If you’re searching for a chilli chutney recipe South Africa is the place to go, home to the infamous Mrs. HS Balls’ chutney; it’s almost as famous as our biltong! Ask any South African what sauce they would like with their food, and it will most likely be Mrs. Balls chutney. A sweet and fruity fusion of peach and apricots, this delectable sauce is so revered in South African households no self-respecting Saffa kitchen is caught without it. But, unfortunately, living abroad means this tasty condiment isn’t as easily available as it is back home.
Popping into Woolworths (aah, Woolies) or a nearby Pick ‘n Pay to grab a bottle of this chutney simply isn’t possible unless you plan on traveling thousands of miles for your Mrs. Balls chilli chutney fix! Of course, this isn’t feasible and means that most South Africans living in foreign climes spend a lot of their screen time searching for this tasty item online, in pop-up South African shops, and as a last resort, good old trusty eBay!
Behind every great chutney is a great woman!
For most South Africans, Mrs. Balls’ chutney has been around for so long it’s no longer a question of who she is. Like boerewors, braais, and biltong, this chutney is synonymous with South African culture and, as a staple, requires no further investigation. However, it wouldn’t be a FinGlobal article without a little history detailing our country’s wonderful heritage. Besides, aren’t you interested to know who Mrs. Balls’ is and why she seems to infiltrate our kitchens and meals with such ease?
How it all began
In 1870 Sarah Adkins began making and selling ‘Mrs. Henry Adkins Senior, Colonial Chutney Manufacturer, Fort Jackson, Cape Colony” – which is short for original Mrs. HS Balls Chutney! The chutney never really took off, and it was only when her daughter, Mrs. Amelia Ball started making it in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, that things started taking off.
What started as a home industry turned into mass production with the help of food importer Fred Metter. Over time the sales grew so exponentially that the rest is blatjang history and the reason why we still have this product in our homes today. The product has since changed hands, and today it’s owned by none other than Unilever, who continues to produce the original recipe just as Mrs. Ball did all those years ago.
Chilli chutney recipe
Meals such as bobotie, curries, and even the braai would be drab without a dollop of Mrs. Balls Chutney South Africa would almost certainly fall off the map, and world leaders would have to convene; to discuss the future of the country! Okay, maybe a world without Mrs. Balls Chutney wouldn’t be as bad as all that, but the FinGlobal team understands that without a smear of Mrs. B on your burger, home can seem very far away. That’s why we’ve hunted down a lekker Mrs. Balls chutney recipe so you can whip up a batch of your own!
What you need
- Glass jars to store the chutney
- Large pot with lid
- Wooden spatula
- Sharp knife/food processor
- 450 g dried apricots
- 225 g dried peaches/sultanas
- 500 ml water
- 350 ml apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 250 g white sugar
- 500 g finely chopped onion
What to do
- Place the dried apricots, peaches/sultanas in a large bowl and pour the apple cider vinegar over them. Leave the fruit to soak overnight or for a minimum of twelve hours.
- The fruit will absorb a lot of moisture overnight and appear soft and plump.
- Drain the vinegar off the fruit into a large pot. Then using a sharp knife, roughly chop the fruit into small chunks. A food processor might be easier and less time-consuming to use for this step.
- Next, add the chopped fruit to the vinegar in the pot and add the onions, water, salt, chili flakes, and white sugar. Stir the mixture well using the wooden spatula.
- Place the pot of fruit over medium heat and allow the mixture to boil. Once the fruity mixture boils, turn the heat down and place the lid on the pot, leaving it to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- While simmering, stir the mixture occasionally to prevent the sugar from sticking.
- The mixture should have a thick syrupy consistency once cooked. Don’t worry if it seems runny; it will thicken as it cools.
- Carefully pour the hot chutney into clean glass jars and place the lids on immediately. This sterilises the bottles and creates a seal at the same time.
- Depending on your preference, you can add more chilli for extra heat or more sugar for extra sweetness. Taste test your chutney as you go along.
Served drizzled over roast chicken, on a beef and tomato dagwood sandwich, or as a dip for mature cheese, Mrs. Balls’ chutney provides perfect home-style flavour every time! So, if you find yourself feeling a little homesick or perhaps you couldn’t be bothered to pop to the shops, why not try your hand at a little home industry chutney making, courtesy of Mrs. Balls?
Expert Advice for SA Expats Right Here at FinGlobal
While we can’t claim to have a long heritage like dear Mrs. Balls, the FinGlobal team can claim more than a decade’s worth of experience and success in the immigration industry. For advice, you can trust and an emigration plan that suits your unique requirements, FinGlobal is the team to trust.
Our services include friendly advice and assistance with tax, pensions, cashing in South African retirement annuities, forex, and more. Contact the FinGlobal team today to discuss your immigration requirements.
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