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Geeta's chutney is special. It is not cheap, but good food never is. Tesco seems to be the only place I can get it, but I go the extra mile! Sharwoods have had it too good for too long, same old chutney, but their price has doubled over the past couple of years, so if I'm going to pay what they are asking, I'd rather pay another few bob and get something worth the money.
Since being with my partner of 8 years believe me I have tried a variety of indian food and restaurants including a michelin starred one and therefore I don't say this lightly. This chutney is by far the best I have ever tasted and I would highly recommend it (and have done) to everyone I meet. Give it a go and you will never look back.
The bottom line is that Geeta's chutney products are all brilliant. They do, to the best of my knowledge, a hot lime and chilli pickle, this premium mango flavour and once in the past there was also a Geeta's pineapple-based chutney so spectacularly delicious and flavourful that it was evidently deemed too tasty for the British market and hence discontinued after about six months. (I last had it about 10 years ago but still regularly look for it in the shops)
Still, even though it doesn't quite score the '110%' that their pineapple chuntey used to do, Geeta's Premium Mango version is spectacularly good. It is a sweet, slightly tangy chutney, with a thick texture full of fragments of fruit set in a 'jammy' matrix, with the odd whole clove and sprinkle of nigella seed thrown in. It's a very attractive golden-orangey colour. While 'authentically spiced', the spices aren't overpowering, so while it's strongly-flavoured, it never becomes too much, and unlike some other mango chutneys on the market, it is in no way insipid or lacking in flavour.
The chutney contains 55% mangoes and hence isn't cheap: a 320g jar (ie. an average jam-jar-sized jar) costs about £1.80 from most supermarkets (I've found it's most reliably available in Waitrose and Sainsbury's, but some branches of Tesco stock it too) but I would say it's so good it's worth every penny. The other ingredients are cane sugar, spirit vinegar and salt, garlic and spices; as you'd probably expect for a chuntey it is pretty high in its sugar and salt content, and has 262 calories per 100g. There are no 'nasties' such as artificial flavourings, preservatives or colourings in the chutney, so it's recommended that once opened, the jars should be kept in the fridge. We keep ours out at room temperature however and as the contents get eaten so quickly, they've never had any chance to go off.
I can't not mention the very attractive hexagonal glass screw-topped jar that all Geeta's chutneys are sold in. The faintly green-tinted jars are so pretty that even once emptied and de-labelled I have a hard time bringing myself to get rid of them in the recycling, although by now we have amassed quite a collection of them.
We generally have this chutney the side with rice and curry dishes, or just to add a bit of 'sweet interest' with other types of (non-Asian) food too. I would recommend this to anyone
This is good stuff! I came across this chutney just by chance off the supermarket shelf and I've never bought another brand since. Unlike others, it actually is a chutney and not a jam like others I've tried and actually tastes authentic, not a gloop. There are huge chunks of actual mango in there along with whole garlic cloves, peppercorns and yummy herbs and spices. Delicious just with poppadoms but I must tell you that I was on a cookery demo with work a few months ago and the guy running it was raving about it too. He was cooking all sorts of stuff but he warmed some of this chutney up and mixed some chipolata sausages into it and it was delicious. Very simple but it really worked so I'm going to do the same, will be fab for the upcoming Halloween and Bonfire Night parties. Try it, it's the best and you'll never go back to another chutney again either for your curries or mixing it up with something else.
I have long been engaged in the search for the pefect mango chutney, and one ordinary afternoon in Tesco half a year ago, I stumbled across Geeta's premium mango chutney, and since then I have never looked back.
Chutneying is usually a form of preservation; mixing fruit and/or vegetables with sugar, salt, spices and vinegar in order to extend their shelf life as well as to create a delicious condiment. In India it is not uncommon for chutneys to be created without preservatives to be consumed on the day; however, this mango chutney is preserved.
Geeta's range of chutneys, pickles and sauces are created by Geeta Samtani. Her first product was her Premium Mango Chutney back in 1990, and she has created a whole range since, all recipes created by her.
This chutney, being one of her oldest products, is also one of the most famous, and won a Gold Medal in the 2006 Great Taste Awards which is organised by the Guild Of Fine Food and is considered to be the Booker Prize of quality food produce. Gold medals are rarely given - in 2008 just 74 out of 4781 products entered received it - and as a result are certainly to be trusted.
The superb taste is, in my opinion, due to the fact that it uses only natural ingredients. There is plenty of mango (57% according to the label), and unlike some Indian mango chutneys which use unripe, sour mangoes; these mangoes are very sweet and juicy. Also, this is not gel-like in consistency as the ingredients are not crushed down to oblivion but are instead left whole. Indeed, I have found an entire garlic clove in it before! Likewise, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods etc. are left in there whole, so that their flavours are allowed to permeate rather than dominate (unless of course you get a mouthful with a cardamom pod in it, in which case you are going to know about it!). Hence, it is advisable to make sure that there aren't any whole spices in the spoonful you are about to eat if you find the flavour of them too much, but they are easy to pick out. However, if you prefer your chutney smooth, then this would not be ideal for you.
The taste is certainly sweet, thanks to the mangoes and sugar. To the nose, there is a slight tang of vinegar but you cannot really notice this on the tongue. The flavour of onion seed comes through well, and a piquancy is added by the addition of cloves. Garlic and salt give a slightly savoury taste that provides a wonderful counterbalance to the sweetness, and underpinning it all is a trace of cardamom. Fenugreek and cumin seeds give it a very Indian flavour, and although there are black peppercorns included I find it hard to notice their taste unless I actually eat one, but they make a pleasant surprise. Chilli is of course included, but although Geeta's claims that this chutney is "medium" in terms of spiciness, I think that is quite an exaggeration; I have never noticed more than a slight tingle on my tongue. If you cannot stand even a hint of spice then maybe this chutney would not be for you, but to my mind this is certainly not hot at all - no bad thing in my opinion!
Overall, it really is a delicious flavour. I tend to have it with currys, but will also have it with cheese and bread whenever I have soup. I have experimented adding it to cooking, and it works really well baked with chicken breast. Overall I would have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this product. I have never had a better mango chutney, and now if I ever run out and cannot find Geeta's, then I am always disappointed in comparison by whatever substitute I am forced to buy instead. If you are a fan of Indian cuisine, then you really do have to try this.
Other things to know:
It is available in two forms, the glass jar (pictured) and a squeezy bottle, which is the same recipe but with smaller chunks. Stockists include Waitrose, Somerfield, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Morrison's, Asda, EH Booth, Nisa, Budgins and Londis, but is subject to availability. Price wise, it usually comes in for under £2 for a 320g jar (I believe last time I got it from Sainsbury's for £1.67), which lasts a good long time. If you want to know more, see the Geeta's website: www.geetasfoods.com. It is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs, and whilst nut free, it is packed in an environment that handles nuts. There are no artificial flavours, colourings or preservatives.
Ingredients and nutritional information (you don't need to read this bit!):
Ingredients: Mango (57%), sugar, salt, spirit vinegar, whole garlic cloves, cumin seeds, chilli, fenugreek seeds, onion seeds, black peppercorns, cardamom pods, whole cloves.
Nutritional information per typical 100g:
of which sugars 58.0g
of which saturates Trace
Update 15/04/09: When writing this review I checked out the website, and left them a comment saying how much I enjoyed their chutney. Today I received in the post a box from them containing a complimentary jar of their tomato and onion chutney as well as a jar of one of their Spice and Stir curry sauces, along with a letter from Geeta herself thanking me for my feedback. So not only do they do great products, they also do great customer service!