Sweet Chilli & Tomato Chutney

I seem to be making a whole lot of chutney at the moment, probably because it’s so easy to do – chuck it all in a pan and off you go.  Jars of chutney make a lovely gift at Christmas especially if you’re putting together some gift hampers.


750g red tomatoes, peeled and diced

2 red peppers, deseeded and diced

2 medium onions, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 red chillis

300g demerara sugar

400ml malt vinegar

1 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp mustard seeds


Makes 750ml.

First up, sterilise your jars and lids – in a hot cycle through the dishwasher, sealing the lids onto the jars as soon as they come out or place the jars and lids onto a baking tray and place in a cold oven.  Putting them into a cold oven allows the jars to heat up slowly rather than shocking them from cold to hot which can cause them to smash.

Turn the oven on to 150c and let it preheat with the jars inside.

Once preheated, keep them there for 45 minutes.  They can be in there whilst you make the chutney

Start off with the tomatoes.

They need they’re skins off.

Score a cross in the base of each tomato and put them in a large bowl or pan.

Cover them with boiling water and let them sit for a couple of minutes until the skin starts to lift.

Drain off the water and peel away the skins.  Careful they’ll be hot!  (You can run them under cold water to cool them down if you need to.)

Now dice them up and add them to a big pan or stock pot.

Chop the rest of the ingredients – dice them up nicely.

Into the pan with the tomatoes.

In goes the vinegar and demerara sugar and now for the spice.

Add the cayenne pepper, paprika, mustard seeds and celery salt.  (If you don’t have celery salt don’t go out and buy it especially, sea salt will do just fine.)

Now give it a good stir up and get it on the heat.  Bring the mixture up to the boil, dissolving the sugar.

Turn the heat down so that the mixture is simmering.  You need to simmer it for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally.

Don’t put your face in the steam from the pan – it’s extremely vinegary and will make your eyes sting!  Sounds stupid me pointing it out, but I spent the day with my eyes watering like mad – stupid fool!

The chutney is ready when the mixture has thickened and there isn’t much liquid left – don’t boil it away to nothing, it needs to keep a bit of the liquid so that it’s chutney and not jam.

Now to fill the jars, best weapon in my armory is a jam funnel, I’m a bit cack handed with just a spoon but I’m sure you won’t have that problem.

Fill the jars right to the top and screw on the lids – careful now, the jars and lids get hot quickly from the chutney.

Share it out or stash it away in a cupboard all to yourself.  Whatever you do I have a nifty little recipe coming up shortly!

Sweet Chilli & Tomato Chutney

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

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31 Responses to Sweet Chilli & Tomato Chutney

  1. Fran says:

    Hi Ruth,
    Just wondering if you can do this without the chilli and the spice? I love chutneys and am making xmas hampers, but those who will receive them can’t tolerate spice, so I’d like to make it without…anything to substitute with or can it just be made by excluding the things with spice?!
    Thank you :o) x

  2. Mark says:

    Hi Ruth, out of interest, how long can this be stored for once made up?

  3. Love chilli and you are right this looks perfect for Christmas gifts.

  4. spleenyone says:

    I have mine on the hob now! It does smell very vinegary!! I’m sure it will be fab though and hopefully I will be able to give some away as Xmas pressies. Thanks for another great recipe Ruth! xxx

  5. Mary Beale says:

    Made this chutney today very easy and absolutely delicious. will be maing twice the quanity next time as its not going to last long., yummy!!!

  6. H Wigglesworth says:

    Made this yesterday and also made the mistake of putting my face over the steam. The whole flat now smells of vinegar but its a cracking recipe.

  7. Emma says:

    Hi:o) I made this chutney today and although it’s too early for me to say how good it is, jars are sitting in my kitchen as I write this and it looks wonderful!

    It did take longer for the water to evaporate, more like 2 1/2 hours but I think that time is very varied because of how much water the tomatoes and peppers hold which is understandble. Even so, the smell was glorious!

    I can’t wait to see what recipe you come up with using this chutney. I look forward to it.

  8. Christine R says:

    Hi Ruth
    I made this last weekend, certainly looks good. Do I need to mature it for a certain amount of time before I use it? I usually use a Delia recipe which suggests maturing chutneys for 3 months so that it’s not too vinegary – what do you think?

  9. Mary Smith says:

    How long do you recommend waiting before eating this chutney – most chutneys need 2-3 months to mature so for first time chutney makers, it would be a helpful footnote to the recipe.

  10. Kim says:

    Oooh I am a chutney fiend and just thinking about starting to make it myself so this sounds great. I just love how your recipes are always so easy to follow – I started to read and was thinking how on earth do you peel a tomato?! But I should have known you’d explain it all so well!

  11. Brenda Greaves says:

    Hi Ruth, have now made your sweet chilli tomato chutney, I love it.
    Just finished a batch of spiced plum chutney
    Brenda x

  12. Jess says:

    Hi Ruth

    I’m a first timer at making this, so this question may sound daft! When sterilizing the jars in the oven (i haven’t got a dishwasher)do you leave them in there with the oven turned on whilst the chutney fully cooks as this is longer than 45 mins? Then do i pour the hot chutney into the hot jars and leave to cool at room temperature? I’m making it as gifts for Christmas so would i store them at room temperature or in the fridge when done?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    • No probs Jess! Get the chutney on the go and get it simmering and then pop the jars in the oven whilst the chutney simmers away- they’re fine to be in the oven longer. When the chutney is ready for jarring take the jars out of the oven and fill them whilst both the chutney and jars are hot. Screw the lids on (make sure to use a thick teatowel or oven gloves as they’ll be hot to touch). Then let the jars and chutney cool down to room temp. They are then fine to store at normal room temp until you give them as gifts, its only once the jars are opened and you start to use the chutney that they should be stored in the fridge. Hope that helps! Ruth x

  13. Nicki Thomas says:

    Hi Ruth
    I made a batch of these and needless to say the chutney didn’t last very long. My kids and partner had finished 3 jars within 3 days. I’m making more today and going to hide them till xmas.x

  14. Helen Cosby says:

    I made this yesterday just so i could make the cheese and chutney tartlets (and to give some as Christmas pressies) I cant wait to try them.

  15. Christine R says:

    I made this a couple of weeks ago and can vouch that it’s delicious! Will definitely be making it again once this batch is finished, thanks for the recipe.

  16. Karen Knight says:

    Just a quick Thank You for this recipe have already made 2 batches for Chritmas hamper gifts! Now have family ringing to say they have already eaten it and can I make more! Would direct them here but need to keep you a little bit secret other wise they won’t be excited by next years hamper if they know all your recipes! Thank you again

  17. Pingback: Taming the Tomato Glut – tomato and chilli chutney | Country Skills for Modern Life

  18. Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe, I’ve never made chutney before but I made this last night and both me and my fiancé love it! My fiancé keeps trying to think of new things to eat it with!

  19. Jeanj says:

    Hi do you have a lid on the chutney while simmering or not..making it now hope mine turns out as well as yours

  20. gerhard blumenschein says:

    can you use any other vinegar apart from malt please

  21. Shaun says:

    Can I substitute Toms for Apple?

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