Friday, 11 July 2014

Spicy Carrot Relish

It was about a year ago, when i re discovered chutneys: Before, i found them either to sweet or sour, disgusting for my young taste buds. The great chutney, that completely changed my mind is the carrot and cumin chutney, which you can find here. I was immediately was on the look out for a replica, that was slightly easier to get hold of. Here it is, with slightly different spices and a lot more time consuming (obviously), but well worth the effort for the feeling of accomplishment, and it makes a beautiful birthday gift.
To mimick the delicious chutney, i decided to grate half of the carrots, and chop up the other half finely, to create a nicer texture. If you want a less tiresome option,  i recommend getting a mandolin, unfortunately i haven't got one, so prepping the carrot took a really long time, but even if you don't have a mandolin, i still totally recommend making this.And you never know you might make a profit out of your hard work, like i did, as my uncle wanted to buy a jar.
 Also to make my life easier i decided to leave in the cinnamon sticks and star anise in, but also to let the flavours infuse even if they are no longer cooking together.  By accident i left the coriander seeds whole, but i think they look pretty as little dark brown speckles throughout, feel free to lightly or fully ground them if you don't like large husks.
This makes a great accompaniment to a cheese board, with perfect warming flavours in the cooler months, around Christmas. Its also great on a picnic in a simple cheese sandwich. Or something which i am yet to try, and honestly can't wait is stirring it through Greek yogurt to make a dip for tortilla chips.


2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2kg carrots coarsely grated
100g fresh root ginger,peeled and grated
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
4-6 red chillies, deseeded and very finely sliced
3 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2 bulbs of garlic, cloves separated, peeled and gently bashed( i only used about 1 bulb, and it was  still totally fine)
800ml malt vinegar
500ml water
1kg granulated sugar
200g light soft brown sugar
50g flaky sea salt

1. Put the mustard and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a low heat and toast until the mustard seeds start to pop. roughly crush in a pestle and mortar. tip into a large bowl.
2. add the carrots, ginger, lemon zest and juice, chillies, cinnamon, star anise, garlic and vinegar.cover and leave to macerate overnight.
3. pour the mixture into a large heavy based saucepan or preserving pan(i used a large le creuset casserole pan).
4. add the water, both sugars and the salt.
5. pop on a low heat and cook, stirring constantly until the sugars have dissolved. increase the heat, and boil the mixture for 30-40 mins until it starts to become jammy,(when i made it, i cooked it for about 1hr).
6. remove from the heat and spoon into sterilised jars. seal and allow to cool. The relish is ready to eat straight away, but it will keep in a cool dark place for up to 6-8 months.
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