Indulge your taste buds in a fiery and delectable adventure with our tantalizing Tomato and Chilli Chutney recipe. Bursting with vibrant flavours and a delightful combination of tangy tomatoes, spicy chillies, aromatic garlic, and invigorating ginger, this homemade chutney is a true culinary gem. What makes it even more extraordinary is its remarkable ability to be preserved in jars for months, allowing you to savour its taste long after you’ve made it. This versatile chutney effortlessly elevates the flavours of your favourite burgers and sandwiches, adding a punch that lingers on the palate. It also shines as a tasty dip for succulent chicken and makes a delightful accompaniment to any cheeseboard. Get ready to embark on a flavour-packed journey with our Tomato and Chilli Chutney, a pantry essential that will leave you craving more with every bite.
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Our Cherry Tomato & Chilli Story
We have grown our own cherry tomatoes this year. We live in Noth Wales and we knew that tomatoes are unlikely to grow successfully outside, nor do we have a greenhouse (although it’s definitely on the shopping list), so we attempted to grow tomatoes in pots in our conservatory. And they went bonkers. Our conservatory was like a jungle over the summer months with ten tomato plants growing over 2 meters tall and more than a meter wide each. We had about 7-8kg of cherry tomatoes to eat, share with neighbours and find creative ways to preserve some for the winter months.
We also went a little crazy with our chilli plants and had more than we could possibly use. Having made some pickled jalapenos, we moved on to making jams and chutneys.
One of my favourite chutneys I have ever had was a tomato and chilli jam from Sainsbury’s, and I wanted to try and make my own. I decided to add some ginger too to give it an even bigger hit of hot and spicy! And our Cherry Tomato, Chilli and Ginger Chutney was so good that I decided to share the recipe here.
What Is Meant By Chutney?
Chutney might me different things to different people. Some use this word to describe fresh relish, others jam-like savoury condiments that can be preserved for months.
Fresh chutney and canned chutney offer distinct culinary experiences. Fresh chutney delights with its vibrant, raw flavours derived from a blend of fresh herbs, fruits, and spices. It brings a refreshing and tangy element to dishes, serving as a versatile dip or relish. On the other hand, canned chutney provides a preserved, concentrated version, cooked to achieve a thick consistency that extends its shelf life. Canned chutneys offer convenience and longevity, allowing the flavours to intensify over time. They add a burst of sweet, tangy, or spicy flavours to a variety of dishes, making them a pantry staple for enhancing sandwiches, burgers, and cheeseboards, even when fresh ingredients are not readily available.
How to Sterilise Jars?
Clean sterilized jars are crucial to the success and longevity of any jams and other preserves you make. Sterilizing is an important part of preserving to remove bacteria, yeasts or fungi, therefore your jams and preserved are protected and safe to eat for longer.
To sterilise your jars, preheat the oven to 120°C Fan. Pour boiling water right up to the top into your clean jars and metal lids. Pour the water out and place the jars and lids apart in the preheated oven. Heat for 15 minutes. Switch off the oven and leave the hot jars to cool down before removing them from the oven.
Ingredients & Substitutes
- cherry tomatoes: can be replaced with baby plum tomatoes or even salad tomatoes. Make sure to use ripe tomatoes. Avoid tomatoes with extremely tough skin though.
- caster sugar: also known as superfine sugar. It can also be replaced with white granulated sugar. Whilst brown sugar will work, the colour of the chutney will be somewhat muddled.
- vinegar: distilled malt vinegar, white wine, apple cider or red wine vinegar will work well too.
- lemon: freshly squeezed or use bottled lemon juice.
- red chillies: various chillies have different levels of heat, so be careful. Taste your chillies first and scrape out the seeds if they are extremely spicy. We used red jalapeno peppers in this recipe.
- root ginger: peeled and very finely chopped.
- garlic cloves.
A Note On Chilli Heat
When it comes to creating a spicy chutney, it’s essential to understand that not all chillies are created equal in terms of heat. Even within the same variety, the spiciness can vary significantly. To ensure you achieve the desired level of heat in your fiery chutney, it is crucial to assess the chilli’s intensity beforehand.
Additionally, if you prefer a milder version, consider removing the seeds of the chilli, as they contribute to the heat.
How to Make Tomato Chilli Chutney?
Place the halved fresh tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, chilli, garlic and ginger in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat on low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Increase the heat to high and bring it to a gentle simmer. Then reduce it to medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes until thickened to your liking. The tomato chilli chutney will thicken a bit more when cooled.
Spoon the tomato and chilli jam into sterilised jars up to the top and screw the lids on. Store the chutney in a cool dark place and in the fridge after opening. Use within 6 months.
Maturing and Storing
Once your chutney is prepared and packed into jars, it’s time to label them and find an ideal spot for maturing. Choose a cool, dark place like a kitchen cupboard away from direct heat sources such as the oven or radiator. Allowing the chutney to mature for 4-6 weeks will enhance its flavours, although it will still taste delicious right away. Remember, if you have a partially filled jar, refrigerate it and consume it within a month to maintain its freshness. Typically, chutneys have a shelf life of up to 6 months. For the best experience, savour the rich flavours within this time frame.
What to Use Chilli Chutney For?
- Cheese Board. It may be a no-brainer to add chutney to your cheese and crackers, but we normally go for Caramelised Red Onion chutney. Trust us when we say that tomato and chilli jam is a perfect accompaniment for both mild & creamy and strong kinds of cheese and cold meats.
- Toast. A piece of lightly toasted sourdough with some butter and a generous slathering of this Tomato, Chilli and Ginger Chutney makes a wonderful snack.
- Sandwiches. This chilli chutney recipe is brilliant in a simple cheese or ham and cheese sandwich. Works great in a Ploughman’s Sandwich too.
- Toastie. Simply spread some chutney on two slices of bread, fill with your favourite cheese and pop them in the toastie maker. Served with a green salad, it makes a quick, inexpensive and tasty lunch.
- As a flavorful condiment for burgers (perfect for both halloumi burgers and meat burgers), sausages and grilled meats.
- Use it in our Sweet Chilli Pepper Risotto instead of sweet chilli sauce.
- Lastly, don’t forget that your Tomato Chilli Chutney can make a delightful gift for any foodie friend or family member who appreciates culinary delights.
Other Ways to Preserve Fruit & Veg for Winter
If you enjoy preserving, have a look at our other recipes below:
- Plum & Red Onion Chutney
- Vanilla-Scented Rhubarb Jam
- Pickled Grated Beetroot
- How To Preserve Dill?
- How To Freeze Spinach?
Tomato and Chilli Jam with Ginger
- Sterilised Jars
- 350 g cherry tomatoes halved
- 180 g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- ½ lemon juice only
- 2 red chillies finely chopped
- 20 g ginger peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Place the halved tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, chilli, garlic and ginger in a pan and heat on low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat again and simmer, stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes until thickened to your liking. The jam will thicken a bit more when cooled.
- Spoon into sterilised jars up to the top and screw the lids on. Store in a cool dark place and in the fridge after opening. Use within 6 months.
- If you don’t like your chutney too spicy, make sure to scrape out most/all of the seeds out of your chillies.
- If you want your chutney set (like jelly), use jam sugar with added pectin.