Spicy Caramelized Shallot, Mango and Cilantro Chutney
This traditional cooked chutney is a versatile template. I’ve made it with pineapple, pears, apples and even apricots and peaches. In addition to salmon, this sauce is great with grilled chicken and any firm-fleshed white fish. For a fun appetizer, put a small piece of smoked salmon, a spoonful of the chutney and a small dollop of crème fraîche on toasted naan or crispy papadum.
Makes about 4½ cups
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cardamon seeds (see Kitchen Tips)
6 whole thin, hot green chilies, such as pasilla, Basque fryer or jalapeño (see Kitchen Tips)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 pounds shallots (about 20), peeled and cut into ½-inch slices
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
6 cloves garlic, peeled and grated, any green centers discarded
2 tablespoons honey
2 medium fresh mangoes, cut into ½-inch chunks (about 1¼ cups)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup, packed)
¾ cup apple cider
1) Toast the spices: Heat a large cast-iron pan or heavy saucepan over high heat until hot. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and cardamom seeds and cook, stirring and shaking the pan, for about 45 seconds, until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder, a coffee grinder dedicated to spices or a mortar and pestle, and grind until powdery. Set aside.
2) Return the pan to the heat again. Add the chilies and roll them around until they are blackened. Transfer to a small heatproof bowl and cover with foil or plastic wrap.
3) Add the coconut oil to the hot pan, and as soon as it melts, add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 to 18 minutes, until softened, translucent and just beginning to brown.
4) While the shallots are cooking, remove the peppers from the bowl and peel off the blackened skin. Do not wash. Remove the stem and if you do not want this to be hot, scrape the seeds and trim off all the ribs and discard. Chop the flesh of the chilies roughly and add to the shallots.
5) Add the ground spices, salt, pepper, ginger and garlic to the pan and stir well. Reduce the heat to low. Add the honey, mango chunks, cilantro and apple cider and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a container, cover and chill until cold. This can be made up to 3 days in advance, and covered and refrigerated.
To remove the seeds from cardamom pods, place the pods on a cutting board. Using the flat side of a large chef’s knife (being careful not to have the blade face you), gently press on the pods. The seeds will start popping out. Gather up the tiny seeds to use in your recipe. You can toast them and/or grind them in a spice grinder or a perfectly clean coffee grinder that is dedicated to spices. The chemicals in chili peppers that cause that wonderful feeling of heat on the tongue can cause a not-so-wonderful feeling if they get into your eyes — and can share the love with other foods on your menu. To avoid cross-contamination, avoid touching your face or eyes after cutting and trimming hot chilies. Change work surfaces and knives. Some cooks wear plastic gloves.
Tami Ganeles-Weiser is a food anthropologist, recipe developer, writer and founder of TheWeiserKitchen.