Mandarin Chutney

The flavour of mandarins is found in many places within Asian cuisine, and it has both sweet and savoury applications. In winter, Australia experiences an absolute glut of citrus, so it’s nice to have a few recipes on hand to help you catch and store the sun’s energy in preserves while the fruit is in abundance.

You can try your hand at this deliciously simple mandarin marmalade, which makes an excellent gift and a scrumptious way to see through the cold dark winters. Or you can make a refreshing cordial with them by adapting this recipe. They make an excellent infused booze for Christmas (basically just combine a bit of mandarin, sugar in either brandy or vodka and let sit for 3-4 months before straining), but if you’re after something more unique to serve with curries, roast dinners or even to jazz up a simple cheese sandwich, this chutney is the way to go.


1kg mandarins

500g apples (foraged apples are great, or Granny Smith)

500g onions

¾ cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, apricots, figs, cranberries – they’d all work)

2 cups brown sugar

1tbsp pure salt

1tbsp ground ginger

1tbsp yellow mustard seeds

2tsp ground allspice

1/2-1 tsp crushed chilli (more if you like a hot chutney)

250-300ml vinegar (malt, brown or apple cider are preferable for flavour)


  1. Wash fruit well in warm water
  2. Peel mandarins and chop segments into bite-size pieces
  3. Finely chop the peel
  4. Peel, core and dice apple and onion
  5. Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to the boil
  6. Simmer for a couple of hours on low, until mixture is thick and most excess liquid has evaporated
  7. Spoon into hot sterilised jars and seal while hot

Store in a cool dark cupboard for potentially years before opening, then in the fridge once you’ve cracked the jar. Like most chutneys and vinegar-based preserves, this benefits from being stored for 1-2 months before opening so the flavours can mellow and develop.


* You could make this recipe using oranges, grapefruits, lemons or cumquats too.

* It’s preferable to use pure salt for preserving, as the additives in regular table salt can affect the taste and appearance of many preserves. 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.



Permaculture Principle 2: Catch & store energy; 3: Obtain a yield; 6: Produce no waste

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna Douglas says:

    Hi, I’ve just made this today. Thank-you for the recipe. After the 2 hours of cooking it has quite a bitter taste with the peel. Did you find this and does the bitterness mellow after storing for 1-2 months? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Anna,

      Apologies for the delay in responding!
      Yes, chutneys are always best left to mature for at least a month or two before eating, as the vinegars in particular give them a very sharp taste straight out of the pot. Some of the best chutneys I’ve eaten were aged for 3 years before I cracked open the jar 🙂


  2. Tara says:

    When you say seal do you mean like the canning method ? Or just pop the lid on

    1. Hi Tara,
      Good question!
      In Australia, we seldom use the canning method for preserves, providing they have a high enough acidity, they’re hot packed with hot sterilised jars and lids, and they’re filled nice and full so there’s very little headspace. If you have the capacity to hot-water can/bath them, by all means do so, but at our altitude down here, I’ve never found it necessary for chutneys 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  3. Helen says:

    How much does this recipe make please. Doing big batches for a fund-raiser, so need to know how many jars! Many thanks.

    1. Hi Helen,
      This recipe makes around 3-5 jars worth, depending on the size of the jars. You can certainly increase it, but be aware that doing so means you will need to cook it for longer before it reaches the right thickness, which in turn can lead to a darker coloured chutney.


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