All things chickeney and mutt’ny
Taste better far when served with chutney.
This is the mystery eternal:
Why didn’t Major Grey make colonel?
— by John F. Mackay
There is a whole world of chutneys — a condiment made of fruits, vegetables, and spices. Different kinds of chutney are prevalent in South Asia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. They can be made with fresh ingredients or cooked, pounded until smooth or chunky. Vinegar, citrus juice, or tamarind paste can be added for preservation, or the whole mixture is fermented. For cooked chutneys, vegetables and spices can be fried in sesame or peanut oil. So many variations! The recipes vary from region to region.
The colonization of India has had a huge impact on British cuisine. A large number of Anglo-Indian recipes stood out to form a new culinary tradition. Some adaptations have become so popular they are considered British now. Major Grey’s style chutneys are among them.
There is a number of culinary creations named for the famous people, but how many of them are known as widely as for two Greys of Britain? Earl Grey vs. Major Grey joke can be heard here and there over and over again. Gastronomic observers do not hesitate to spread funny facts and legends about the origins of Earl Grey tea and Major Gray’s chutney.
Major Grey’s chutney was less spicy than Indian chutneys. This pungent, sweet and sour, bright fruit jam was ideal for traditional British boiled or roasted meat and poultry and English cheeses. Mass production of mango chutney aside, British housewives and cooks experimented with less exotic fruits and berries of Albion. Chutneys were made with local fruit, onion, vinegar, and sugar, boiled to thicken with the addition of various spices and herbs, most commonly ginger, mustard seeds, and different kinds of peppers.
1 part fruit
1/4 part sugar (preferably brown)
1/4 part vinegar (preferably apple)
1/4 part onions (can be increased to 1/2)
1/4 part golden raisins (can and must be mixed or replaced with currants)
1/4 part citrus juice (with or without pulp and zest)
1/8 parts fresh ginger (can be replaced with ginger powder in smaller quantities)
1/8 part garlic
1/8 part of mustard seeds (they lose their pungency when cooked and mostly create the texture)
Adjust sweetness, sourness, spiciness, and heat to you taste.
Spices to consider: chili, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, allspice, nutmeg. Spices can be added freshly ground OR wrapped in cheese cloth, cooked with chutney, then removed.
Oat Crisps + Cheddar + Peach Chutney to pair with Scottish wee heavy beer
Baguette + Brie + Peach Chutney
Ciabatta + Smoke Cornish Han + Peach Chutney
Rye bread + Ham + Peach Chutney