Make Ahead

Green Tomato Chutney

August 23, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes about 2 pints
Author Notes

To my mind, green tomatoes just beg to be used in a chutney. They’re naturally tart –becoming a bit sweeter when cooked – and take well to so many different spice combinations. This stuff isn't pretty, but it's so, so tasty. (For a more monochromatic version, use yellow mustard seeds, but don't pop them, and substitute yellow raisins for the Zantes and the red currants. I happen to favor the jewel tones and the crisp flavor of the red currants, which is why I use them in this.) To make this shelf stable, I follow rather strictly the ratio of fruit/onion, sweetener and acid -- vinegar plus lemon in this case -- called for in my favorite recipe for green tomato chutney, in my well-worn 1977 edition of “Stocking Up,” published by the Editors of Organic Gardening (Rodale Press). The spices used here, and the cooking method, which has you “pop” the mustard seeds, and sauté the onion and garlic, are my adaptations. Playing around with spices in a chutney is half the fun, so experiment with whatever suits you. I don’t like chilies, but if you do, add whatever kind and however many you like, at the same time that you add the tomatoes and apples. And whatever you do . . . . enjoy!! —AntoniaJames

What You'll Need
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup Zante raisins (sometimes labeled “currants”), or yellow raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried red currants (or, use flame or dark raisins, if you prefer)
  • 1 lemon, thoroughly scrubbed, then seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 1/4 cups cups cored and coarsely chopped green tomatoes (3 somewhat large)
  • 2 1/4 cups cups peeled and coarsely chopped tart apples (4 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon aniseed, lightly crushed (See note below.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey (or ¾ cup brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (You can also use black or green peppercorns, if you prefer.)
  1. In a heavy, non-reactive saucepan heat the oil until it shimmers, then add the mustard seeds. When they start popping, put the lid on immediately, count to three and turn off the heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring frequently and taking care not to burn it.
  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients.
  4. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Ladle into sterilized jars.
  6. If sealing to make the jars shelf stable, follow the canning jar manufacturer’s instructions, then process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let sit for five minutes, then remove carefully to a surface covered with a clean towel. Allow to sit for at least 24 hours before moving. See my notes below for more tips on canning. If not vacuum sealing, the chutney will keep in a covered jar for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
  7. If not vacuum sealing, the chutney will keep in a covered jar for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
  8. Enjoy!!
  9. N.B. If you don't care for aniseed, toasted cumin seeds also work well . . . . very different, but tasty!!
  10. CANNING TIP #1: Regardless of what other instructions you see in recipes posted in various places on the internet, make sure that you put your canning lids in simmering water (no hotter than 180 degrees) and that you keep them hot just until you use them. It's not enough simply to make sure they're clean. You put them in the hot water to soften the gasket (the rubber rim), which is essential to creating a good seal.
  11. CANNING TIP #2: A procedure I discovered (and have wondered how on earth it's taken so long, after all these years of canning, to figure out) is to use a large, towel-lined rectangular baking pan for moving jars to and from the hot water bath, to and from my workspace, and from the stove to the shelf where I cool the jars. Just make sure it's a pan you don't need to use for other things during the twenty-four hours that the jars are cooling. It's a really safe way to move hot jars, and is so efficient, too!!
  12. CANNING TIP #3: Here’s a tip about making condiments for gift giving. All condiments taste better after a few weeks or in some instances, after a month. Every batch will vary, regardless of how many times you’ve used the recipe, because the fruit will be different from year to year. I usually do my initial vacuum seal of condiments in pints or quarts, and then, in the weeks before the December holidays, taste test the condiments again. If they are worthy of gift giving, I then reheat to boiling and re-seal and process the condiments in 4 or 8 ounce jars. You can also test and correct seasoning at this point. ;o)
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  • melissav
  • aargersi
  • AntoniaJames
  • Marissa

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

11 Reviews

Marissa October 8, 2018
When you mention vacuum sealing are you referring to something other than sealing the jars in a canning water bath? I am trying to figure out if this is shelf stable after processing in a water bath or if some other step is needed. I've made this before for the fridge and it was delicious. Thank you!
rpepper October 31, 2017
This came our really well. At first, when I was tasting it in the pot, I thought the flavors were kind of meh, but then I realized I had forgotten to add the lemon. Bam! What a difference! I cut the lemon slices into fourths and slivered some of the end peels. The raisins soaked up a lot of liquid, and I ended up adding some water to make it less dry, and I also added a bit of brown sugar in addition to the honey. A keeper!
AntoniaJames October 31, 2017
Thanks, rpepper. Yes, a blast of acid makes all the difference in the world. I haven't been able to get green tomatoes for the past few years so I haven't made this in a while; next summer, I may grow tomatoes of my own, so I can have all the green tomatoes I could ever want. ;o)
Diane October 8, 2015
okay, JUST found this recipe. thanks for the newer link, it worked fine.
I'm wondering when you say "chilies", do you mean like Thai chilies or Serrano Peppers or some sort of spicy pepper? I like spicy, so I'm wondering if that is what I should use. And while I don't usually experiment, I do know I like cumin and coriander -- a real Indian type flavor. I wonder if this will make a good one. And I hope someone answers me. Thanks so much! This is all new to me.
Em B. October 13, 2012
Forgot to note in my earlier comment - I also used caraway instead of aniseed, and it worked well.
Em B. October 12, 2012
Made this for thanksgiving this past weekend (instead of cranberry sauce), and it was a big hit - not even enough left over to store long-term!

I noticed that garlic wasn't in the ingredients list (and the "ask a question" function on the site seemed to be broken), so I guessed at 3 cloves. Not sure how much was intended, but I'd probably add a bit more next time.
AntoniaJames October 12, 2012
Thank you, Em, for pointing out that omission in the ingredient list (which I'll correct ASAP). And also, of course, for your kind words. I'm so glad everyone enjoyed it! ;o)
melissav January 16, 2011
Just made this and canned it. My very first canning project! I got so excited when I heard the first jar pop, you'd think I won the lottery. I saved a little for the fridge and it is so good. I think it would be great on grilled chicken or pork or with some sharp cheese but I'd love some more ideas on what to do with it. Thanks for the recipe.
AntoniaJames January 17, 2011
Thank you, melissav, and congrats! Wow, your first canning project. That's terrific! Yes, it's tasty on anything grilled . . . or on roast pork or ham . . . or on a turkey sandwich . . . or with goat cheese on crackers . . . . or with any curry (I chop it up a bit with the side of a spoon, then stir it into dal + vegetable mixtures) to give it a sweet/sour flavor boost . . . or with any grilled sandwich on which you'd put a pickle. I'm sure people use it other ways, too.. Glad you like it!! ;o)
aargersi October 31, 2010
This. Stuff. Rocks!!!!!!!!
aargersi October 25, 2010
I finally got my hands on some green tomatoes so I will make this this week - can't wait!