Magnificent Mangosteens Make Tasty Chutney

When mangosteens are in season, from May to September, I can’t wait to get my hands on some. I know that these exotic treats, sometimes called purple mangosteen, will soon be gone. These beautiful little fruits are about the size of a baseball. Dark purple in color, they have a tough outer shell. The top is crowned with small green leaves and the bottom is stamped with a flowerlike shape. They almost look manufactured, but this is how God makes them.

You have to carefully cut a line around the tough outer pericarp—the fruit wall—with a sharp knife. The pericarp is about a quarter of an inch thick. Once you’ve made a line along its equator, you can pull the two halves of the mangosteen apart to reveal a soft, snowy white interior that is clearly segmented. The largest segment contains a seed, and sometimes the smaller segments contain one also. The juicy flesh is like a pear or a peach with more floral tones. I like to eat the fresh fruit on its own, but I also use the pulp to concoct fun recipes.

The flesh of the mangosteen has anti-inflammatory properties and is full of antioxidants, including the FoodTrient vitamin C. Mangosteen rinds contain xanthones, which kill cancer cells in the lab. More tests are being done with animals and humans to see if the xanthones can work as well when ingested.

My fruit purveyor ships fresh mangosteens from Southeast Asia, but you can purchase them online at Some companies manufacture mangosteen drinks and add the ground pericarp to mangosteen juice. If the juice is more pink than white, you know the pericarp was added. Mangosteen supplements are widely available. These mostly contain the pink pericarp, dried and ground.

Another exotic fruit that I love to eat is rambutan (also available at These Malaysian fruits, which mean “hair” (rambut), look like small, red, hairy monsters. The somewhat rubbery brownish-red outer shell is peeled away to reveal a white, moist oval that is very similar to a lychee. It’s sweet, juicy, and subtle in flavor, not unlike the mangosteen. Rambutans are botanically related to lychees. They contain the vitamin C, iron, and phosphorous. Vitamin C helps the body resist infection, helps prevent cataracts, and aids in tissue regeneration to keep your skin young and fresh looking. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of some cancers and stroke. Sufficient iron intake ensures that your red blood cells are distributing enough oxygen to your tissues. Phosphorous helps muscles contract, builds protein, and keeps nerves functioning properly.

I created a chutney recipe for mangosteen pulp that can work equally well with rambutan pulp. This chutney can be served with cheese and crackers, spread on burgers, or served alongside spicy Indian dishes. The onions supply quercitin, an immune-booster. The ginger can alleviate inflammatory conditions. If exotic fruits are hard to find in your area, try substituting pears.

Mangosteen Chutney


½ cup diced onion
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp. sunflower oil
¼ cup raw or natural brown sugar
¼ cup apple-cider vinegar
1½ cups mangosteen pulp (from about 6–8 mangosteens)
1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
¼ tsp. white pepper
1 bay leaf


1.  Cook onion, garlic, and ginger in sunflower oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

2.  Add sugar and continue cooking another minute or so until the mixture is sticky.

3.   Deglaze the pan by adding the vinegar and scraping down the sides of the pan to remove any sticky bits.

4.  Add mangosteen pulp and the rest of the ingredients. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often, until the chutney is thick and bubbly.

Serves 2–4


About Grace O

Grace O has been cooking and baking professionally and recreationally all of her adult life. As a child in Southeast Asia, she learned the culinary arts by her mother’s side in her family’s cooking school. She became so well versed in hospitality and the culinary arts, she eventually took over the cooking school and opened three restaurants. She is widely credited with popularizing shrimp on sugar-cane skewers and being one of the first culinarians to make tapas a global trend. She has cooked for ruling families and royalty. Grace O’s move to America precipitated a career in healthcare, inspired by her father, who was a physician. Twenty years and much hard work later, she operates skilled nursing facilities in California. Grace O strives to create flavorful food using the finest ingredients that ultimately lead to good health. Her recipes, although low in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, are high in flavor. Grace employs spices from all over the world to enliven her dishes, creating food that is different and delicious. She believes that food can be just as effective at fighting aging as the most expensive skin creams. And since she’s over 50 herself, she’s living proof of that.
What Do FoodTrients Do?
anti-inflamatory Anti-Inflammatory

Reduces inflammation process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.

anti-oxidant Anti- oxidant

Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.

immunity-booster Immunity Boosters

Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.

mind Mind

Enhancers encourage vibrant skin and hair and improve mood and mental agility.

disease-preventing Disease Prevention

Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.