Mary Berry's Christmas chutney

Mary Berry's Christmas chutney

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(105 ratings)


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Cooking time

Takes about 2½ hours

Skill level

Moderately easy


Makes about 2.5kg/6lb

A perfect match for cheese and cold meats, and delicious in turkey sandwiches

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info


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  • 900g tomatoes
  • 3 red peppers, 1 large aubergine and 1 green pepper (total weight of about 900g/2lb)
  • 700g onions, peeled and fairly finely chopped, by hand or in a food processor
  • 4 fat cloves garlic, crushed
  • 350g granulated sugar
  • 300ml/½pint white wine vinegar or distilled malt vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper

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  1. Peel the tomatoes - prick them with a sharp knife, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for a few seconds then drain and cover with cold water. The skins will now come away easily.
  2. Chop the tomatoes and aubergine and seed and chop the peppers. Put in a large heavy-based pan with the onions and garlic and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, lower the heat and gently simmer for about one hour, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  3. Tip the sugar, vinegar, salt, coriander, paprika and cayenne into the pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil for 30 minutes or so, until the mixture achieves a chunky chutney consistency and the surplus watery liquid has evaporated. Take care towards the end of the cooking time to continue stirring so that the chutney doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Ladle the chutney into sterilised or dishwasher-clean jars (Kilner jars are ideal) and top with paper jam covers. Seal the jars while still hot. Leave to mature for at least a month in a cool dark place.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2002

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gordge's picture

made this last night, adding a cinnamon stick to the mix and using chilli flakes instead of cayenne as I didn't have any. The chutney came out fantastically and was easy to make, hopefully it will go down a treat on boxing day.
It left the kitchen smelling lovely and christmassy by the end!

ramc's picture

The only problem with this recipe is that the chutney is too easy to eat- we made it as christmas gifts, aren't big chutney fans in general but are going through this super fast. Goes great with cold meats or even to jazz up a simple sandwich. I was also a bit worried initially as it smells like a sweet and sour sauce when first made but matures beautifully even only after 4 weeks- I doubt ours will get the chance to mature much longer!!

Emmafe's picture

I have made this receipe about 8 times now and never fails. People compliment me and ask when I will be making more. Two main comments I would make. It might be a little spicy for some peoples taste so put in less cumin. The liquid reduction at the end takes much longer then stated. I would say it took an hour and ten minutes. Is a long process but worth doing. I made some for Christmas time and will give as part of the hampers I am making. Makes 4 normal sized jam jars per batch. I also use red sweet tip peppers as thought they had more flavour.

ladyl1's picture

Made this recipe today, first time I've ever made chutney and feeling really chuffed as never thought I could make it before! Is lovely I'm impressed.

fionabaldwin's picture

I made this exact recipe last year as Christmas gift and it was a huge hit. Made another 8lbs of this last night with a few tweeks. Used passata instead of fresh tomatoes, added 1in piece of grated fresh ginger. Reduced the coriander by half and added some smoked paprika and cumin instead. Also used soft dark brown sugar and red wine vinegar in same amounts listed above. The result was even better than last year's batch. It was very smooth and mellow, not at all vinegary. In fact, I ate some of it with cheese and crackers already!

jennydaisy's picture

Thank you - what a great idea! - I shall do as you've done

Catmellor's picture

Amazing! Made it last night and already tastes fantastic, now in the pantry until Christmas. Hopefully my Catalan neighbours will enjoy my homemade Christmas presents! I found it needed to boil for much more than 30 minutes at the end. More like 2 hours but it's worth it.

vaszi81's picture

I made a mistake I wanted to rate 5 stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

vaszi81's picture

I just made this chutney today , taste really good!!!!! It's a bit hot i think one tsp cayenne pepper would've been enough. I used 8 jars ( 8 oz ) And the cooking time is way longer!!!!!!!!

HILTY's picture

This is fantastic and I don't usually like home made chutney. I used marrow instead of squash , but used the other ingredients as written. The heat was just right, like a medium salsa but tastier. Would recommend for presents as well as home use.

vaszi81's picture

How many jars does it make , and what size?

GrumpyofEssex's picture

If following the recipe above, what liquid have you all used in which to simmer the ingredients given the vinegar goes in later?

charli_cherries's picture

Hi GrumpyofEssex, I thought the same as you, but hoped that the high water content of the vegetables would be enough. Luckily it was! You definitely don't want to go adding anymore water as it does take a lot longer to simmer down than stated.

Also this made 5 Tesco Value Lemon Curd sized jars for me. (22p a jar, bit wasteful but so much cheaper than buying Kilner!)

Kirky88's picture

I'd like to know this too why doesn't it say?

heatherheidi's picture

Have just made this for the first time and it tastes great already! It does take a while longer to cook down but I think I might be making some more before Christmas! thanks for tip re using marrow, as I have just got a big one to use up. Lovely tangy chutney, and I cannot wait for it to mature.

emmaradio's picture

I made this last year for Christmas presents and it went down really well. This year I used up my green tomatoes (instead of buying ripe ones) and a marrow (in place of the aubergine) and it's come out just as lovely so it's a great recipe to use up leftover veg this time of year! Highly recommend. It does take longer than half an hour to cook down properly though, I left it for about two hours this time.

alanjns's picture

I have just made this and, as there is just the two of us, I halved the quantities of the veggies and left the spices the same as stated. It smells great and mine reduced really well. Looking forward to trying it in a month. I was expecting to get around 3lbs of chutney but I got three 235g jars.

alanjns's picture

Well it's been a month and I've just opened a jar for a sneaky pre Christmas taster! It's great, if I do say so myself! It has a lovely, spicy after kick. Doesn't blow your head off though, now wishing I hadn't halved the quantities!

KayLewis's picture

Made this as a gift last christmas, since then i have had to make batches every few months as my husband (who has always hated all chutneys) gets very upset if we run out. I know its a christmas reciepe but it tastes great on burgers over the summer too. Definitly halve the cayenne pepper unless you like your chutney to have a kick.

Lauren_1911's picture

Amazing! Just made a batch today, perfect for Xmas! Had to keep a jar to eat straight away as my husband couldn't wait 4 weeks. I did half the cayenne paper as advised, but still has a good kick to it. Highly recommended.