Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Lemon atjar

Karyn tasted this delicious chutney at my house some years before they left for England and has asked me to share the recipe. It is delicious with chicken, pork and fish but our family is known to eat it with just about anything - sometimes on a piece of toast.

It is very important to use the right kind of lemons as those thick skinned knobbly ones have a lot of pith and you will land up with something so bitter it is inedible. Smooth skinned lemons or limes do best.

I also prefer using saltanas as against raisins to avoid them looking like squashed flies.

16 - 18 medium sized lemons
500g onions sliced
quarter cup salt
1 litre white vinegar
800g sugar
250ml honey
250g raisins or sultanas
50ml mustard seeds
4 pieces fresh ginger
5ml red pepper
4 bayleaves
fresh mint

I tried leaving the prices on the ingredients which might be quite fun to compare but I'm not sure if they are readable in the photo.

Wash, dry and slice the lemons in thin slices removing as many pips as you can. Layer with onion slices in a stainless steel or plastic basin (not aliminium) sprinkling each layer with salt. I prefer to use that salt that comes in a grinder as against ordinary table salt. Leave to stand for 2 to 3 hours and then rinse and drain.
Then simply just throw all the other ingredients except the mint leaves into a large pot and bring to the boil. Add the lemons and oinions and leave to simmer until the lemons are soft - about half an hour. Pour the hot chutney into sterilized jars and press a mint leaf into each one. Seal while hot. It's best to fill the jars to overflowing so that when you put the lid on you force out any airbubbles. The best and easiest way to sterilize jars is just to wash them in the dishwasher. Alternatively fill them with water and boil them up in the microwave.

This quantity makes about 6 medium jars.

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