clearly going to have to do a few of these to see what they are all like.

Encouraged by my first chutney effort, my mango chutney, I decided to try a few others. To be honest onion chutney would not have been my next choice, but I came by a large bag of red onions going fairly cheap, so I thought it would be a good idea. And it turned out well; quite sweet, but very rich in flavours from the spices and the red wine.

This is a caramelized red onion chutney and is a suitable accompaniment for lots of dishes; you can eat this with a ploughmans lunch, it goes great with goats' cheese and of course it is good with Indian food. This type of chutney would be eaten at breakfast with idlis (a sort of steamed rice cake) - the equivalent of jam on crumpets or pancakes. Onions contain quite a bit of sugar and this is added to to make a sweet, sticky spicy chutney

As I said, there are lots of onon chutney recipes about and having tried this I will make a different type later.

Basic Ingredients

1lb (450g) red onions
50ml white wine vinegar
150ml balsamic vinegar
150ml red wine
3oz (80g) brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
Small piece of root ginger
Juice of 1 lemon

teaspoon salt
Chilli
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
teaspoon mace
4 cloves
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ inch (1cm) cinnamon broken up
Oil

Notes on Ingredients

Onions . Red definately prefered, they are milder and sweeter than white onions

Vinegar. I used balsamic and white wine vinegar here together with some red wine that had been open for a while. You can mix and match various vinegars - red, whilte, malt or even cider - you will get different tastes

Ginger. After I had peeled and cut up the ginger I have what amounted to a heaped teaspoon. You could use about ½ teaspoon of ground ginger.

Mace. Same quantity of nutmeg is an alternative

Chilli. I used 1 deseeded scotch bonnet in this - because of all the sugar it does not make it too hot - just gives it a little kick.

Sugar. I used raw cane sugar for this but you can use any sugar.

Basic Method

Peel the onions and finely slice them.
Peel and mash the garlic.
Peel the ginger, cut into small dice and then mash to into a paste (mortar and pestle, garlic press, grinder - whatever)
Heat a dry frying pan and roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, mace and the cloves
Coarsely grind these spices

Heat the oil and fry the onions on a low heat for about 50 minutes until they are start to soften
Add the red wine and simmer for 2 minutes then add all the vinegar anf the lemon juice.
Add the suggar and stir in.
Heat the whole lot in a pan until boiling then turn down and simmer very slowly for about 2 hours until the liquid is reduced

Notes on Method

In this onion chutney recipe, I cook the onions quite thoroughy to get that smooth, sweet caramelised product. There are other recipes which will produce chunkier (or even raw) onions

Options

Other ingredients that I have seen quite often in onion chutney recipes include different fruits instead of lemon, including oranges, limes and raisins. Varying quantities of sugar - some seem rediculously sweet to me! Herbs such as bay leaf and thyme, I have also seen

Of course I will have to try some variations which I will write up when I do them.





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