Wow. This month’s ingredient for Tigress’ Can Jam, carrots, was around 1,000 times more difficult to work with than I had anticipated. For one, carrots need a ton of acid to preserve them without creating that lovely little bacteria botulism, so this month’s recipe had to be a derivative of a PUBLISHED carrot canning recipe. Guess how many published carrot canning recipes there are in the world? Oh, about six. And I could only find two.
My absolute favorite canning book of all time, Small Batch Preserving by Elie Topp, had only one carrot recipe for pickled carrots. I knew a lot of people would be rocking carrot pickles, and I wanted to do something different. My idea was to make my own gajar ki chutney (carrot chutney), a nice sweet, sour and spicy condiment, but I could not find a published canning recipe for this if my life depended on it.
So then I started looking for carrot relish, because I figured I could turn a relish recipe into a chutney one (I was wrong. Relishes have a lot more water, and nearly no sugar, whereas chutneys have vinegar and lots of sugar, but no water).
Three libraries, two bookstores and 12 canning books later, I came across my savior via Google, a blogger called Local Kitchen. Local Kitchen found a carrot salsa canning recipe and was able to turn it into her own apple, carrot and chile chutney. I’m so not worthy, but as this can jam is about learning and sharing, I’m doing just that from Local Kitchen.
In my research for the carrot chutney recipe, I figured out how I wanted to make my chutney stand out from the crowd…I would make it similar to a proper gajar ki chutney, with my own blended curry powder (which is where all the spiciness come from), a bit of fresh ginger, some raisins, red bell pepper and some caramelized onions (which turned into shallots, because it’s what I had on hand). I made sure to bloom the spices in hot oil, which is something my Indian side of the family does in all their recipes to intensify the flavors.
So here it is: my gajar ki chutney with caramelized shallots.
Leena’s Gajar ki Chutney with caramelized shallots
Inspired by: Local Kitchen
this carrot salsa recipe.
3/4 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1/2 cup Martinelli?s apple juice (or your other favorite apple juice)
3 cups (about 1 lbs) peeled, cored, chopped apples
1 1/2 cups (about 1/2 lb) peeled grated carrots
1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
2 tsp peanut oil
2 1/4 tsp Homemade or store bought curry powder, spicy
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Golden raisins
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
2 tsp Grated fresh ginger
1 tsp lemon juice
1.Using a large pot, heat the peanut oil and add the shallots. Caramelize the shallots until golden brown. Remove from pot.
Add a bit more oil, heat slightly, and add in the curry powder to intensify the flavors for 30 seconds.
Return the onions to the pot.
2.Add in the remaining ingredients,
bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering gently until thickened, around an hour.
3.Ladle into hot sterilized jars and can according to proper procedure. I processed my half pint jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
4.Allow to sit for at least three weeks for flavors to penetrate and mellow before opening. Will stay good in dark cabinet unopened for one year.
Yields just over 3 half pint jars
Update~ So apparently, even adding a tiny bit of oil to bloom my curry powder and caramelize my onions affects the ph level of my canning recipe. What to do? Well, you could omit those steps. You could up the ph level by adding more vinegar or maybe even a bit of lemon juice to balance out the oil content (which I will add to the recipe now). OR you could use another recipe, but that’s no fun, is it?