Can we all just stop and appreciate these words together: BANANA AND CHUTNEY. BANANA CHUTNEY. I have had a thing for chutney since I can remember, a thing that has probably intensified since having to eliminate chutney. In it’s regular form, chutney is generally based around caramelised onions. In this form, it is based around caramelised fennel and bananas. Good on you, banana chutney.
I should point out that it’s probably a crime against humanity to write a chutney post without mentioning Schmidt from New Girl. I can’t say chutney any other way now. It cannot been unseen. But I’m getting off topic. Let’s chat this chutney.
This is a beat of a cheaty chutney – it doesn’t take nearly as long as the regular sort, nor does it make the same volume. It makes enough to dob onto curry (or curried potatoes, as above) for about 8-10 serves, depending on how much you enjoy chutney. Aka about one serve for me.
As I’ve mentioned, the base of a chutney is usually caramelised onion. In this case, however, we’re using caramelised fennel. Fennel is a FODMAP friendly vegetable in servings of 1/2 cup or less. I imagine you won’t be consuming an entire jar of chutney by yourself, placing this well within acceptable limits.
Fennel, as an aromat, is a great replacement for the ‘meatiness’ of onion. It adds that extra flavour component to the chutney, without giving you a world of pain. To any fennel haters out there – trust me on this one. You can’t taste fennel, but it adds a whole new dimension of taste and texture to the banana chutney.
On the note of bananas – yes, I use bananas. Yes, I am fructose intolerant. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Monash suggests that 1/3 of a ripe banana is within acceptable fructose limits. One whole unripe banana is also acceptable – the fructose level rises as the banana ripens. Luckily, I actually prefer just ripe bananas in this recipe, so we’re in the clear, fam.
As the recipe suggests, you can use white rice vinegar or plain white vinegar, depending on what you have on hand. I generally just store my chutney in an airtight container, but if you’d like to store it in a jar long term, make sure it’s sterilised. Here are some instructions if you need them. Keep in mind that this recipe has a lot less sugar than a regular preserve and so it won’t last nearly as long. I’d say a week or two is a good bet.
Banana, tamarind and lime chutney
- 1 tbsp plain tasting oil (vegetable or peanut)
- 4 tbsp white rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced finely
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 medium just ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
- Juice of 1 large lime
- Sea salt, to taste (this just deepens the flavours)
- 1-2 tbsp water, optional (if you want it thinner)
- Heat the oil, vinegar and brown sugar over a medium heat. Once warmed, add the fennel, and allow to cook until the mixture begins to caramelise and the fennel is cooked. If the mixture isn't caramelising, raise the heat a little.
- Add the bananas, tamarind paste and lime juice, stirring well to combine. Turn the heat to low, and allow the mixture to cook for 5-10 minutes. Add salt and water as you see fit. Remember, the chutney is sweet, but a pinch of salt will help bring out the flavours already in the chutney.
- Store in an airtight container or sterilised jar and use within 1 or 2 weeks.