This is not the first or I am guessing the last chutney recipe I will be posting on here. I really love chutneys. This is a fairly recent thing for me as we didn’t grow up eating them and I have only recently been able to eat cheese which is where this one really comes into its own. My perfect lunch is a good cheese, some chutney and a vehicle to get these into your mouth like a cracker or flatbread.
I am posting the recipe now for my mum’s friend Chris. I sent a jar to her recently. Apparently it didn’t last to the end of the weekend. I am also inspired by the lovely tomatoes in our garden. They are late due to the weird weather this year but their flavour is intense and I want to capture it.
Also this is a great opportunity to plug the Pretty Dandy Flea Market in Nottingham this weekend. I will be selling some tomato chutney (as well as other chutneys and jams). I made the tomato one about four months ago and the flavour is now well developed. It is delicious so pop by and buy some.
I have probably made around twenty batches of tomato chutney now. When I lived in England I used to just buy it. Then I moved to a place where you can’t buy anything and decided to run a restaurant (I learned a lot).
I missed chutney and also we really needed mango chutney to compliment our Indian dishes on the menu. I looked up a few recipes and we began experimenting. Now I love chutney making and hardly ever buy it unless it is a special artisan one.
I really wanted this tomato one to taste like a chutney I used to buy from a deli in Nottingham. It had loads of spices and was really fragrant. I could see what some of the spices were but had to guess others. I started with a basic chutney recipe and then played with the spicing.
It is the nature of chutneys that they taste different every time and also each batch changes over time. This one needs a couple of months to really come into its own but is even better if you can wait six months or even a year. If you want a chutney you can eat quickly then lower the amount of vinegar of a classic recipe. It wont be as well preserved but if you intend to eat it quickly this does not matter.
I use a lot of different spices in this recipe. I really like the combination and sometimes also add fenugreek which is intense but I like it. Star anise is also an excellent addition. I think that onion seeds add a fantastic fragrance to chutneys and would recommend you try them. Even if you don’t add all the spices onion seeds should be the first on your list.
You will need:
500ml vinegar (cider or something similar)
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp coriander seeds
3 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp hot red chili powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp garlic salt
3 tsp onion seeds
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
5 green or black cardamom pods
4 Bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon
1 tbsp salt
400g sugar (white or unrefined)
1. Chop the onions, tomatoes and apples into small cubes of about 1 cm.
2. Place them in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan with the vinegar and bring to the boil. Simmer for about half an hour, stirring occasionally.
3. Roast the coriander & cumin seeds and grind half of them and add the rest whole.
4. Roast the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and onion seeds and add these whole along with the other ground spices and salt.
5. Continue to simmer the chutney for another half hour and then add the sugar. Turn up the heat a little to bring the mixture up to the boil again and boil for about fifteen minutes.
6. When the sugar is added this usually releases more moisture from the fruit and vegetables. You need to simmer the chutney until most of the liquid is gone but it should stay fairly loose.
7. Taste the seasoning to make sure it has enough sugar and salt. This is not an exact science. I find chutneys very forgiving so even if it does not taste right at first, in a few months it will be fine. At this point the vinegar will taste harsh, the is ok.
8. When it is ready transfer it to sterilized jars straight away (it makes the equivalent of about 5 regular sized jam jars). Store it in a cool, dark place.