Richly spiced plum chutney

Richly spiced plum chutney

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(19 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 40 mins

Skill level



Makes about 2kg/4lb 8oz

Make-ahead for special occasions or simply enjoy al fresco with your favourite cold cuts

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 1kg plums, halved, stoned and finely chopped
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 100g dried cranberries or raisins, roughly chopped with an oiled knife
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seed
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 750ml red wine vinegar
  • 500g light muscovado sugar

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  1. Put all the ingredients, except the sugar, into a large pan and stir well. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 mins, until the plums are tender.
  2. Stir in the sugar plus 2 tsp salt and keep stirring until it has dissolved. Boil the chutney for 20-30 mins, uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent it catching on the bottom, until it is thick and pulpy.
  3. Pot into sterilised jars (see Know-how, below), seal, label and store for at least 2 weeks before eating. Will keep for up to 6 months in a cool dark place.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2011

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Show comments
vade's picture

I'm just about to make my new year crop recipe again. Glad I read notsothinlizzie's comment last year as I think she has the liquid quantities spot on - 100ml red wine vinegar and 250ml red wine. Superb flavour chutney.

bigsal's picture

Sadly like many others, I did not read the comments until too late. This recipe is definitely incorrect. I followed it to the letter and there is probably twice as much vinegar as is required. I too wasted whole afternoon, expensive ingredients and have spent over two hours trying to boil off the excess liquid. The chutney is now the right consistency but is extremely acidic despite adding extra sugar. I am disappointed that BBC Good Food have not amended this recipe.

Smallbo57's picture

Like several others here, I didn't read the comments before wasting a whole afternoon of my time, not to mention a host of expensive ingredients on this recipe.
I tried to save it by straining some of the vinegar off but that just wasted more time.
Don't bother. There are much better recipes out there !!!

rew37's picture

Wish I'd read the comments first.......only need half the vinegar as everyone else is saying!!! It's a great tasting chutney though :)

shinjinku's picture

"pot into sterilised jars" - make sure you have some quality glass jars - dont buy cheap clip top jars as they are not made for hot filling. Use Le Parfait jars, the premium preserving jar. This company is selling them cheap for christmas - - they make great presents as well.

Busy muffin's picture

I'd really have to agree about the vinegar. I try to always read the comments when making something new, thank goodness I did. Looking forward to trying it in a month or so. I cut down to two onions and didn't bother cutting up the raisins, didn't see really why I needed to!

Skimbobkimmy's picture

I am soo annoyed with this recipe, I followed it to the tee and have literally wasted my evening on this. The recipe is incorrect as it just makes what can only be described as very strong vinegary jam soup.
Not only have I wasted a whole evening but also a lot of money on these ingredients. I unfortunately missed the comments you guys had left and soo wish I'd seen them before hand.
Has anyone managed to rescue their jam?

Natalieandmax's picture

Why did I not read the comments first!! I've now added another 1 1/2 kg of fruit and more sugar and spices to balance out - reducing it down for over an hour. Big tip - cut chunks of your fruit as it goes to smosh!

Not happy with this recipe - definitely needs changing!

KezH4's picture

I just made this and it already taste's amazing. It will be difficult to wait 2 weeks. But then again this is my 1st attempt at homemade chutney, and anything with cumin is a favourite of mine. I did, however, follow previous comments and reduce the liquid, I used about 250ml red wine vinegar and 100ml of red wine. I also used normal mustard seeds as black up available

carlpettman's picture
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Its OK but nothing special. Overly complicated recipe in my opinion. I cut down on the red wine vinegar and chillies, and using Muscovado sugar doesn't add very much to the flavour and is expensive. It takes about twice as long to reduce to the required consistency on a vigorous simmer than the recipe states. I expect it'll be nice with a strong bit of cheese, and some nice cold meat.

MrsHaggis12's picture

Shame I didn't read these comments before making the chutney!! The smell of vinegar is so over powering! So after 40 minutes of cooking I have strained the mixture, I'm going to add some port and red wine, cinnamon, star anise and cook it again - hopefully this will take away some of the vinegar flavour (also overpowering)!!

Dcampbell9's picture

Glad I read the previous comments, added about 100mls red wine vinegar and 50ml red wine, only had cumin seeds and they added a nice burst of flavour, also added cinnamon, bay leaves and fennel seeds, good basic recipe though

janiesbinder's picture

Just finished this chutney. Only used 350 ml after ready reviews. It still took 1hour to cook, and only produced 3 jars which was a bit disappointing after all that effort. Looking forward to tasting it though.

sjbibby's picture

Just finished making this delicious Chutney. Having read all the comments I made some adjustments. The first part of the recipe I kept the same. After boiling I added only 360g sugar, 1 tsp salt and 350 mls of red vine vinegar. Yes I felt it still had quite a lot of liquid. In the recipe it states 20-30 mins boiling, I used a timer and boiled it for 20 mins at a time. In total I boiled it for 60 mins, so the total cooking time was 1hr and 30 mins. Not the suggested 40 mins. After saying that the results was very rich in colour, tastes Devine with a bit of a kick. Looking forward to tasting it in a few weeks time.

Rotpot's picture

I agree, way too much liquid, bubbling away now for 45 minutes and still not ready and I reduced the amount of vinegar as suggested. I've never made chutney before so not really sure about it all, and the fact that this isn't a foolproof recipe hasn't helped. Hope it's worth the effort!!!

fleur's picture

My chutney tastes strongly of vinegar. I measured everything very carefully and followed the recipe so I'm not sure what went wrong. Any ideas?

Alli's picture

I made this using just 200ml of Cider Vinegar, red onions, and added a few tbs of jam sugar to help thicken the mixture. As we have a fair few home-made mildly spiced chutneys stashed away, I thought it would be nice to add extra heat to this recipe so I added a half tsp of Ground Cayenne and a few more Chilli flakes. Tastes delicious now so will be even nicer in a few weeks.

mariat01's picture

Just picked about 3kg of plums from our tree, so wanted a chutney recipe which was a bit different from the norm. Followed the recipe using 1kg of fruit, except I used 350ml of vinegar, 3 largish onions and ordinary mustard seeds (couldn't find black ones round here). It's still reducing, and I'm having to stir every minute or so to stop it catching on the bottom. Smells delicious, tastes good even while still cooking, and is a lovely rich colour, but next time I won't chop the fruit and veg so finely. It's been simmering for about an hour so far and I'd say it's nearly there. Can't wait to try it in a few weeks time.

notsothinlizzie's picture

After reading the comments I made it using 100ml of redwine vinegar and 250ml of red wine. It's delicious, but I don't know if this will effect the storage time.

mizo's picture

Cracked it. Use 350ml of red wine vinegar and heat it for 30 minutes somewhere between simmer and boil and not too much stirring. Very good result. I am tempted to try cinnamon instead of paprika next time, just to see.