Watermelon Rind Chutney

I haven’t made chutney in such a long time. I used to do it all the time. Many, many moons ago I sold my wares at a few food fayres. I even made little jars of chutney as one of our wedding favours (and called it “slap and pickle”… I’m a comedy genius!)  I really love making chutney, it is really easy to do and you can make chutney out of mostly inexpensive items. Joe isn’t as keen on the house smelling like vinegar but at least now the vinegar smell can diffuse around the house rather than suffocate him in our teeny flat. I have wanted to make Watermelon Rind Chutney for forever but I haven’t even managed to a) get to a watermelon before Dylan devours it and makes the rinds edibility questionable and b) have the right other ingredients to make it. Today I managed both and chutney was made! Yay me.

I really like recipes that use up things that ordinarily we would chuck away, it’s like you’re getting something for nowt! Here you are the recipe…

1 medium Watermelon, red flesh scooped out and eaten

3 Onions, finely chopped

2tbsp Ground Cinnamon

2tsp Smoked Paprika

300ml Cider Vinegar

600g Sugar

Firstly cut all the melon rind into thin slices. You could use an electric grater for this or a julienne machine thingy but I find the monotony of slicing quite relaxing so I did it all by hand.

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Next chuck all the onion into a large pan with some spray oil (a jam pan would be perfect). Add in the spices and fry off until the onion is translucent. Throw in the watermelon and cover with water and bring to the boil. Leave it to cool in the pan and then cover with cling film and leave overnight.

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After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast sieve the mix to get rid of all the water. Pop it all back into the jam pan, add the cider vinegar and the sugar and bring to the boil. Now reduce the heat down to a simmer and keep stirring to stop it from sticking to the bottom of the pan (no one wants burny-pan-base bottom washing up).

If you have a jam thermometer or a probe thermometer then keep checking the temperature until it reaches 102°C. If you don’t then just wait until the liquid reduces down and is quite thick.

You will need to sterilise your jars. To do this wash out your glass jars (this yielded about 2 jam jars) and put them onto a baking tray. Fill them to the brim with boiling water and stick them into an oven that is at 150°C and leave them in there for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile boil the jar lids (as long as they are metal) in a saucepan for 10 minutes. Be really careful as you pour the boiling water away, either use rubber-gripped tongues or a well oven-gloved hand but be super duper careful.

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Fill the jars with chutney while the jars and the chutney is still hot. Pour in carefully and allow to cool a bit before putting the lids on as you’ll burn your hands. Allow to fully cool out of the reach of tiny hands and then store in a cool, dark place for about a month before eating as this will allow the flavour to develop more. Serve in a cheese sarnie, with a ploughman’s lunch or with pork (trust me)

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading.

xx

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