Recently my local store had sale on courgettes. They were pretty cheap, so my greedy inner voice told me it would be good idea to buy whole lot of them. And I listened. So there they were, sitting in the fridge and waited for their fate. I have to say I had no idea what to do with them and because of that I kid of regretted that I bought so many. Lesson learned – do not buy large quantity of food unless you know what you are going to do with them.
Anyhow, after a few days of ignoring them and a few days of pondering what to do with them I made my mind. After seeing delicious looking courgette chips on pinterest, I decided to try them out. Let me tell you, it was B-I-G fail. I do not know what went wrong, but they tasted horrible. Good thing I was only using few of the courgettes to try the recipe. Yay for that!
And then I remembered my mom and grandma used to make courgette and aubergine chutney. Every summer they would make big batches of this chutney and canned it. We would eat it through the autumn and winter months. And if we are lucky we would have one or two jars left in spring. It is usually served as a side dish or, as I like to eat it, on toasted or fresh bread. Yum!
It is very easy to make this chutney, but the process itself can take time as I fry each ingredient separately before putting them together in one pot. I just think it tastes much better this way rather than dumping all in one pot. That is why I like to use two frying pans to cut the cooking time.
Firstly I like to prep my veggies before I start to cook. I chop the onion, grate the carrots. Cut off each end of courgettes and cut lengthwise in half then cut each half in half again, ending up with quarters, then just chop them up. I do not bother to peel courgettes skin but if you like than do it. Then peel and chop the aubergines, chop the bell pepper and tomatoes.
Now that you are done prepping your veggies, preheat two frying pans over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil into each pan. When the pan is hot, add onions to one and courgettes to another. You may need to fry courgette in batches. When the onion is softened a bit, add carrots. Fry for couple of minutes and then transfer to medium/large pot. Same with the courgettes, fry until they are softened, then transfer to the pot. Repeat same with aubergine, pepper and tomatoes. Add more oil to the pans as needed. Just be aware that courgettes and aubergines soak a lot of oil, you may add a little bit of water to the pans instead of oil.
After, when all of your veggies are softened and transferred to the pot, add vegetable cube, or if you prefer season with salt and pepper. Stir the veggies and then cover the pot with the lid; simmer on low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until veggies are done. For a little heat add one chilli pepper to the pot, do not chop it, just add the whole chilli and when the chutney is done, discard it.
Once cooled, transfer to an air-tight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can serve chutney warm or cold. Enjoy!
Courgette and Aubergine Chutney
Makes approx 750ml
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, grated
4 courgettes (approx 1 – 1,5 kg), chopped
2 aubergines, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 large tomatoes, chopped (you can use canned tomatoes as well)
Oil for frying
Vegetable cube (if preferred can be used salt and pepper)
1 chilli pepper
1.Firstly prep the vegetables. Chop the onions, grate the carrots. Cut off each end of courgettes and cut lengthwise in half then cut each half in half again, ending up with quarters, then just chop them up. Then peel and chop the aubergines, chop the bell pepper and tomatoes.
2.Preahet two frying pans over medium heat. Add 2 tbs of oil to each pan. To one pan add onions and fry until slightly softened, then add carrots and fry for another minute. Transfer to a medium/large pot. To the second pan add courgettes and fry until softened; you may need to do it in batches. Repeat with the rest of the veggies, adding oil to the pan when needed.
3.After all of your veggies are softened and transferred to the pot, add whole chilli pepper and vegetable cube to it. Cover the pot with the lid and let it simmer on low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until veggies are done. Discard the chilli pepper when chutney is done.
4.Let the chutney cool before transferring to an air tight container. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Chutney can be served warm or cold. Enjoy!
Note: Courgettes and aubergines can soak up a lot of oil, therefore you can add a little water to the pans instead of oil.