We had bumper crop of tomatoes this year. Green tomatoes. A cooler summer and late bud break meant that by mid-October the vines were adorned with small, unripe fruit. Rather than discard them as useless, my wife decided to make a delicious green tomato chutney. And she added in some tamarind for good measure.
Green Tomato & Tamarind Chutney
|30 mins prep & overnight
2 hour cooking
|3 jars of chutney|
|Crusty bread and cheeses/meats|
|Viognier or light Riesling|
Making the Most of the Harvest
Our red tomato crop this year was severely disappointing, and it’s an event we can’t really blame COVID for. Undettered by this, we decided to do something with the harvest, it would be a waste to simply discard them. If the green tomatoes had been of a decent size, my wife would have made fried green tomatoes, having been captivated by them in Florida a few years ago. Sadly they were too small … so she made a chutney instead.
My wife had already gotten most of the way through making the chutney when she spied the Jams and Chutneys book in our recipe book collection. Thumbing through it for ideas, she found a recipe for exactly what she was making … tomato and tamarind chutney. What you see below is a combination of my wife’s creativity and some vital pointers from that book.
- Large bowl
- Maslin/jam pan (or large pan)
- Jam funnel
- 3 Kilner jars
- Colander or sieve
- Wooden spoon
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Heat-resistant gloves
A jam funnel is important for getting the chutney into the jars at the end. A standard kitchen funnel isn’t wide enough for the chutney to flow through, and not using any funnel leads to a sticky mess down the side of the jar. I speak from experience.
- 1.25kg green tomatoes
- 1 white onion
- 2 tsp salt
- 150ml cider vinegar
- 450ml malt pickling vinegar
- 250g sultanas
- 2 tsp black pepper
- Zest from a small orange
- 2-4 tbsp tamarind paste
- 300g golden granulated sugar
Tamarind pastes vary in strength, as do personal palates. Put in 2 tbsp to begin with and try a little with a spoon before bringing to the boil. Add more to suit your tastes. The same applies to the orange zest, add more in to match your personal preference.
- The previous day, wash and cut up the green tomatoes into small chunks. Thinly slice the white onion. Mix them together in a bowl with 2 tsp of salt. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a fridge overnight.
- The next day, drain the water from the bowl using a colandar or sieve. Return the contents to the bowl.
- Using a peeler, remove 2-3 pieces of the top layer of skin from the orange. Finely chop the pieces into small, very thin strips by slicing across the piece. Roughly chop the sultanas.
- Add the sugar to the maslin pan. Pour in both vinegars and combine with the sugar. Place the pan on the stove over a low heat and warm until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and onions, sultanas, finely chopped orange skin, black pepper and tamarind paste to the pan. Stir the ingredients together. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for 2 hours, or until the chutney has a thick consistency. Check periodically to ensure that the chutney hasn’t stuck to the pan and it’s not simmering too vigourlosly.
- With 30 mins to go, warm the kilner jars face down with lids off in at oven at 135°C/275°F.
- To test whether the chutney is ready, run a wooden spoon over the base of the pan, separating the chutney either side. If it is ready, you will see the base of the pan before the chutney merges behind the spoon.
- Using heat-resistant gloves, take a warm jar out of the oven. Decant chutney into the jar using the jam funnel. Seal the top of the jar tightly. Repeat for the remaining chutney.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- The overnight in the fridge bit can be skipped, it’s simply there to aid drawing moisture out of the tomatoes and onions. Skipping it means that cooking will take longer to get the desired consistency.
- It makes life easier in the last step to have two people, one to hold the jam funnel and the other to decant in the chutney.
- This chutney is a superb cheese on toast topping and pairs especially well with Red Leicester that’s been smoked over whiskey oak: