Oh N, my dear, sweet Little N, long ago were the days we used to sit in the lounge, feasting on cold cut ham and carrot chutney sandwiches.
N, or “Little N” as she was more affectionately named, was my Nan, my Mum’s Mum. Standing at two inches short of five-foot, Nan used to call me “H” and, not to be outdone, I called her “N” in return. H and Little N as she became, that was just our thing. I think I developed a lot of my cheeky, playful nature from watching my Nan. She was an incorrigible flirt, but people loved her. She was warm, affectionate and charitable, that’s just what she did. For a time, I even worked in a charity shop with Nan, operating the till, rearranging the clothes rail and stacking books, all little tasks that enabled me to have a sense of responsibility. It wasn’t long before we had a steady stream of regular visitors all eager to chat with me and I, for my part, was just as keen to have a conversation with them.
N also taught me a lot about my relationship with God. “Why go to his house when you can be out doing God’s work?” she would argue. N wouldn’t have it any other way, if you told her that gong to church was what God wanted, she would tell you to suit yourself, and that would be the end of that. N was tremendously stubborn – a bit like her granddaughter, then! 😉
Today, I wanted to share with you this wonderful recipe which was very kindly given to me by my younger brother who conjured up chutney from what he could remember of the ingredients and method our Nan used to use. I promised him that I would feature it on my blog this week and I am a woman of my word. The photograph is his too, so please do link to this page if reusing so that I can pass on the praise.
Alright, let’s get cooking!
Little N’s Carrot Chutney Recipe
- 10 large carrots, grated
- 2 brown onions, peeled and finely sliced
- A handful of sultanas
- 8 heaped tbsp dark brown sugar
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 50g ginger, peeled and grated
- 600ml malt vinegar
- 1tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
You will also need:
- A large saucepan or a stockpot
- A small frying pan
- A piece of cheesecloth, 6 x 6 inches will be plenty
- A length of string
- in a small frying pan, heat the coriander seeds, yellow mustard seeds, cloves and black peppercorns over a low-medium heat until crackling & fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Place your spice mix in the centre of a piece of cheesecloth and bundle the cloth around them, tie it securely with a piece of string.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a large saucepan or stockpot and stir to combine. Sink your spice bundle into the centre. Leave some string sticking out so that it will be easy to remove later.
- Heat the pot or pan over a low heat for several hours until the liquid has reduced to slightly below half, stirring gently to prevent the contents from burning and sticking. Once reduced, assess the texture. If it’s too wet for your liking, keep the pan on the heat for a little longer.
- Once at the desired consistency, turn off the heat and allow it to cool. Leave the spice bundle in place so that the flavours can carry on permeating the chutney.
- Once cool, remove the spice bundle and stir the chutney thoroughly, this will evenly distribute the flavour throughout.
- Place the chutney into airtight jars and label. In the cupboard, your chutney should now keep for several months. At least, that is, in theory!