How to make chutney

How to make chutney

Find out how to preserve your fruit and veg harvests with the help of this step-by-step guide to making chutney.

Making chutney is a great way to use up and preserve your harvests of apples, marrows, courgettes, apricots, beans, beetroot, cauliflower, onions, quince, rhubarb and tomatoes.

Got a glut? Discover ways to preserve your harvests.

This preserving method uses sugar, salt and vinegar, combined with cooking the fruit or vegetables over a low heat for several hours until the contents reduce and thicken to a glossy sheen. Stored in sterilised jars, sealed correctly and kept in a cold, dry cupboard, it will keep for up to a year.

This spiced Indian chutney goes brilliantly with a curry but is also a wonderful accompaniment to cheese and cold meats. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients – it’s a really easy recipe.

This preserving method uses sugar, salt and vinegar, combined with cooking the fruit or vegetables over a low heat.

You Will Need

  • Onions, peeled and sliced (750g)
  • Garlic cloves, peeled (3)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cloves (6)
  • Cardamon seeds (1 tsp)
  • Black peppercorns (1 tsp)
  • Nigella seeds (2 tsp)
  • Cumin seeds (1 tsp)
  • Black mustard seeds (1 tbsp)
  • Star anise (2)
  • Cinnamon stick (Half)
  • Flaked chillies (1 tsp)
  • Courgettes, chopped into 2cm cubes (1kg)
  • Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (2cm piece)
  • Apricots, halved (250g)
  • Malt or cider vinegar (750ml)
  • Soft, light brown sugar (500g)
  • Sea salt (2 tsp)

Step 1

Fry the onions and garlic in a little oil. Crush the spices in a pestle and mortar, then add to the onion mixture, stirring constantly to release the flavours.  Add the courgettes, ginger, apricots, vinegar, sugar and salt. Heat the mixture gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, and bring slowly to the boil.

Adding the courgettes and onions to the saucepan
Adding the courgettes and onions to the saucepan

Step 2

Cook uncovered for 2-3 hours on a slow heat. Stir regularly to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. The chutney is ready when it is rich in colour and glossy, with no excess liquid remaining.

Stirring the ingredients
Stirring the ingredients

Step 3

Test the chutney by pulling the spoon through the centre of the pan. If both sides stay apart, the chutney is ready; if they run together, cook for a little longer. Repeat the test. If it starts to look dry at this stage, add a little water. Leave to sit for five minutes.

Testing the chutney
Testing the chutney

Step 4

Put into hot, sterilised jars with clip tops, and seal. Leave enough space at the top of each jar for a waxed disc, secure the lid, and leave to cool completely. Once cold, label and store in a dark, cold place for a month before eating. It will keep for up to a year in the jar, but once open keep in the fridge and consume within six weeks.

Filling jars with chutney
Filling jars with chutney

Crops suitable for chutney