Meals and Courses

  • 1 kg (2 lb) aubergines (about 4 medium ones), diced
  • 300 g (10 oz) red onions (about 3), chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb) tomatoes, skinned (optional) and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 200 g (7 oz) stoned dates, diced
  • 300 ml (½ pint) red wine vinegar
  • 250 g (8 oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, roughly crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, roughly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint

Add all the ingredients except the mint to a preserving pan, cover and cook over a gentle heat for 1 hour, stirring from time to time, until softened. Remove the lid and cook for 30–45 minutes until thick, stirring more frequently towards the end of cooking as the chutney thickens. Stir the mint into the chutney.

Ladle into warm, dry jars, filling to the very top and pressing down well. Disperse any air pockets with a skewer or small knife and cover with screw-top lids. Label and leave to mature in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks.

To serve, this chutney is delicious as a mezze starter with olives, marinated peppers, yogurt mixed with chopped mint, and griddled pitta bread.

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