My husband Tony does not cook.  He says he doesn’t want to cook.  Tony is happy to let me prepare all our meals; he cleans and washes up afterwards. It’s a good arrangement. It keeps us both happy. However, it is not strictly correct to say that Tony doesn’t cook. There is one thing he loves to cook: mango chutney. It is his obsession, his fetish.

Tony is a master cook when it comes to making mango chutney.

Once a year, in December or January, I have to let Tony into my kitchen.  For a couple of weeks, it becomes “Tony’s Kitchen”.  I have to stay out of the kitchen, or I get into trouble.  I must not interfere, offer advice or get in his way. He knows how to cook mango chutney.

Tony doesn’t just cook one batch, but 6 or 8 batches of mango chutney! He always doubles the recipe each time he prepares it, so we go through the process three or four times. And he is very liberal with the ingredients, especially the garlic, ginger, chillies and spice.

Throughout the year, we collect glass jars in which the prized mango chutney will be bottled and stored.  Each year, after it is made, I have to re-organise my pantry to fit in the newly bottled condiment.  We usually end up with about 60 bottles of Tony’s mango chutney! Now that’s a lot of chutney.

A double-batch of Tony's mango chutney bottled and cooling
A double-batch of chutney bottled and cooling

 

In case you are wondering, no, we don’t eat it all!

Most of Tony’s mango chutney is given away as a gift to family members and friends who like chutney, especially Tony’s chutney. Actually, he has a little fan club of people who love his mango chutney and look forward to receiving their gift.

By the way: The one thing I am permitted to contribute to the chutney-making process is the label for the jars! That’s my idea. But Tony chooses the wording.

Tony's Mango Chutney labelled
Tony’s mango chutney labelled

 

Tony is particular about the kind of mangoes he uses.

The basic ingredient of mango chutney, as the name suggests, is the mango.  Not just any mango, but a special kind of mango.

Not the sort of mango you would buy to eat, but the common mango: the stringy, not-so-delicious-to-eat mango.  And the mangoes used in chutney-making must be green, just starting to ripen.

A mango tree laden with ripening mangoes
A mango tree laden with ripening mangoes

 

Tony collects his own mangoes directly from the trees. He “finds” the precious mangoes – wherever he can. He doesn’t buy them. Tony “discovers” trees bearing mangoes on the town common, by a sporting ground, in a friend’s or even a stranger’s yard – he asks if he can collect the mangoes and (almost without exception) he is given permission. Almost always, he takes a bottle of the finished product to that person as a “thank you”.

1997 Tony collecting mangoes with friend Ted, in Rockhampton
1997: Collecting mangoes with friend Ted, Rockhampton

 

One of Tony's favourite mango trees in Brisbane
One of Tony’s favourite mango trees, Brisbane

 

Do you like mango chutney?

If you do, you might like to try Tony’s recipe (below). It is based on one he received from my mother, who also made mango chutney every year at this time. Tony recalls that he watched her making mango chutney and it inspired him to have a go. He decided he could do that too. It was in the 1980s that Tony made his first batch of mango chutney. Tony made it once, and I haven’t been able to stop him since!

Mango chutney is a great accompaniment for many cold meats (especially corned beef and pork), curries, cheese and salads; it is also a delicious spread to use on sandwiches, cracker biscuits or with savouries.

Mango chutney
Tony’s mango chutney served

 

MANGO CHUTNEY

Ingredients        

12 half-ripe mangoes (common variety)
600 mL vinegar
6 whole cloves
handful of sultanas
1 kg sugar
1 dessertspoon salt
1 tablespoon mixed spice
6 small chillies
2 small bulbs of garlic
2 medium onions
30 g green ginger

Tony's mango chutney ingredients
Tony’s mango chutney ingredients

 

Method

  1. Peel and cut up mangoes.
  2. Finely chop onion, ginger and garlic.
  3. Put all other ingredients together and allow to simmer for at least 2 hours until mixture is brown with a thick consistency.
  4. Stir regularly at first but as mixture thickens, stir more often, continually.

Source: Evelyn Proposch

 

AN UPDATE (January, 2018)

January, 2018. Tony bottles his freshly made mango chutney.

 

10 comments on “Tony’s mango chutney”

  1. So wonderful to hear about Tony s love for making Mangoe Chutney I ve always want to make my own chutney just one of those things I havent gotten around to doing . I so pleased I can tey out Tony s recipe Thank you Sounds Delicious and so healthy . I love reading the storey and lovely to hear he has carried on sonething his mother taught him and kept it so dear to his heart and blessed so many others . Love you guys Such inspiration Love Lynelle xox

    • Thanks, Lynelle, for taking the time to reply. I hope you have much success trying Tony’s recipe. I will send you a sample to try. Yes, he is always grateful to my mum for inspiring him to make it and for giving him the recipe. It was my mum who lived with us for the last 8 years of her life, which was such a blessing. Love to you, Judy.

  2. Hey judy it is michelle draper used to go to church with you guys years ago in rocky was wondering if i could try some of your chutney it looks delicious.

    • Dear Michelle. I will send you a sample, but you will need to provide me with your mailing address. Perhaps send that to me privately – use the contact form on this website. Looking forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, Judy

  3. Tony’s mango chutney sounds very special. I love how he collects the fruit from various places and then thanks them with a jar of chutney. So beautiful that he is carrying on his mother’s tradition. Love A

    • Guess what, Amanda. Tony is preparing a batch of mango chutney right now! He will cook it tomorrow. And, as usual, he has promised to take a bottle of the finished product to the gentleman who gave him permission to collect the mangoes off a tree at the boundary of his property in the Brookfield area. Maybe when you next visit our place, you can sample some of Tony’s chutney. Love, Judy

  4. Hi Judy
    Do you need a supplier of jars? We collect all year round and usually have a couple of bags on hand, varying sizes. Love a good chutney, thanks for the recipe!

    • Thanks for your offer, Giles. That’s wonderful. I’m sure Tony will be happy to accept some jars, and provide you with some of his mango chutney in return.
      I hope you have success with the recipe. I think it’s pretty foolproof. Just make sure you use common mangoes. Best wishes, Judy

  5. Hello Judy and Tony
    Evan and Jo-Anne keune here Carol Penningh suggested i check out ur site …so hello long time since Rockhampton days.
    Tony’s chutney sounds yummo…..

  6. Hello Judith,

    This sounds delicious. I may get onto making a few batched soon. How long does this chutney stay good? Do you have an approximation of the ripe mango’s weight in kg by any chance?

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