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Tomato and Chilli Chutney

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Tomato and Chilli Chutney – a blend of ripe tomatoes and fiery chilli bursting with Indian spices.

Delicious with everything from crackers to grilled meats and perfect with samosas or as a dip for nachos.

Got a glut of tomatoes ? My easy Tomato and Chilli Chutney is the perfect recipe to preserve those extra tomatoes. Meaning you can enjoy their vibrant taste long after summer has ended.

Jars of Tomato and Chilli Chutney with fresh tomatoes and chillies in front of them.

Spiced with nigella, mustard and fennel seeds plus the added smokiness from Kashmiri chilli powder. Sweet tomatoes and tangy onions blend with the heat of fresh chillies and ginger for an exceptional taste sensation. An ideal combination of flavours to make this the best Tomato and Chilli Chutney.

Some years ago we used to make plenty of chilli sauce and green tomato chutney for the local Christmas fayre. But that was when my previous Kitchen Shed garden regularly produced masses of tomatoes and chillies.

Cheese on bread with relish, fresh tomatoes on the side and an opened jar in the background.

This year, for the first time in a while, I’ve been lucky enough to have plenty of tomatoes. So I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen with Indian flavours to add a new chutney to our collection.

Also, we have family staying with us at the moment and they are always eager to be taste testers. Suffice to say, the Tomato and Chilli Chutney was so well received I needed more for them to take home. I made a couple of extra batches and boxed up the jars alongside my courgette chutney and spicy apple chutney.

Jars of Tomato and Chilli Chutney with fresh tomatoes and chillies in front of them.

If you haven’t made a chutney before you’ll be pleased to hear it’s a lot easier than jam making. Mainly because there’s no checking for setting point.

Simply chop up your ingredients, put them in your pan with spices, vinegar and sugar and cook. Simmer until your chutney is glossy and thick and you’ll have a pan of vibrant Tomato and Chilli Chutney.

Cheese on bread with relish, fresh tomatoes on the side and an opened jar in the background.

What equipment do I need ?

  • Preserving pan – nice and wide so liquid can evaporate and your chutney becomes glossy and thick. If you make a lot of chutneys and jams it’s worth investing in a good solid preserving pan. I use an 8.5 litre Penguin Home Professional pan.
  • A ladle.
  • A jam funnel. I prefer to use a stainless steel funnel because vinegar reacts with metals such as aluminium.
  • At least 6 jam jars with screw top lids. Make sure to use vinegar proof lids – generally plastic coated on the underside to prevent any acid reaction with metal.
  • Adhesive labels.

How to Sterilise Jars

Sterilise jars shortly before they are to be used. This minimises the time in which the jars might pick up new bacteria and ruin your chutney. Make sure your jars are dry when you come to fill them.

  • I like to sterilise jars in the microwave. Clean your jars as normal and rinse. Whilst the jars are wet, pop them in the microwave for two minutes on full power. Remember the jars will be very hot, so remove with care.
  • Pour boiling water into a bowl or jug and add the lids and leave for 5 minutes. Drain and leave to dry completely before using.
  • Alternatively, wash jars and the lids in the dishwasher on a hot cycle.
  • Always sterilise more jars than you think you will need.

What ingredients do I need ?

Amounts are detailed in the recipe card.

Sugar, onions, tomatoes, vinegar, spices, salt, ginger and garlic.
  • Nigella seeds – add a slight bitter taste to balance the Indian spices.
  • Yellow mustard seeds – gives a warm spice tone as well as a slight sweetness.
  • Fennel seeds – add an aniseed flavour.
  • Tomatoes – choose firm fresh red tomatoes.
  • Onions – I used red onions.
  • Garlic – adds a distinctive flavour.
  • Red chillies – give heat and flavour. Use less chillies if you prefer a milder chutney.
  • Ginger – fresh ginger root adds a gentle heat.
  • Salt – adds flavour and helps to preserve your chutney.
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – adds a smokiness and a medium heat as well as it’s beautiful red colour. Alternatively, substitute with paprika.
  • Vinegar – I used white wine vinegar because it helps keep the colour. Make sure it is a good quality vinegar with an acetic acid content of at least 5%.
  • Sugar – I’ve used caster sugar. This dissolves more quickly but you can use granulated if you wish. White sugar makes a sweeter chutney and helps maintain the chutney’s vibrant colour.

How to make Tomato and Chilli Chutney

Making a chutney couldn’t be more straightforward – just follow these easy steps for your best homemade tomato and chilli chutney. Full details are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Toast nigella, mustard and fennel seeds and then set them aside.
Toasting spices and pouring them into a bowl.
  • Dip tomatoes into boiling water and remove skins.
  • Cut tomatoes into rough dice (removing any hard stalks) and dice onions.
Dipping tomatoes in boiling water, skinning and chopping the tomatoes followed by dicing onions.
  • Add to pan along with garlic, ginger and chopped fresh chillies.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer until you have a thick pulp.
Adding tomatoes, onions and spices to preserving pan.
  • Add salt, Kashmiri chilli powder and toasted spices along with half the vinegar before simmering.
Adding salt then spices followed by pouring in vinegar.
  • Add the remaining vinegar and sugar and stir.
Vinegar and sugar added to chutney and stirred in and cooked.
  • Simmer until thick and glossy.
Showing cooking of Tomato and Chilli Chutney in pan.
  • Check your chutney is ready by drawing a silicone spatula or wooden spoon through the chutney mixture. If the chutney parts and the base of the preserving pan remains visible for a few seconds, it’s done.
A spatula being drawn across the bottom of the preserving pan and leaving a trail of chutney.
  • Ladle into sterilised jars and seal the jars with lids.
A ladle of chutney over a funnel and a jar.

Do you need to water bath chutney ?

Here in the UK, the water bath method is not generally used for chutneys. Jars and lids are sterilised before filling with hot chutney and tightened lids on filled jars form a vacuum seal as contents cool. However, if you prefer to use a boiling water canner, process Tomato and Chilli Chutney for 15 minutes.

How to serve Tomato and Chilli Chutney

Tomato and Chilli Chutney is perfect on a cheese or ham sandwich. Serve with a traditional Ploughman’s lunch or cheese and crackers. Add a spoon or two to a hot dog, burger or grilled meats. It’s so versatile you can use it as a dip for nachos or samosas.

A circle of crackers with a dish of chutney and a cracker being dipped.

But don’t limit your chutney to an accompaniment for your favourite snacks and sandwiches, use it in your cooking too:

  • Add a tablespoon or two to your favourite stew, casserole or tagine.
  • Puree a couple of tablespoons, add a little water and use as a glaze for your Christmas ham or roast.
  • Spread some on toast, layer with cheese and grill.
  • Mix a teaspoon of tomato and chilli chutney with a couple of tablespoons of yogurt or mayonnaise for a creamy dip with a kick.

How long before I can eat my Chutney ?

Tomato and Chilli Chutney improves as it matures. Leaving it in sealed jars for at least two weeks before sampling is definitely preferred. Leave for a couple of months if you can.
Despite knowing I should leave chutney to mature, I admit I have opened a jar the day after cooking. It was delicious and surprisingly there was no overpowering taste of vinegar.

More Homemade Chutney Recipes for you to try

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Jars of Tomato and Chilli Chutney with fresh tomatoes and chillies in front of them. Below cooking of chutney.
Jars of Tomato and Chilli Chutney with fresh tomatoes and chillies in front of them.

Tomato and Chilli Chutney

Tomato and Chilli Chutney – a blend of ripe tomatoes and fiery chilli bursting with Indian spices. Delicious with everything from crackers to grilled meats and perfect with samosas or as a dip for nachos.
4.99 from 52 votes
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Course: Jams, Pickles, Chutneys, Sauces, Dips & Spreads
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 68
Calories: 38kcal
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • Large preserving pan or saucepan
  • Ladle
  • Stainless steel jam funnel
  • 6 x 226g (8oz) Sterilised jam jars
  • Adhesive labels.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 kg ripe red tomatoes
  • 500 g red onions
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed
  • 4 – 6 red chillies chopped
  • 25 g grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 450 ml white wine vinegar
  • 450 g white sugar

Instructions

  • Toast nigella, mustard and fennel seeds in your preserving pan and set aside.
  • Place tomatoes in bowl of boiling water. After 1 minute take the tomatoes from the water and carefully remove their skins.
  • Cut tomatoes into rough dice, removing any hard stalks or tough centres. Dice onions into similar sized pieces as the tomatoes.
  • Add tomatoes and onions, along with garlic, ginger and chopped fresh chillies, to pan and stir.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes until you have a thick pulp.
  • Add salt, Kashmiri chilli powder and toasted spices along with half the vinegar and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • Add the remaining vinegar and the sugar. Stir well to ensure the sugar has dissolved.
  • Simmer for 1 to 1½ hours until thick and glossy. Draw a spatula through the chutney, if the base of the pan remains visible for a few seconds, it’s done.
  • Whilst chutney is still hot, ladle into sterilised jars and fill to within 6mm (1/4″” inch) of the top. Use the back of a spoon to pack down your chutney and remove any air pockets.
  • Seal tightly with a lid and label when cold.

Notes

  • For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.
  • The recipe makes enough (approximately) to fill at least 6 x 226 g (8oz) jars. One serving is 1 tablespoon (20 g)
  • The recipe is easily doubled. Just make sure you use a large enough preserving pan so the ingredients can reduce. Also, you’ll need to cook for an extra half hour to an hour. Tripling or quadrupling the quantities is not recommended.
  • Kashmiri chilli powder can be substituted with paprika. But you won’t get the medium heat, smokiness or depth of colour.
  • The amount of chilli gives a fiery kick. If you prefer less heat, simply reduce the amount of chillies to 2.
  • Ideally, keep at least 2 weeks before eating.
  • Tomato and Chilli Chutney will keep for up to a year when stored in a cool dry place.
  • Once opened, use within four weeks.
  • Here in the UK, the water bath method is not generally used for chutneys. Jars and lids are sterilised before filling with hot chutney and tightened lids on filled jars form a vacuum seal as contents cool. However, if you prefer to use a boiling water canner, process for 15 minutes.
  • Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

How to use Chutney

  • Serve with cheese, cold meats or your favourite burger or grilled meat. Use as a dip for nachos or samosas.
  • Add a tablespoon or two to your favourite stew, casserole or tagine.
  • Puree a couple of tablespoons, add a little water and use as a glaze for your Christmas ham or roast.
  • Mix a teaspoon with a couple of tablespoons of yogurt or mayonnaise for a creamy dip with a kick.
  • Spread some on toast, layer with cheese and grill.
Serving: 20g | Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 321IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Recipe Rating




Kerry

Tuesday 12th of December 2023

We as a family love this chutney! I made it last year and we opened the last jar last week and was soooooo gooood still !! Yum yum 😋

Sara

Thursday 12th of October 2023

I like the ingredients for this recipe but have not yet tried it. I'm wondering if i could I substitute with green tomatoes and cider vinegar? I think the green tomato chutney recipe would be too sweet and preder the idea if a spicy chutney

Sarah James

Friday 13th of October 2023

Hello Sara, chutney recipes are quite versatile as long as you keep the same ratio of fruit and veg to sugar and vinegar. There would be no need to skin the green tomatoes as they don't lose their skin when cooking and cider vinegar is a good substitute for white wine vinegar. Green tomatoes will take longer to cook down to a pulp so you may have to cook for longer than the 30 minutes indicated. I hope this helps, Sarah.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan

Monday 25th of September 2023

The best ever chutney to serve with crackers and cheese. I always end up making the spicy tomato pickle with all my garden tomatoes, but this time I kept a few aside to make this chutney and I can't stop eating it. I left a jar to mature and snacking on the other one.

Hayley

Monday 25th of September 2023

We LOVE chutneys, homemade is even better. This tomato chutney with Indian flavours is amazing. Thanks for the recipe

Sarah James

Monday 25th of September 2023

You're most welcome Hayley, it's always a pleasure to share my recipes. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the Indian flavours, Sarah.

Katie Crenshaw

Monday 25th of September 2023

This tomato chilli chutney has such a lovely flavor. It went perfect on my grilled cheese sandwich.

Sarah James

Monday 25th of September 2023

Thanks Katie, we love a cheese toastie with tomato and chilli chutney too, Sarah.