My sister has started making chutney. I'm not sure what it is: jam, sweet curry or something else?
Its almost like a sweet curry jam. I couldn't decide if I liked it or not. I'm not much of a jam person. But it was nice on a bagel this morning.
I applaud your sister! Chutney is a sweet/sour condiment native to India. It is/was typically served with a curry; chicken, lamb, goat (in Jamaica for instance), shrimp, etc. along with side dishes of shredded coconut, chopped nuts, raisins, etc. It is used like a salsa - on the side to add character to a dish.
It became popular in England, and is associated with Major Gray's put out by Cross and Blackwell. I don't believe they make it anymore as C&B has been bought by Smuckers. Mango chutney is the best known variety, but like salsas, each cook has his or her favorite combination of fruits and sweeteners. Vinegar adds the tang.
The consistency should be soft but not runny. Put up in fancy jars it makes a wonderful seasonal gift.
We made peach chutney last year for Christmas gifts. We included raisins, chunks of crystallized ginger, currants, sugar, hot peppers, and spices. The nice thing about chutney is that you can use almost any fruit, including ripe or green tomatoes, and can vary the spices and the heat level. I like to make mine with a little bite -- lots of peppers.
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