Tag Archives: chutney

Yellow croppers!



I had a thought, about yellow croppers.

And the one thing, that snow-balled from that, was chutney. Hot yellow sun chutney actually.

To think that I first made this years ago, but let’s think about the core constituents. Most of which were sown and grown on the allotment.

And since lots of people are looking at growing food in their gardens and green spaces, I thought that this might be an interesting reflection.

First things first. The yellow tomatoes. You’ll be hard-pressed to find these in a supermarket, or even a local fruit and veg market. There are many different varieties of yellow tomatoes out there; many of which are heritage varieties. Varieties that have historically been grown at home, on allotments, but not necessarily commercially. I’ve grown sun gold and cream sausage and these have been really abundant croppers.

There are options beyond red tomatoes!

Yellow peppers, are fun to grow. I’ve always grown them so that they are green, but yellow ones are possible.

Courgettes. Yellow ones. They do exist before green ones. And generally one or two plants are enough. Don’t sow too many! Else you won’t be able to give them away for love nor money. These do make a change; everyone grows courgettes and particularly green ones. There are standard shaped courgettes, but you can also try the space-ship, patty pan one varieties that can also be used to get some variety.

Yellow ones are quirky, and will make your ratatouille more interesting. If you salt these, as you would with any courgette for chutney, these will add a bit of variety.

You can chutney all of this, or you can make a spiced Indian dish.


Strength of a Seedling


Over the last few days, I’ve been checking the heated prop for seedlings. There’s a mixture of cayenne, cucumbers and tomatoes in there, so quite a variation in potential germination. This does mean that I end up fishing things out every now and again as I see green leaves. I don’t have many tomatoes just yet. I think I have a handful of wiry, somewhat leggy seedlings. The one above, looks reasonably happy and healthy for the time being. It has been named Tom by the baby sister.

Sowing seeds in pellets is useful; I don’t make a mess with compost and run the risk of Mama F’s wrath over muddy floors. However, they do have a tendency to dry out in the heated prop. I’m not sure if that’s down to the pellets themselves or the ageing heated prop. It’s certainly been cranky this year.

I am also feeling  very protective of seedlings, with there being a regular window-sill shuffle. As the weather changes, tomatoes and chillies do have a tendency to curl up and keel over.

In other news, it’s happy belated birthday to Sow, Grow and Eat: From Plot to Kitchen. I’d quite forgotten, but this book-the green one-is now three years old. This was the second of the gardening books. Well, it is part GYO and part cook-book. A third, is a work in progress. It sits on my desk, waiting for my to have the mind-space to finish it. It has been on  my mind lately, and I daresay there will be an attempt at some point to get it together. Sat here typing, I am eyeballing the cook book folder, wondering what energy and focus I need to commit my thoughts to paper. The pens, sit near by, poised to pounce. I wait for the tipping point, the mojo to dive straight once more.


As mentioned above, the book is part GYO, part cook-book. There are recipes inside for jams, jellies and preserves made using plot produce as well as the home-brew that has been made. It does rather go well alongside the yellow one.

Preserving with Petal #gdnbloggers


There hasn’t been much preserving in a while. Whilst fruit has been harvested and safely stowed in a freezer, the plot hasn’t been all that productive over 2016-2017. The tomatoes took their time to arrive and when they did, it was a case of battling blight and removing fruit from the vine in the hope that they would ripen at home.  The puddle of tomatoes this year may not have been as big as last years, but there was a puddle nonetheless.  This had to be used, to be preserved. Whilst there has been homebrew-it is sitting aside quite comfortably-there had been no jamming, jellying and chutney-ing for a while. This would have to change.

The puddle would form the basis of preserves as Petal and I played with the preserving pan.

My first endeavour was chutney, of the green tomato variety. Last year, I dabbled with adding apple and pears, so I decided to repeat the feat with this years experiments. My first batch of chutney, involved the green tomatoes, alongside Falstaff apples and also using the abundance of fenugreek that Mum’s plot has produced. That gives you three different flavours and textures that somehow have to amalgamate together to a suitable counterpoint that brings the whole thing together. I had forgotten, how long it actually takes to chop up all the ingredients and how there is the propensity to make a mess in Mama F’s kitchen. You can have hundreds of green tomatoes, all of varying sizes that need to be chopped up, then there is the apples that have to be defrosted and chopped too. On the surface of it, this could be a drag. Until that is, you stick your ear phones in, develop a technique and hear the muffled words “Punam, I’ll help you, it will be quicker then, and there won’t be a mess.’

Like I could refuse an offer like that.

It was quite therapeutic to make the first batch; with more tomatoes coming and blight about to hit middle earth, it was soon time to make a second batch. I had more jam jars by this point too, by way of preparation. This second batch was simpler and not so fruity in being courgette and green tomato. I forget if I have made this combination before, but it seemed a good idea at the time. It never ceases to amaze me, when rummaging around the pantry of all the different things that could be used. Mustard seeds, be they black or white, will give you an intense ‘curry’ flavour. So when I get asked, did I put curry in the chutney, I have to tut, shake my head a little. Onions, might be used as base, but this flavour changes if you add onion seeds. I don’t put garam masala in-it’s got too many variables-so I take one variable and use that, i.e. coriander, be it seeds or powder.

To make chutney, is an interesting experiment.

As well green tomatoes, there was and is a stash of plums and apples in the freezer. Pounds and pounds have been amassed, so to make jam was the next step.

One of the first flavours that I ever made was plum and apple; named person-centered (it was a some point during a counselling course that I made it) this was calling to me to be made once again. I would be making this alone though, Mama who is usually the production manager would be at school.  The plums were ripe-oh, there is song there-so low pectin, and the apples were cored and peeled. There would have to be lemons or powdered pectin used; I went with the lemons and then stood on a stool at the stove to watch the preserving pan.

It didn’t half smell nice, as everything cooked down and the 104 setting point was encountered. Potting it all up was systematic, has to be done while it is all hot, and soon I I had over a dozen jars. Not bad for five pounds of fruit, but I still have quite a few more. I suspect there will be more preserving over the autumn term,

Preserving, I have missed; Petal and I might have to do some more.


Inaugral Aubergine and Mint Chutney


The jam pan has been sat idle since the summer, I’ve not done anything since then in terms of maslin pan preserving. Until now. Woke up today with the intention of avoiding all school work, quite a bit of that’s been done over the last few weeks. Today, we were going to make a variation on aubergine and mint chutney that I experimented with last year. Rummaged in the shed to retrieve the jars to be used. Washed them out, sterilised them. Today, we were to chutney.

I had to go find aubergines, I’m not growing any and not at this time of year anyway. Ma wouldn’t let me pinch the ones that she and Dad were going to have for their dinner. Four medium aubergines took a while to chop. Not to mention the red onions and fleshy tomatoes. The red pepper was simple enough. As well a few spices from Ma’s pantry and red wine vinegar. Did I mention the dozen or so dried chillies? It’s a good thing that chutney changes flavour with time. At the moment, chillies and red wine vinegar make for an interesting combination.

This started out as a me thing. I will make chutney today.


I was wrong, the ‘production manager’, namely my mum was going to  help. She’d help me, if she could carry out her own seed sowing experiment, She has saved some indian baby pumpkin seeds, and wants to sow them into pellets. Plus, if the two of us chop, then it doesn’t take too long. She’d also, dragged along the stool before I could occupy the hob. I was not going to get a look in, and this is, after all, her kitchen. I spent a lot of the process by her elbow as she tended over the jam pan. Plus, the mint in question, is her home grown mint. Harvested and dried, it’s in there somewhere.

Jam, jellied: the kit


When you too many courgettes, and you don’t want to so much as curry one. You have to think of alternatives. Last year was the first time that I made a foray into jams and chutneys. I had wibbly ones, spicy ones, one that set like Concrete. There was a lot of experiments. Especially when I had tomatoes by the tonne.

I soon realised that if I had a proper pan-nothing wrong with mum’s big Dahl pot, except  When you might burn it and have to scrub it-the whole process might be easier. I found the maslin jam pan, funnel and spoon as a bargain special buy. It’s a big pan, and at times I do struggle with getting a “rollicking boil’. I also has a jam thermometer as I can never get the cold plate Wrinkle test right. I tend to panic when I don’t get the setting point of 104 degrees c. That is a deliberate figure, the setting point of jam.

Santa Claus did also deliver me jelly straining kit. Have yet to use it,

So no photo yet. You could always use suspended clean. Sterilised muslin. The same as the one I use for home brew.

I am far from being an expert preserver. I nearly cried when I burned the bottom of the pan with blackberry jam. Thought the pan was a goner.


Ma got handed three large courgettes in 24 hours. Plus we have a few green tomatoes. So with the home made garlic it serves that they can be used up.

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The recipe is for garlicky Mediterranean chutney. But this is a modified version. Especially with the green tomatoes. Have also added fennel, aniseed, mustard seeds and paprika. Not sure about the red wine vinegar though. We shall how well this is road tested.

Bollywood courgette chutney first draft 2014

Last year, I made a version of Pam the jam’s courgette chutney. The fact that it is very Bollywood was a key point. Today, I have attempted another version, but varied still in adding red sweet pepper.

Home grown onions and garlic as well as a patty pan were used in this. The courgette was salted before hand.

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Was simple enough to follow through. Does look a bit untidy though. I did note, that Thane Princes tip; of parting with a spoon and parting the sea to form a channel was a very good indicator to have in mind.

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