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
  • 400ml 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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superclairebee's picture

I did not read the reviews either and wish I had, tried to rescue the chutney (from all the problems described in various posts below) by adding the same amount of plums again and am leaving it to 'mature' and hoping.
Luckily I had been given tons of plum that had to be used up fast so did not have to spend a fortune.
Won't bother with it again tho'.

14bron's picture

Get this recipe sorted! I have just wasted 2kg plums 1kg sugar 1.5 lt red wine vinegar as the recipe is wrong despite several people pointing this out already!!

I made the mistake of not reading reviews.

dysynni's picture

Given that some of these comments are from 2013, the recipe really should have been amended by now... Only saw the comments once I had added the sugar. Hope I can rescue it...

amy_t's picture

I am infuriated! I've never made chutney before and was viewing this recipe on my phone where the comments are not visible.. just spent 2-3 hours trying to make this to end up with a thin vinegar-y concoction... I strained about half the vinegar off as it wouldn't reduce, but it is still too strong. I also suspect the sugar burned from the suggestion to boil for 20-30 minutes. (I've now checked an old delia smith book which says to gently simmer chutneys for 2-3 hours!!) and with a lot less vinegar. Then I came on my macbook and found the comments that the recipe is wrong.. I would expect better quality from BBC Good food and for a recipe that has been voted so highly! Very disappointed. Have wasted a whole KG of fresh plums from my mother's plum tree.

marylucia's picture

I have only just been alerted to the error on this recipe and want to apologise for all those of you who made it with disappointing results. The correct amount of wine vinegar is 400ml for those of you who would like to try it. As you might imagine after so many years of recipe writing I am mortified.

Richard Williams's picture

There is a serious mistake on this recipe which must be corrected.
I think the amount of red wine vinegar has been miss printed, The
750 ml should read 250 ml and the time to reduce should not be 20
to 30 mins but should read 80 to 80 to 90 minutes.
Why is no one reading your comments and putting this recipe right?
I am trying to contact Mary Codagan who wrote the recipe and should be responsible for putting it right, People are spending money and this and using a lot of electricity because
of this mistake, The may be a basis for a claim for some recompence here

marylucia's picture

Thank you Richard for letting me know about the error on this recipe which I will have corrected

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.