Chutney

Chutney is a type of preserve made with chopped fruit and/or vegetables, usually thought of as being spicy or salty rather than sweet, but you can make a sweet fruit chutney by adding more sugar or honey if desired. Chutney is a good way to use damaged windfall apples in the autumn.

Many commerical chutneys are cooked and pressure canned. These recipes try to keep the chutney as raw as possible using lacto-fermentation to soften the ingredients rather than heat, and to use up as much fruit  that has started to go "off" (begun to ferment on its own) that is no longer good to eat plain, but great for making pickles.

Once made, bring out a pot of chutney with meals so that people can add a spoonful to their plates whenever they want to add more flavor interest to their food. A serving of fermented chutney counts as their "at least one lacto-fermented pickle with every meal".


 Converting Standard Chutney Recipes to Lacto-Fermentations 

Most standard chutney recipes call for hot vinegar or pressure canning. To convert the recipe to lacto-fermentation, eliminate the vinegar and the heating and replace with room temperature brine (salt water made from 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 pint of water). Eliminate any sugar in the recipe as it will only ferment (turn to alcohol). If your chutney isn't sweet enough, add the sugar just before serving. If the recipe calls for salt, this can be the salt called for in the brine. If the final product doesn't taste tart enough for you, or if you have a flavored vinegar you especially like, just add it at the end or mix it in when serving.

 Apple Chutney 

Ingredients

About a dozen windfall apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 or 2 chopped onions
1 chopped clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of  powdered ginger or 1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger root
1 dried chilli pepper
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1/4 cups of raisins
brine (salt water made from 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 pint of water)

Directions:
Mix everything together and place in a glass jar. Cover with brine. Put rocks, wood or leaves on top to push the ingredients under the brine and cover with an airlock. (This can be a piece of non-biodegradable plastic secured with a sturdy rubber band.) You can increase or decrease any of the ingredients based on what you have on hand and what you like. Let sit for 1 to 3 months, depending on how crunchy or soft you like  your chutney. Check once in a while to make sure all ingredients are still below the brine level and top up if the brine level has fallen below the chopped ingredients. This recipe should turn out a nice-tasting chutney as is, but if you want to add a little honey or raw vinegar to taste, go ahead.

 Lemon Peel Based Chutney 

Preparation, or things to have on hand:

 First, make lemon peel pickle . This takes the longest to fully ferment, so begin a couple weeks before you plan to make your chutney, or when you happen to have some lemons that are about to get moldy. Lemon peels from lemons that have a little blue-green and white mold are excellent for this purpose. The blue-green mold is the same mold that flavors bleu cheese, and is safe to eat. The mold will have started the fermentation process so that the finished pickle will need less time to pickle. (Squeeze and strain the lemon pulp for juice and then put in freezer for later use, or see Lemon Pudding for another suggestion.)

http://lowmoonglowing.googlepages.com/preserv_lemons_april12.jpgFill a jar with lemon peels and cover the peels with brine (saltwater in a ratio of 1 teaspoon full-array salt, such as sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt, to 1 pint of water). Put a weight (rock, wood, ceramic, glass or plant matter) on top of the lemon peels to hold them under the brine. Cover with a loosely woven cloth and leave in  a sunny spot for a week. After a week, replace cloth cover with an airlock (a piece of plastic secured by a rubber band) and leave at room temperature until they look like they are turning mushy. Store in fridge and then begin your chutney.

Next, make a salsa

http://lowmoonglowing.googlepages.com/salsa.jpgIngredients
1 red pepper, chopped
2 medium tomatoes with skin removed
1 onion
4-5 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon full array salt
1 bunch oregano
1 chili pepper
 juice of  a wedge of lemon

Directions
Remove skin from tomatoes by putting tomatoes into boiling water for  a few seconds, then lift out and put in cold water. Skin will become loose and tear, and can easily be pulled off. Put one skinned tomato and all the other ingredients into blender and blend on high until smooth. Transfer to a large wide-mouthed glass jar. Roughly chop the other skinned tomato with a knife and fork and mix into the bowl of puree. Cover with an airlock and let ferment for a week on the shelf. Transfer to fridge.
The image “http://lowmoonglowing.googlepages.com/chutney_in_jar.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Decide what type of chutney you want to make (see what's getting over-ripe and needs to be used up)

Directions
Chop or puree the pickled lemon peels and mix with the tomato salsa.

Then
To Make A Fruit Chutney:
Add honey, any fruit that is starting to over-ripen and turn mushy or chopped fresh fruit and any spices that appeal to you, such as turmeric, mustard seeds or asafoetida. Cover loosely and store in fridge. This is a love product and will continue to ferment because of the sugar added, so make only a small amount at a time..

To Make A Tomato Chutney
Add tomato paste to the mixed lemon peel pickle and tomato salsa. Cover and store in fridge.

To  make a Salad Dressing:
Make a chutney and then add soured or clabbered dairy such as sour cream or cultured cream or kefir with the chutney. Only make as much as  you need at one time because it will  not keep well after being mixed with a new sugar source..

Green Tomato Chutney
Slice green tomatoes and put them in a glass jar with peeled garlic cloves and de-seeded red peppers, either sweet or hot depending on your preference. Fill the jar with sauerkraut juice or brine and pack with leaves or weights to keep tomatoes below the liquid and cover with an airlock. Let it sit for 4-5 weeks.

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Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation by The Gardeners and Farmers of Centre Terre Vivante.
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike and Nancy Bubel. An excellent book on storage of fruits and vegetables.
Truly Cultured Rejuvenating Taste, Health and Community With Naturally Fermented Foods by Nancy Bentley

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