This lemon chutney is the best. It has such a great depth of flavour, yet remains clean and refreshing, owing to the use of the whole lemon as well as the restrained number of spices.
It is a simple recipe, but does need some time to mature. The first jar I had (both it and the recipe being gifted by my friend Sylvia @thecontentedcook) was 2 years old, and it was so good! Dark, lemony, and delicious. As I write this, I have just popped a jar at the back of the cupboard so I might re-experience this pleasure in another 2 years! For most, 2 years is probably too long an investment, however I would recommend leaving it in the cupboard for at least 2 months to allow the flavours to develop.
It pairs well with a mild coconut dhal or vegetable samosa, although will work just as well alongside mature cheese or a quiche.
1 kg lemons
2 tbs salt
800g raw sugar
750mL white wine vinegar
250g pitted dates, roughly chopped
45g root ginger, washed and peeled
45g garlic cloves, peeled
30g black mustard seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1. Thinly slice the lemons. A mandoline works well and saves a lot of time. Place in a large glass bowl and add the salt. Combine and let sit for a minimum of 3 hours, overnight preferably.
2. When ready to start the chutney, place the pitted dates in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water and bring to the boil to soften. Remove from heat.
3. Place the ginger, garlic, softened dates and enough vinegar to cover in a food processor and process until it forms a paste.
4. Place all the ingredients, except for the mustard seeds, in a large preserving pan. stir to dissolve the sugar as you bring it to a simmer. Cook until desired consistency is reached (approximately 1 hour). Add the mustard seeds and cook for a further few minutes.
5. Bottle into sterilised jars.
Store in a dark cupboard for at least 2 months. Refrigerate once opened.