Thursday, 16 June 2011

Chatney Sauce (Bengal Receipt)

From Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery for Private Families (Classic Voices in Food) (1845). It has just be reprinted in a facsimile edition. Here's a recipe for chutney, but handle with care:

Stone four ounces of good raisins, and chop them small, with half a pound of [hard, sour apples or pears]. Take four ounces of coarse brown sugar, two of powered ginger, and the same quantity of salt and cayenne pepper. [Mix everything together] and add gradually as much vinegar as will make the sauce of the consistence of thick cream. [Bottle it.]

You need to peel, core, chop and cook the fruit in a little water (Miss Acton forgets to tell you). Instead of "pounding" it, you can liquidise it, mix it with the raisins, spice and sugar and cook it a little longer before you add the vinegar.

She adds that she doesn't like to recommend hard acid fruit, and suggests using gooseberries or tomatoes instead (green tomatoes would be good). Two ounces sounds like a lot of salt! Perhaps a teaspoon would be better. And I'd add cloves and peppercorns.

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