How to make green tomato chutney with your unripened fruits. You’ll need about two pounds of green tomatoes, onions, and a few other ingredients. It’s a recipe that cooks down to a rich dark chutney that can be used as a marinade or served with cheese, rice dishes, bread, and other pickled vegetables. A full video showing how to make this recipe is included.
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If you grow your own tomatoes, you know what it’s like to have a mountain of green fruit at the end of summer. This year, I’m looking at an entire greenhouse full of several different varieties. I’ll take some indoors to ripen, but honestly, they’re delicious if you feel adventurous enough to cook with them. I’ve tried fried green tomatoes, green tomato pasta sauce, and green tomato ketchup before. One of the best recipes, though, is green tomato chutney.
If I were to describe the flavor, it would be sweet and sour, yet rich with a touch of heat. It pairs well with cheese, bread, and cured meats and is pretty much a British allotment preserve staple. When life gives you green tomatoes, you make green tomato chutney!
Making Green Tomato Chutney
Green tomato chutney is one of the simplest and quickest preserves you can make. You literally chop the ingredients up, put them in a pot, and cook them together for an hour (or three!). It’s also a great way to use up green tomatoes at the end of the season. To make it, you can use small tomatoes and large, and it doesn’t matter if you mix and match tomato varieties. Just below is a video showing how to make green tomato chutney in case you have any questions about the cooking instructions.
Unlike other recipes, mine doesn’t use apples — it’s all about chunky pieces of onion and tomato. I also don’t bother with reducing the water content before cooking, but you could if you wish to reduce the cooking time. However, I think that leaving the tomato moisture in and slowly cooking it down gives a much better taste. The umami really comes through if you have the patience to make it that way. If you do want to speed up the cooking time, you can remove the moisture, though. It entails using salt to draw moisture out, just like I do in my green tomato relish recipe.
This recipe is versatile, too. This year, I made it with distilled white vinegar and a mix of white and brown sugars, and it ended up just as delicious as ever. I’d advise caution in using any old vinegar, though, since any that is above 5-6% acetic acid can leave you with a green tomato chutney that is far too vinegary. If you can, use malt vinegar to make this recipe.
More Green Tomato Recipes and Preserving Inspiration
If you enjoyed this green tomato chutney recipe (and you will!), check out some of my other autumn recipes. They include another green tomato recipe (that even explains how healthy green tomatoes can be) and other delicious food in jars to make now and enjoy later. Have fun cooking and canning!
- Sweet green tomato relish recipe
- How to make Country Wine (using berries, fruit, and vegetables)
- 3-ingredient blackberry gin recipe
- Elderberry jelly recipe
- Butternut squash pie recipe
Green Tomato Chutney Recipe
- Stainless steel pan
- Clean and sterilized jars
- 1 Kg Green Tomatoes (2.2 lbs or about 6 cups / skinning is optional)
- 1 Kg Red Onions (2.2 lbs or about 6 cups)
- 150 g Raisins (5.2 oz or about 1 cup – you can use ordinary raisins or golden raisins)
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tsp Sea salt
- 500 g Brown sugar (2.5 cups – your choice of dark or light brown sugar)
- 1 Litre Malt Vinegar (32 fl oz or about 4.25 cups – vinegar with 5% acetic acid concentration)
- Prepare the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, onions, and raisins roughly and mince the garlic.
- Place all ingredients into a stainless steel pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a vigorous simmer and leave uncovered. Depending on batch size and your appliance's heat, it can take one to three hours. Keep an eye on it and stir regularly.
- The chutney is ready when it's reduced down and appears thick and brown.
- Spoon the chutney into warm, sterilized jars and seal with lids. It's common in the UK to reuse supermarket jars for homemade chutney and to simply finish with this step. If you do this, ensure that the lid of the jar doesn't have any exposed metal since the vinegar in the recipe can react with it. The vinegar can corrode the metal turning it black and potentially affecting your chutney. It's better to use preserving jars with non-metal lids. Either plastic-coated on the inside or two-piece Tattler lids. It's also best practice to water-bath the jars after they're filled*.
- Water-bath the jars to ensure that they're fully sterilized. Fill a tall pan with water and place a rack at the bottom if you have one**. Bring to a boil, then lower your (still hot) jars in so that they're not touching and that there's at least an inch of water above. Bring back to a rolling boil and leave the jars in the boiling water for ten minutes. Lift them out vertically (not tilted) with a jar lifter and set them on the counter to cool. The lids will seal as the chutney cools. It may take twelve or more hours for the seal to take.
- Label the jars when cool and store them in a dark cupboard. Once opened, keep the jar in the refrigerator and try to use it within a year.
- In Britain, it’s not common for people to water-bath high-acid preserves like this green tomato chutney. It’s a safer practice since it kills any microbes that could affect high-acid preserves. It can help the lids to seal. You can read more on the history of current British preservation methods here.
- ** If you don’t have a rack, you can also push a tea towel or potholder to the bottom of the pan and set your jars on it. The idea is that you protect the bottoms of your jars from the direct heat of the hob/pan.
- This recipe can take a long time to cook down, but the time is worth it. You can reduce the amount of time by simmering at a faster simmer. Remember to stir regularly to avoid the chutney burning at the bottom of the pot.
- If you want to add other spices that you and your family love, feel free! It won’t taste like the original recipe, but you could invent a family favorite. Common spices in chutney include cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, coriander, curry leaves, allspice, tamarind, green chilies, and cinnamon.