Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kashmir Chile Pepper Chutney

Once again, I'm amazed at how different my husband and I can be. While I cooked up twelve half-pints of apple butter and 5 pints of hot pepper rings (both very simple recipes from my childhood), Joe lovingly labored over two half-pints of pepper jam, grinding his own Garam Masala in a mortar and pestle, tasting and re-tasting until perfection was achieved. And I must say, it was worth it. This chutney is incredibly well balanced in sourness, sweetness and heat, and set quite beautifully, as well. We could build an Indian feast around this jam, and probably soon will.

2 1/2 pints, lids and rings, sterilized
1# mixed peppers, including Red Bell, Poblano, Cubanelle, Serrano, Finger Hot, Jalapeno and Habanero
1/2 sweet onion
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp garlic and ginger paste
1 Tbsp garam masala spice mix (see note*)
2/3 cup rice vinegar
juice of 2 limes
1 cup sugar

Small dice peppers and onions, removing the seeds and membranes (or not for a much hotter version) from all but the fingerhot and serrano peppers. We sliced these two into thin rings. Heat oil in a small pot and sweat vegetables on medium-low heat, about ten minutes. Add garlic and ginger paste and cook another five minutes. Add spice mix, lime juice, vinegar and sugar and reduce until the chutney is thickened, about ten more minutes. Ladle into jars, attach lids and rings and process for ten minutes.

Click for tigress can jam food blog challenge

Note* Garam Masala is a warm (not hot) spice mix typical of the northwest region of India, including Kashmir and Punjab. You could buy it in an Indian market, but blending your own spices gives you a much more fresh and intense flavor, and you may also alter it according to your own tastes. Ours included, in order of mass, largest to smallest: cardamom, allspice, anise seed, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, fennel, and cloves.


  1. hey guys. did you use or compare this to a recipe that follows USDA safety guidelines? i am concerned that this recipe does not have enough acid compared to the amount of peppers used to be safe for water bath canning.

  2. Hey, it's Joe. This recipe was actually miscalculated a bit when Ellie wrote the blog. It was only about a pound maybe one and a quarter pounds of chilies. The recipe was semi-adapted from the red pepper jam recipe in "the joy of jams,jellies and other sweet preserves." It calls for about a pound and a half of peppers to one cup of vinegar. I am a little concerned with our yield also because I estimated only about a quarter cup of acid in each one which is a little shy of the 1/3-1/2 cup I should have incorporated. I adjusted the amounts of the recipe on Put a lid on it so it's more safe if anyone wants to make some. Should I be concerned? Obviously if the lids are bulging don't eat it but is there anything else I should watch out for?

  3. First of all, being a lover of Indian food and flavors, this has my mouth watering!

    In response to your question, Joe, watch out for discoloration, reduction of volume in the jar, and when you open it, watch for significant changes in appearance and aroma. If it looks and/or smells odd or "wrong", don't take chances - toss it.

  4. Very cool! Thanks so much for your input. I didn't give Ellie much of a recipe when she wrote the blog so she had to estimate the amounts. In actuality it was about 1 pound of peppers and close to a half cup of acid. That's about 1 ounce shy of what we should've put in each jar. I opened one of the jars yesterday and it was soooo good! I put it on some dahl with basmati rice and yogurt and it is delicious. Perfect balance. Thanks again for the tips, Ellie is much better at this stuff than I am but I am learning a lot.