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Chutney originated in India as the dish chatni (in Hindi) and was so popular with the colonialists that they soon introduced it to the UK and the rest of their colonies including South Africa and the Caribbean. Although originally made only from fresh fruit and spices a mythical character called Major Grey is purported to have introduced the first mango variety which included malt vinegar and brown sugar. This is now the accepted form of the chutney used in the UK and especially at Christmas time when it accompanies cold cuts and left-over turkey.

Chutney can be made from almost any fruit although the most common ones used are apples, pears, mangos and tomatoes. Flavours range from spicy or mild to sweet or sour and texture depends on how the fruit is prepared. A strong stainless steel or glass pan and a wooden spoon should always be used when making anything by boiling vinegar.

Apple Chutney

This recipe is for a fairly chunky chutney. If a smoother version is required, useful for using as a spread for example, then sieve or process the finished product before bottling. Additional or different flavours can be added by mixing the malt vinegar with flavoured ones; raspberry vinegar gives an interesting fruity taste whereas tarragon a much sharper one.


  • 2lb - 908 grams - apples
  • 1.5 pints - 30 fl oz - malt vinegar
  • 2oz - 50 grams - pickling spices
  • 1lb - 450 grams - brown sugar
  • 8oz - 225 grams - raisins
  • 2tsp salt
  • 0.5tbsp ground ginger


  1. Peel, core and cut the apples into 2" (5cm) pieces.Tie the pickling spices into a muslin cloth and place in the vinegar. Stew the apples in the vinegar until tender.

  2. Add the sugar and boil for a few minutes and then remove the spices. Chop or process the raisins and add along with the salt and ginger. Simmer gently until the mixture starts to thicken - roughly half an hour.

  3. Pour at once into clean, dry jars which have been warmed gently in a low oven. Cover with either jampot covers or the lid from the jar, placing a few rounds of greaseproof paper if using the latter to prevent any reaction between the vinegar and the metal.

If sealed correctly and stored in a cool place a well-made chutney will last for years.

Tomato Chutney

This can be made with either green or red tomatoes. If using green it is easiest to leave the skins on as they are extremely hard to remove. If using red tomatoes a good trick to remove the peel is to drop them for a few minutes into boiling water. The skins will split and come away from the fruit. As with the apple chutney, the flavour can be adjusted by experimenting with different types of vinegar. The finer you chop the ingredients the smoother the texture of the finished chutney.


  • 3lb - 1.4 kg - green or red tomatoes
  • 0.5lb - 240 grams - apples
  • 0.5lb - 240 grams - onions
  • 0.5tbsp - pickling spice
  • 1pt - 20 fl oz - vinegar
  • 0.5lb - 240 grams - brown sugar
  • 2tsp salt


Peel the tomatoes, apples and onions and chop or finely mince together. Tie the pickling spice into a muslin cloth and put this and all the ingredients into a pan1. Boil gently until thick and tender - about 1 hour. Remove the pickling spice and pour at once into jars pre-warmed in a low oven. Cover and keep as for the apple chutney.

1A pressure cooker works very well as it has a thick base to prevent burning.

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