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.


  Leave a reply


  1. I just read through all the other comments and found my answer Fiona… should have done that first !

  2. Do I crush the spices? (or put them in a spice bag) im thinking of the star anise…

  3. Lindsay

    Fiona – You should have made green tomato pie! When I first moved to Alberta, my landlady introduced me to this delicacy. I was skeptical but….it tastes just like apple pie! Truly amazing and it’s now a recipe I hold in the back of my head for occassions such as yours.

  4. Slaving over a hot stove for the last couple of hours has been well worth it! My allotment-grown green tomatoes (those saved so far from blight)have gone into the mix and it tastes havenly! I’m quite impressed with my achievement especially as I am still a green cook and this is the second lot of chutney I have ever made! I followed your recipe a little loosely. My ingredients also included fair trade demerara, Red and yellow capsicum, (pre-soaked)California seedless raisins, white onions, lemon peel, Distilled malt vinegar, Coriander, Cumin, Fennel and Fenugreek seeds, but omitted your lemon juice/flesh, orange juice, sultanas, ginger, cloves, cardamom, star anise, all-spice, coriander and turmeric powder, peppercorns, white ground and cayenne pepper. I did not include the latter pepper ingredients as I wanted a milder ‘family-friendly’ chutney and the two fresh green chillies (-seeds) I did add are more than enough to give it the kick that I was after!
    I think I have created a Chutney with a riot (sorry London, I was inspired to use this word as I have been listening to the radio whilst cooking, hearing the news about last night’s riots!) of flavours which is to die for, but do not take my word for it! My father is a really good curry maker, so I will take him a jar and report back to you with his critique! Thank you very much for your recipe/method. Very useful stuff! Lastly, apologies in advance for being so pedantic but I believe you will find it should be LADLE and not LADEL? A very common error and possibly spelt different where you are from??

  5. Hi! Have just been to the supermarket to buy the ingredients I do not have for your amazing looking recipe above. The only things I could not find (which is surprising as it is a rather large store) were SULTANS. I guess I will have better success if I try Harrods!!

  6. TomatoMan

    Great recipe! has gone down a treat with the family, it’s a great way to use up some of the tomatos i’ve overplanted! Found another recipe over at (no pun intended:))as well

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Ben

    Thank you so much for alerting me to this fact. Yes we use cheap, thin skinned lemons and ours tastes wonderful.

    I’ve updated the recipe so the disaster is not repeated again. What a shame 🙁

  8. Hi, I made the chutney, but it was so bitter from the pith of the lemon. I think you really want a very thin skinned small lemon so that their not so much pith.

    I found this ruined the flavour of the chutney, i was able to add some more spices and sugar/vingear to mask most of the bitterness, but it still has a bit on the after taste will see how it develops over the next month.

    Investigation of other receipes found a solution, with the lemon, just zest it (peel it) so you do not get pith (chop this up finley), and then cut off the outside pith and slice the rest of the lemon up thinly and use both zest and cut up lemon minus most of the pith as per the receipe.

    Will try this next year for any left over green tomatos.

  9. Katherine

    Thank you, 4 ltrs bubbling on the stove! Smells great.

  10. Katherine

    Hi there, looks like a fantastic recipe, may I just ask whether the whole spices should infuse within a muslin bag? Presumably the cloves and peppercorns should be removed before bottling? But the mustard seeds stay in the pickle? Thank you, regards, Katherine

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Katherine

      I like seeing spices in chutney so all are kept in but if you wish you could contain some or all in a muslin bag. It’s just ametter of personal taste.

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