You say tomato, I say tomato chutney

August 29, 2011

So, the latest venue for the Bare Cupboard Tour Of South London 2011 is Penge. Another friend on holiday, another chance to spread myself out in a lovely house.

And this one has an equally lovely garden attached to it – one that is, at the moment, an abundance of tomato plants. From crimson-dark pop-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes to great big knobbly orange ones, never has the word ‘glut’ been more appropriate. (Don’t ask me what varieties they are – I’m an eater not a grower!)

One of the prerequisites of my staying in the Munyama home while they were away was to use up said tomatoes, and, if I could be bothered, to make something nice with them that the family could enjoy when they get back.

The original idea was to make a green tomato chutney, as both Nicky (the tomato-fingered home-owner) and I thought there’d be plenty of unripe ones to use up. However, when I got round to weighing the two heaving bowlfuls of ripe tomatoes I’d picked, I found I already had nearly three kilos!

I did my usual thing of trawling recipes – online and in print form – and came up with a general idea of how I wanted my chutney to taste. I ignored the many recipes that had raisins in the ingredient list, but sensing that something fruity is a necessity in a chutney like this, I went for some apple. And, instead of using white wine vinegar, which seems to be the most popular, I thought I’d use cider vinegar to complement the apple.

The spices I kept simple – white mustard seeds, ground ginger and coriander, with a couple of green chillies thrown in for a little bit of a kick.

The other essential ingredients for a chutney – some roughly chopped onion, brown sugar and salt – were added to the pot, and I set it to boil for about an hour.

I’d worked out the proportions based on a recipe that had used about one and a half kilos of tomatoes, adding extra vinegar and sugar in what I hoped were the right amounts.

In terms of flavour, it was perfect – warm and spicy, with a delicious fresh sweetness – but I was left with rather a lot of liquid. I would definitely use less vinegar next time, adding less sugar too, so the balance of sweet and sour is right.

Even after draining off the excess liquid, I still had enough chutney to fill four half litre jars – and, having read somewhere that a spoonful of chutney in a stew is a rather tasty addition, I bottled the remaining tomato juices and will keep them for such an event.

Now, my jars of spiced tomato and apple chutney are sitting in a cool, dark place awaiting their moment of truth. I – and the soon-to-return Munyama family – will keep you posted.

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13 Responses to “You say tomato, I say tomato chutney”

  1. realfunfood Says:

    This looks so good! I’m also a fellow South Londoner :)


  2. Thanks realfunfood. I love living in south London – you get pretty much the whole foodie world tucked into one little corner of London.

  3. Lene Says:

    yum! which one’s mine? x


  4. Don’t worry Lene, there’s a pot with your name on it!

  5. Janice Says:

    Your chutney looks delicious.


  6. Thanks Janice. Let’s hope it tastes as good as it looks. I’m just trying to hold off for a few days before breaking open a jar.

  7. jasnieres Says:

    Have discovered I had rather more tomatoes in the garden than I had originally thought, so will try your delicious sounding recipe.
    If you can hold off opening the jars for several months, it matures very well. But – difficult – like my pickled garlic.

  8. mark Says:

    Nice work bare cupboard.

  9. Nicky Says:

    We just got home this evening to find 2 beautiful jars of gorgeous looking chutney. What a lovely welcome home gift! Can’t wait to taste it! Thank you Bare. x


  10. Well, I don’t know if any of the other chutney recipients have had a taste yet, but I’ve just cracked open my jar, and it’s goooood…

    • Nicky Says:

      The tomato plants in the garden are finally over, so settled down to my first taste of delicious chutney, served on the side of seared mackerel. And it really was very tasty! Next year I really must have a go at making my own. x x

  11. sue jones Says:

    I hope you’ll be back blogging one day, And the Cupboard was Bare? I really miss your posts…….


  12. Hi Sue, thanks so much for your lovely message. I know it’s been a while but I’m hoping my living arrangements will become a little more blog-friendly in a couple of months – so don’t abandon me completely! And it’s great to know there may be a few people out there who’ll still want to read my posts…


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