Saturday, 25 January 2014

Green Tomato Chutney

When I moved to the UK from Kansas, one of the first food dishes I was introduced to was chutney. Specifically, a green tomato chutney that had been passed down through the generations. If you grow your own tomatoes, this recipe is a great way of using up the green ones at the end of the growing season.

Green Tomato Chutney

Chutney ingredients


  • 4 pounds green tomatoes
  • 8 - 12 apples (approximately 3 pounds) originally mixed windfalls, but I use bramleys.
  • 2 pounds dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 pound sultanas (sultanas are raisins that have been made from white grapes)
  • 2 ounces salt
  • 1 ounce ground ginger
  • 1/2 ounce dried red chillies
  • 1/4 ounce white mustard seeds
  • 3 large Spanish onions
  • 3 pints malt vinegar

You will also need: 

  • muslin or net bag
  • large pot


  1. Turn the burner on to a low heat.

  2. Pour the vinegar in the preserving pan

  3. Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved over low heat.

  4. Add sultanas, salt, ginger, mustard seeds and stir well.

  5. Slice the apples, tomatoes, and onions either by hand or in a food processor and add to the vinegar.

  6. Finally add chillies in a net bag

  7. Boil for 3 hours, using a disperser if cooking over a gas burner. Stir every 15 - 30 minutes.

  8. Remove the net bag

  9. Spoon into large jars and cover while hot.

How long does green tomato chutney keep: 

I recently found a jar that had been made 3 years ago, and it was still perfectly okay. 

Potting chutney
Potted chutney

Use large preserving jars, kilner jars, or crockery jars. Run hot water into each and dry the inside thoroughly, or run through a hot cycle in a dishwasher then dry thoroughly on the inside.

Fill each jar leaving about 1 inch space at the top. Place a clean lid over each jar and seal, or cover with a double layer of cling film and seal it up with a rubber band. These do not have to go through a hot water bath after filling.

Then put them to mature for a few months in a cool dark place. The back of an understairs cupboard works well or the back of a larder.

The large amount of sugar and vinegar serves as a natural preservative and the chutney can easily keep for 1 - 2 years, or longer. If you haven't used it up before then. I found a forgotten pot in the back of the cupboard last summer which was at least 3 years old and it was still prefectly good. 

Meal ideas

Ploughman's Lunch
This particular chutney goes very nicely with pork and sausages, and also with mature cheddar cheese.

Sandwich idea
A cheese and chutney sandwich makes for a quick and delicious lunch. Spread a bit of butter on two slices of your favourite bread, add some slices of mature cheddar and a spoonful of chutney. Instead of cheese, you could had sliced cold pork or sliced cooked sausages.

Place these components on a plate separately and add a few slices of apple or a few cherry tomatoes to create a Ploughman's Lunch.

Supper ideas
After fixing a roast pork dinner, serve the pork as part of a cold lunch or supper the next day. Dish up slices of cold pork, pickled onions, gerkins, or beetroot, thick slices of bread, and of course a couple spoonfuls chutney to make a complete meal.

When making bangers and mash for dinner, use this chutney as a condiment.