Red Tomato Chutney

Red tomato chutney is a traditional favourite, and is useful in so many ways. Have it with roast meats and vegetables, on a cheese platter, in a burger, in a cheese sandwich, stirred through soup & sauces for added depth of flavour, and added to pie fillings.

This recipe is for ripe red tomatoes, but can be adapted to many other fruit & veg: peaches, plums, apples & pears, zucchini, pumpkin: have a play around with it and use it to transform whatever produce you’ve got a glut of into a tasty, long term preserve. Favourites of ours have been Peach & Chilli; Apple, Date & Walnut; and Quince & Pumpkin.

This can sit on a low simmer for hours, so is perfect for making on the back burner of a wood fired stove in winter as you keep the house warm. If you’re cooking on bottled gas, be aware that this will need to cook for at least 2 hours on a low heat.


  • 3 kg red tomatoes
  • 1 kg brown onions
  • 500g apples
  • 1.5 cups sugar white 
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 500ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt*
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1.5 tbsp mustard powder*
  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder*

*If you’ve made up some pickling spice, use 3tbsp of that tied in a square of muslin cloth instead of these two powders


  1. Peel & dice tomatoes, apples and onions. Add to a heavy bottomed pot. Here’s the best way to peel tomatoes quickly.
  2. Add all other ingredients and stir to mix well. 
  3. Bring to the boil and then set to a simmer. Give it a stir every now and then so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  4. Once almost all of the liquid has reduced/evaporated, and the chutney holds its shape when spooned to the side, take off the heat.
  5. Remove spice bag (if using) and spoon chutney into hot, sterilised jars. Seal while hot.
  6. Cool, label and store for a month before eating. This is to let the flavours mellow and mature.

Will keep for 1-2 years unopened in a cool dark cupboard. Will last several months in the fridge once opened. 


  • Pure salt is salt that has no additives. Lake, sea, kosher, ‘pickling’, rock: they’re all pure. When measuring by volume rather than weight, make sure to use granulated salt though, otherwise the ratios will be off.
  • Make sure to wipe the rims of your jars before sealing. We use a clean cloth dipped in the boiling water used to sterilise jar lids. Any chunks left on the rim will prevent your jar from sealing properly, which means it can spoil.

Permaculture Principle 2: Catch & store energy; 6: Produce no waste

Our ‘waste’ from making this recipe. Onion skins are collected to make natural dyes; onion offcuts & tomato stalk butts are frozen to add to stock; tomato skins are dehydrated and used as flavouring powder; and apple scraps are fermented into apple scrap vinegar.

Interested in more chutneys? Check these out…

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