The Cottage Smallholder

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Green tomato chutney recipe

Photo: Red Brandywine tomatoes

Green tomatoes – our red brandywine crop

A couple of days ago I discovered that our Red Brandywine tomato plants in the front garden were showing all the early signs of blight. They were ripped out immediately before the blight could spread to the other plants and I was left with 3 kilos (over 6 1/2 pounds) of giant green tomatoes.

I’ve been meaning to develop a recipe for green tomato chutney for ages and this was the final kick up the butt to actually do something about it. I repaired to bed with the trusty Min Pins and submerged myself in a green tomato chutney recipe shaped world. I wanted to make a summery sort of chutney that could be used with fish and chicken dishes as well as with curries and cheese.

Eventually I spent the evening in the kitchen making this – it’s light, tangy and the zingy mix of spices works extremely well. It’s delicious already although I’d recommend leaving it for a month to mature and the flavours to develop even more. Incidentally the lemon in the recipe adds a sparkle and takes away the need for salt as an ingredient. So this tasty chutney is ideal for those on a low salt diet.

Green tomato chutney recipe
Recipe Type: Chutney
Author: Fiona Nevile
My batch was three times the amount of this recipe and took roughly 3 hours and yielded 3 litres (6 1/2 pounds) of chutney.
  • 1 kilo (2 1/4 pounds or 6 1/4 cups) of chopped green tomatoes
  • 35g (1/4 cup) of chopped red onion
  • 1 Thin skinned lemon (mine was 100g – 3 1/2 ounces) quartered (skin on) and sliced as fine as you can (remove pips)
  • 100g (1/4 pound or 2/3 cup) of sultanas
  • 250g (1 1/4 cups) of pale brown sugar
  • 10g (1 tablespoon) of fresh ginger (skinned and finely chopped)
  • 10g (1 tablespoon) of fresh garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 10g (1 tablespoon) of green chilli pepper (deseeded and sliced fine)
  • The juice from one small orange (mine weighed 150g or just over 5 ounces)
  • 250ml (1 cup) of white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods (just the seeds)
  • 1 small star anise
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of coriander powder
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed peppercorns
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of allspice berries
  1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan/Maslin pan combine all the ingredients except the sugar.
  2. Heat gently.
  3. When the chutney starts to simmer add the sugar and stir constantly until you are certain that it has dissolved.
  4. Simmer the chutney stirring every now and then (and more towards the end of cooking) until the chutney has thickened.
  5. Ladle into warm sterilised jars and seal with plastic lined lids. Label when cool and store in a dark dry place.

Tips and Tricks

How do I get rid of tainted smells in pots?
If your cooking pot or container is tainted with the smell of the last resident (curry, tomato sauce etc). Sprinkle with a good tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda into it and add a good splosh of boiling water. Rub the solution over all surfaces and leave for two minutes. Rinse well in cold water.

How do I sterilise jars and lids?
The sterilising method that we use is simple. When the chutney is cooked, I quickly wash and rinse the jars and place them upside down in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 160c / 140c fan assisted (320f / 285f). When the oven has reached the right temperature I turn off the heat. The jars will stay warm for quite a while. I only use plastic lined metal lids for preserves as the all-metal lids can go rusty. I boil these for five minutes in water to sterilise them. If I use Le Parfait jars, I do the same with the rubber rings.


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  1. When you said you retired with your trusty Min Pins,not sure waht you mean as I am new your site. Just trying the green Tomato chutney for the first time! Fingers crossed!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Tim

      The trusty Min Pins are our three Miniature Pincher dogs. They tend to accompany me everywhere. My bed is my office – a super kingsize structure with a horsehair matress – that has been in my family for over a hundred years. So plenty of space for books, Min Pins, notes and files!

      Do hope that you like the green tomato chutney.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Rosie

    You can use any green tomatoes for this recipe!


    This looks to be a fantastic recipe. I have been making green tomato chutney for years using a ‘delicious’ recipe given to me by my late mother-in-law, but I never really liked it as it is too sour and a bit flat. Yours looks so much better!

    Question: Can I use any kind of green tomatoes? I usually grow a selection of the most popular ones, including, (whisper it), Gardener’s Delight, and I always have too many green ones left at the end of the season.

    Congratulations on a wonderful site.


  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Bella

    That was a close shave 🙂

    Hello Cottager

    Mine grew really well outdoors but then they all started to get blight. We live in East Anglia so Dorset (warner and milder) would be perfect.

    Hi Alison

    I’m delighted that you like it. I’m very pleased with it myself 🙂

    Hello Em

    Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving your comment. I cant wait to try this in a suce for chops or fish.

  5. Found your site on Friday, got some tomatoes from a friend and made this chutney Saturday – It is delicious! I’ve been eating some that wouldn’t fit into my jars for canning. YUM!
    Thanks from Chicago!

  6. I’ve just made this with my glut of green tomatoes. I doubled the recipe, and it’s spot on – it made 2 litres, and took a couple of hours. All the chopping, crushing cardamons etc. totally worth it as it tastes amazing straight out of the pan! I can’t wait to try it in a month or so.

  7. cottager

    Hi thought I was the only one growing brandywine toms but I grow min in the greenhouse, can I grow them in the garden? I live in Dorset near the sea

  8. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I found an old hand-written recipe folded in a book and it says 23 cloves of garlic. I think it should read 2 – 3!

    You ave saved us all from a nasty mistake.

  9. Anniemay

    Thanks fn look forward to it

  10. Anniemay

    Thanks fn. Now that I am a kitchen godess I would love to make red onion marmalade, Do you have a recipe for this & will it keep as long as the chutney?

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Anniemay

      No recipe for onion marmalade as yet but it is in the pipeline.

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