Category Archives: free as in freedom

Pear Chutney (Gujarati Style) Recipe

We have a pear tree which produces loads of fruit every year, but these pears are not good eaters, as they are grainy and bitter, compared to our conference pears. In years gone by most of these pear end up going to waste and feeding the wasps and birds, however this year we realised how good they are for cooking with. We love chutney making and Indian food, so thought we would try a Gujarati style mango chutney, but with pears instead.

We found about 12 different mango and pear chutney recipes which we liked and created a list of ingredients and method that we thought might work well…

We decided to go with Jaggery rather than brown or white sugar, as it has a more distinctive taste and more nutritional value. To get Jaggery and the spices at a sensible price I would highly recommend visiting the part of town where you most likely to find an Asian local super/mini market. We use Paks in Normanton, Derby.

This Gujarati style pear chutney recipe turned out better than we could have hoped for. We think it is our best chutney yet and our friends and family agree. We have only eaten it days after we made it and I can’t wait for a couple of months to pass for it to mature, when we will start using and sharing it. I hope you get to make it and enjoy it too and be sure to let me know how you get on…


  • 10 lb Pears (peeled and cored weight)
  • 1 lb Onions (peeled weight)
  • 8 oz Root Ginger (peeled weight)
  • 1 bulb  Garlic
  • 1 pt of White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 lb Jaggery
  • 8 tbsp Crushed Chilli Flakes
  • 4 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 4 tbsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 4 tbsp Black Onion Seeds
  • 4 tbsp Fennel Seeds
  • 4 tbsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Cardamom Seeds (not pods)
  • 4 tbsp Crushed Black Pepper Corns
  • 2 tbsp Salt


  1. Toast all the spice until they give of an aroma (in a dry frying pan)
  2. Add garlic, onions, ginger, vinegar and toasted spices into a very large pan, we actually used 2 large pans to help it reduce. Simmer for 15 minutes
  3. Add chopped pears. Simmer for 20 minutes
  4. Chop up the Jaggery, add and simmer for 90 minutes.

We would recommend not using a pan lid, to help it reduce, creating a thicker chutney.

Here are the photos that we took during the process…

Pear Chutney Ingredients our pear chutney recipespices onions garlic and ginger toasting the spices simmering the first set of ingredients chopping the jaggerysimmering all the ingredients of our Indian pear chutney Jarring up the pear chutney

Free as in Freedom Food

A month ago I helped out prepare food for a “Freedom Feed Em” event in the Wirksworth Memorial Hall, Derbyshire.  This event is what’s also known as a “Peoples Kitchen”, that are increasingly taking place all around the country.

Freedom Feed Em is a community oriented social event, organised by Miles Haplin, a local artist and self confessed supporter of copyleft. Food, along with other forms of non digital things are more challenging to apply ideals such as copyleft and free (as in freedom), however Miles has created something pretty close. Each month someone offers their cooking skills and time to create and serve a 3 course delicious and nutritious meal. Other members of the community chip in with food preparation, waiting on & washing up, as I did last month. All the food contains no dairy or meat, so is Vegan, Vegetarian & Omnivore compatible 🙂

September 13 Freedom Feedem Freedom Feedem Sept 13 Main course

During the meal a collection pot is passed around where the diners are free to contribute as little or as much they wish. With the generosity of the community members, after covering the hire costs of the Memorial Hall & ingredients, the excess goes to a chosen charity of the head chef.

Preparing the Lemon Drizzle in the Kitchenin the Free Lemon Drizzle

Freedom Feed Em is held every 2nd Monday of the month and currently is organised via a closed facebook group, so to get involved you will have to search on the facebook, or if you don’t have a facebook account (good for you) email me or Miles (email can be found on his website, linked above) and reserve a place. Places need to be reserved the week before, so the chef know how many they are cooking for. Octobers event is actually tonight, so maybe you can come in November… 🙂