Tomato Chutney

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I have learned that the secret to making intensely flavored chutney lies not just in the ingredients, but in allowing a long cooking period of several hours. You want to reduce the chutney to an almost sweet and sour sludge before you pull it off the heat. My mom used to cook her mango chutney  for half a day and reheat it the next morning before she canned it. Mama, thanks, you are still teaching me.

This tomato chutney is a conglomerate of several recipes, with a few added touches of my own. I deliberately experimented with this first batch, using plum or “Roma” tomatoes, known for their bland taste. I wanted to see if I could force their flavor to “pop” in the chutney, and was happy with the result. As summer rolls along, I’ll be trying out other tomatoes, such as heirlooms.

Serve this spicy chutney with chicken, beef or pork. You can slather the chutney on a cheese or veggie sandwich. Sometimes, I pour about half a cup over a brick of cream cheese. Serve with crackers for a simple snack with drinks.

TIP: For a tidier appearance, you may want to peel the tomatoes before seeding and chopping. Dip the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for thirty seconds, and the skins should slip off easily. Lazy Liz decided to skip this step today, because my tomatoes were so small and I had so many of them.

TIP: If you are new to canning, check out the Ball Home Canning site for a review of safe canning procedures and a whole slew of recipes and techniques.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Tomato Chutney
Recipe type: condiment
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 cups
A thick, intensely flavored tomato chutney, highlighting the onset of tomato season here in San Diego.
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 pounds tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • zest and juice of one Meyer lemon
  1. Using a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the sugars, vinegar, ginger, salt, cumin, coriander and cardamom. Bring mixture to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar.
  2. Lower heat and add tomatoes, onions, raisins, lemon zest and juice. Stir.
  3. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Store in sterile jars according to safe canning practices. Process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. Alternatively, cool the chutney and store in a covered container in fridge for up to 4 weeks.


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33 Responses to Tomato Chutney

  1. The Wimpy Vegetarian June 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    I love tomato chutney when those beautiful tomatoes come into season. This looks like a great recipe, Liz!

    • Liz June 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      I think as the tomatoes improve when the weather warms up, it will improve the flavors.

  2. Wendy Read June 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Just gorgeous Liz! I never peel my tomatoes..maybe lazy–I do get the rolled up skins, but I still enjoy the texture. The look of this and the spices you have used sound really tasty. I am going to bookmark this!

    • Liz June 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      Whew – I hate peeling tomatoes as well.

  3. Carol Sacks June 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Looks delicious, Liz! Will be curious about the recipe if you try it with heirlooms. I bought heirlooms over the weekend and they’re all surprisingly mealy. Hopefully, later this summer they’ll be better.

    • Liz June 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

      Carol, I think, frankly, our tomatoes and, perhaps yours, need more heat. Let’s be patient. Meanwhile, your market photos are so lovely – I look forward to them, truly.

  4. Mare June 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    wow, wow This looks fabulous!!

    • Liz June 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Waiting until after the 4th to make my almost favorite chutney – yours! Want those cherries at their peak. X0

  5. Elizabeth June 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Okay, this stuff is fabulous! Everyone has to make this. I even use it on my eggs in the morning.

    • Liz June 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      You are the chutney mom X0

  6. Jayne June 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    This sounds really good! Im way behind with canning this year, thanks for the inspiration!

    • Liz June 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

      Remember those 5 weeks, Jayne!

  7. Lynda - TasteFood June 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Beautiful chutney! It will go well with all of the 4th of July grillables.

    • Liz June 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

      We will splurge with rib-eyes and, good idea, try out the chutney, although I’d like it to sit for another week – but what the hey…How was your beach grill?

  8. Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) July 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Hi Liz, This looks wonderful, but I am new to chutney’s…what would be the best way to use your tomato one?

    • Liz July 2, 2012 at 7:38 am #

      Brandie, this is a great as a side with beef or chicken – or on top of a grilled burger.

  9. Averie @ Averie Cooks July 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Liz this looks amazing! I’d buy a jar or five from you 🙂 And with the raisins..Ohmygoodness! This is sooo me!

    • Liz July 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      Thanks, Averie, and for the submission idea as well. Enjoy the holiday!

    • Liz July 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

      Happy to give you some –

  10. Averie @ Averie Cooks July 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    BTW submit your recipe to this!

  11. Oui, Chef July 3, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    I’ve made a green tomato chutney before, but never one with reds. I’ll have to give this one a go…sounds delicious.

    • Liz July 3, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Hope you try it – as I said, using better summer tomatoes should only improve the flavor.

  12. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz July 3, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Great chutney and it is true cooking slowly can make all the diff. Its tomatolove on lovebloghop… should link up…check out my last post.

    • Liz July 3, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks – I will do that later today and hop from your site…I posted on the fb page – missed this month’s announcement – thanks again!

    • Liz July 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      I did link to your post – thanks again!

  13. Elizabeth @Mango_Queen July 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    I’ve been looking for a good tomato chutney recipe, the way my Mom used to do it. I think I finally found the right one. Thanks for sharing the tomato-love!

    • Liz July 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

      Delighted – hope it works for you.

  14. Mare September 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Wow! how did I miss this! Perfect for my larder.

  15. cuci September 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi Liz ! I’m excited to try this ! May I just ask if omitting the cardamom would drastically affect the taste or balance of spices ? It’s not available where I stay. Would you suggest any substitute for cardamom ? Looking forward to your reply.

    • Liz September 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      Sure, omit the cardamom. Old-fashioned recipes for tomato chutney that I researched would never include cardamom or cumin. It is the quality of the tomato, plus the balance of vinegar with some sweetness, that makes a good chutney.

      • cuci September 13, 2012 at 6:09 am #

        thanks for your prompt reply ! will try making the chutney this weekend 🙂

        your site is so informative ! happy cooking !

  16. ChefArthur September 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Make a BLT with this recipe of Tomato Chutney instead of sliced tomato.
    Delish!!!! Don’t forget the mayonnaise also.
    Next level………… Make the above BLT and add pulled pork. If you want,
    add a slice of ham to this and you just created The Three Piggy’s sandwich.
    It’s a great chutney.

    • Liz September 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      A great suggestion – thanks –

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