Green Tomato Chutney

As I was rummaging through my grannies old recipe books, a trove of handwritten notes, and time-stained pages came tumbling out, I stumbled upon this gem as I was going through them. It’s a testament to her resourcefulness and knack for preserving the bounty of her garden. A recipe written in the 1940s, showcasing the humble green tomato in a vibrant, tangy, and sweet chutney that elevates any meal it graces.

This chutney, with its unique blend of sultanas, preserved ginger, and a punch of green chillies, is as much a reflection of her spirit as it is of her culinary prowess. It embodies the very essence of my grandmother’s kitchen – warm, welcoming, and always brimming with flavor.

Join me as we honor her legacy, recreating this classic preserve from a time when every ingredient was cherished and nothing went to waste. It’s not just about cooking; it’s about preserving memories, passing on family traditions, and most importantly, it’s about savoring every bite with a smile and a happy heart.

Granny’s Green Tomato Chutney


  • 5 lbs green tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 lbs green apples, cored and chopped
  • 3 lbs onions, finely chopped
  • 1 lb sultanas
  • 1 lb preserved ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 gallon (1 liter) vinegar, preferably cider or malt vinegar
  • 1.5 lbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 dessert spoon whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 dessert spoon chopped green chillies


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large, non-reactive saucepan or preserving pan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar and prevent the chutney from sticking to the pan.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the chutney simmer, uncovered, for about 2-3 hours or until it has thickened and the vinegar has mostly evaporated. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  4. Test the chutney for doneness: it should have a jam-like consistency and a spoon dragged through it should leave a trail on the bottom of the pan.
  5. While the chutney is hot, ladle it into sterilized jars, leaving a bit of space at the top, and seal them tightly.
  6. Store the jars in a cool, dark place. The chutney will continue to develop flavor over time and should be good for about 1-2 years. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and consume within a month.

Notes and Tips:

  • This chutney is a great way to use up surplus green tomatoes at the end of the growing season.
  • The sultanas and preserved ginger add sweetness and a bit of zing, but feel free to adjust the quantities to suit your taste. You could also add other dried fruits like dates or apricots for a different flavor.
  • The brown sugar and vinegar create a sweet and tangy base for the chutney. If you like a bit more tang, you might consider using more vinegar or less sugar.
  • The chutney can be used right away but will improve with age. It’s usually best after about a month, when the flavors have had a chance to meld together.
  • This chutney is very versatile and can be served with cheese, cold meats, or used as a condiment for sandwiches or burgers. It’s also a classic accompaniment for a Ploughman’s lunch.

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