This is not only a delicious recipe for a flavourful, sweet & spicy Homemade Easy Mango Chutney – but also a brilliant and super easy appetizer idea to WOW your guests! I combined mango chutney with just a small amount of tangy goat cheese to create bite sized Mango Chutney appetizers with Goat cheese and Papadums – that look elegant and taste out-of-this-world-amazing!
In a previous post, I talked briefly about the preponderance of mango trees in Sri Lanka and how much of my childhood that I spent there was entwined with this fruit. The mango tree even has great significance in Sri Lankan culture, because legend has it that, Sri Lanka accepted and embraced the religion of Buddhism for the first time over two thousand years ago, following a symbolic conversation about mango trees (!), between the King that ruled the island at the time and a Buddhist missionary from India. Mango is one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics, probably because it grows like a weed in that part of the world. And suffice it to say that I’ve always been obsessed with mangoes!
When I was a kid, I used to eat mangoes like apples, with the skin on. Mind you these were mangoes from trees that grew in our garden, so no pesticides etc. etc. An amusingly large portion of my childhood evenings were spent staring at baby mangoes that were ripening on trees and trying to make sure that I got to them first, before the birds and squirrels did. Sadly, the birds and the squirrels won way more often than I cared for. Occasionally, someone (an adult) would climb the trees and tie grocery bags around bunches of baby mangoes to preserve them from all the “uninvited guests” (which included the birds, the squirrels and the rowdy boys from the neighbourhood) and when the mangoes were finally ready, I would approach the tree with a make-shift hook (usually a wire hanger) tied to a broomstick and pull the mangoes down from the tree. It was usually a two person job, I pulled the mangoes free from the tree and my little sister dashed around and collected them into a bag. And how much of my haul I shared with my sister, depended on her effort.
As much as I loved eating mangoes as a kid, one way in which I did not want to eat it was in a chutney! I never quite understood why the adults obsessed about eating this perfectly sweet, delightfully juicy fruit – cooked with vinegar and spices. It just seemed like a waste. I mean I loved eating mango pickle, which was raw mangoes mixed with red chili, pepper, sugar and vinegar. But never chutney. I never even tried it when I was young. And if I could, I’d go back in time and smack my younger self upside her head and tell her to stop being silly and eat it, damn it. I cannot believe that I missed so many years of enjoying this simple yet wonderful creation that is mango chutney.
I still prefer homemade chutney over any other kind, though. Staying true to the classic chutney was not something I could do here however, simply because I couldn’t remember the classic chutney. So I went ahead and made my own version.
If you’re considering a cheese substitution, I would suggest Gorgonzola which would still keep that sour-sweet flavour combo going. Personally however, I prefer goat cheese. 🙂
I served this beautiful pairing with papadum (on papadum to be more precise) as a fantastic appetizer! Papadums are a super thin, crisp, cracker-like snack that’s quite popular in South Asia. However they can get soggy really quickly from the moisture of the chutney, so remember to assemble the appetizer just before you serve. Or, even better, you can just serve the papadum on the side, so people can help themselves to it. I cut out little rounds of papadums as you can see below (and kept the scraps for a meal for us on a later date).
My favourite substitution for papadum in this recipe would be water crackers! Imagine a crisp, slightly salted water cracker topped with goat cheese and sweet & spicy mango chutney?? Can I get a YES PLEASE? 🙂
- 13 oz / 370 g sweet mango flesh (about 2 large mangoes)
- 3 oz of chopped yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cm piece of ginger, grated (or minced finely)
- 1 ½ tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 tsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 tsp of chili powder (less if you prefer it to be less spicy)
- Pinch of turmeric
- 4 tbsp white sugar
- 5 tbsp white vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 inch papadum rounds or water crackers (as many as you like)
- Goat cheese
- In a dry non-stick pan, place the mustard seeds and heat them on medium-high heat, while gently shaking the pan to move the mustard seeds around.
- When the mustard seeds start to pop, remove from the heat and transfer to a saucepan.
- In the same saucepan, add the oil, onions, ginger and garlic and heat these together on medium heat for a couple of minutes till the onions soften (but make sure not to burn the ginger and garlic).
- Add the mango, spicy brown mustard, chili powder, turmeric, sugar, water and vinegar.
- Stir gently to mix all the ingredients together and bring the liquid to a boil (be careful not to let the bottom burn), and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid has thickened, the mangoes have softened and have just started to break down.
- Place the hot chutney in a clean glass bottle and let it cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge. It has lasted about a week in the fridge in our house.
- If you're using papadums, heat about an inch of oil in a small pan and fry the papadums till they puff up and have cooked. Keep in an air tight container till ready to use.
- Top the water crackers/papadums with a dollop of goat cheese and some mango chutney. Serve immediately.
So how do you feel about a mango chutney – goat cheese pairing? We loved it! And even loved eating it with rice and curry. It would go exceptionally well with this Sri Lankan Black Pork Curry (or any spicy curry for that matter). Again, the pork curry is a little sour and the sweetness of the mango chutney will cut through it. Plus pork pairs REALLY well with fruit flavours anyway (pork and apple – classic combo!).
I used this mango chutney for another fantastic recipe as well, which will make an appearance on the blog soon! So don’t forget to subscribe…. blah blah blah, you know how it goes. 🙂 Plus another reminder that I’ll be co-hosting a fantastic link up party this week on Saturday, find out more about it here.
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