Sunday, November 14, 2010

Green Tomato Chutney (or Green Apple)

I have been experimenting with chutneys lately.  It is an interesting endeavor because there are so many kinds and variations.  The word "chutney" is borrowed from the Hindi "chatni" that means "pasty sauce" or "strong, sweet relish"(sources vary on the meaning and I narrowed it down to these two).  They can be sweet or sour, spicy or mild, or any combination of these.  What I like about chutneys is that the flavor combinations are almost limitless so they are totally customizable to your own tastes.  That is a lovely thing.
Green tomatoes are hanging about at the farmers market so I grabbed a few.  I did a little research to find something different to do with them besides fry them or cook them with okra (my favorite food when I was growing up) which is not available this late in the season in this neck of the woods.  I found this recipe for apple chutney from Joy of Cooking where the green tomato is interchangeable with  apples as the main ingredient. Green tomatoes might be hard to find right now unless you are in the south then you can substitute green Granny Smith apples or a combination of the the two. I am in southern PA and am still finding green tomatoes which is nothing short than amazing.  What a long summer we have had this year!

Chutney is a condiment and here in the US of A it is usually served with a grilled meat like pork, chicken or turkey.

 So here is the recipe for this chutney:

All of the ingredients are prepared and put into a pot . . .
Simmer for two hours (this is the hardest part) while stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened.  You will smell vinegar in your house.

This is the result . . .
Something happened to those beautiful vibrant colors which is kinda sad but then you have this delicious combination of flavors that is quite intense.  Both tangy and sweet and slightly hot.  I really enjoyed it.

I served this on the side of roasted chicken breast and as an appetizer.   The appetizer was a whole grain cracker with a smear of cream cheese (goat cheese would work well) and topped with a dab of chutney.  Have you ever been at a party and as an appetizer someone had placed an 8 oz block of cream cheese and topped it with a jarred salsa?  Well, this is the same concept but about a trillion times better.  So there is a suggestion for an appetizer as everyone is waiting for holiday meals to be served.

Also I am very interested in any other ideas about how to use chutney,  I would be delighted if you left a note. 

Note:  This recipe is adapted from Joy of Cooking, 75th anniversary edition.  I changed a couple of measurements such as leaving the pith out of the lemon (zest and pulp only), golden raisins for black, and added 1 red bell pepper.  I have not tried this recipe with apples but it does seem like it would be equally delicious.

Green Tomato Chutney
   or if you use apple:  Apple Chutney
makes approximately 3 pints 

Zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon peeled, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
5 cups of chopped green tomatoes, or tart apples such as granny smith
2 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups of golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons of pickling salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground red pepper
1 3/4 cups of cider vinegar
1 red bell pepper, chopped

Prepare all ingredients and place in a sauce pan.  Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally for two hours. If you happen to have a simmer burner on your stove, that is perfect for this.

A little of this goes a long way, so you might want to preserve a couple of pints for later use.


Print Recipe


  1. Oh I am seeing so many people blogging about making chutneys and I am getting more and more excited about giving it a try. I think I really have to get on and do it. Did you jar up some of yours? Looks really good and thanks for the appetiser idea.

  2. Very informational post! Thanks for sharing - I wonder if I have the patience to put this together! I think it would be rewarding.

  3. yum! this looks so delicious. i'm also excited about giving chutney a try, as i never have before!


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