Recipe: Mango & Ginger Chutney

Sometimes life throws us some pretty major “boulders” – huge, overwhelming problems we can’t seem to solve, let alone nudge out of the way. In Namibia, you can find a lot of these boulders, literally. Strangely out of proportion, these massive stones perch atop bald, widswept vistas. I like to think of these formiddable boulders as mangoes.

Spitz photo by Hansueli Krapf.

Yes, mangoes.

Something that, if given enough time, will soften and sweeten and delight you.

Why can’t all problems be this way?

Today’s recipe combines three beloved Namibian ingredients: mangoes, ginger, chili pepper flakes. The resulting chutney tastes great with meats, veggies, breads… you name it. It’s quite sweet, vinegary, and mildly spicy. You can add fresh minced chili peppers to increase the heat to sweat-inducing levels, if you’d like.


Makes 1 quart


4 cups cubed mango
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar (less if your mangoes are very sweet)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp mustard seed (I had crushed on hand)


First, fly to Namibia in the southwestern corner of Africa. Find some mega boulders.

Pushing boulders at Bushmen's Paradise, Photo by Hansueli Krapf.

Smile because, unlike formiddable boulders which refuse to budge, this recipe is easy. Thank goodness.

Simply dice up the mangoes, removing the skin and pit. You can use slightly tart mangoes, as I did. If your mangoes are very sweet, I’d recommend cutting back on the sugar.

Then, add all other ingredients to a medium pot. Bring to a happy bubble and let cook uncovered for about 45 minutes-1 hour.

Just look at this golden glow…

Meanwhile, sit by the window and imagine yourself climbing those boulders. Solving those problems. That’s the first step in figuring it all out!

Bushmen's Paradise. Photo by Hansueli Krapf

Stir occasionally (your thoughts and the chutney).

Eventually the mixture will be softened and taste tangy, sweet, and spicy.

Spoon into a large sterile jar or several small jars.

Enjoy with rice, vegetables, meats.. anything really!
Look at those little flecks of red pepper… just the perfect thing to cut the sweetness.

Enjoy on rice, meats, and more… always with a cheeky smile and a glorious Namibian view.

Bushmen's Paradise. Photo by Hansueli Krapf.

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  1. Sounds delicious!!

  2. Ricardo Ramirez Saad says:

    Simply amazing!!!

    Check this website out:

    Best mangoes in the world. Bani is south central, in the Dominican Republic, it is home of the mango Banilejo and other families of mango for exportation and local use. The Banilejo would be perfect for this because it doesn’t have the fiber strings, its all mango meat.

    Hope you enjoy the site.


  1. […] Most dishes go swimmingly with yellow rice, seasoned with turmeric and sweetened with dots of raisins throughout. From the recipes Janine shared with me, Indian spices are throughout South African cooking. Ginger, garlic, curry, coriander… and so on. Also similar is their love for chutneys, especially apricot or even mango, as we made for our Namibian Global Table [recipe]. […]

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