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What’s cooking today: A trio of chutneys



What’s cooking today: A trio of chutneys

A trio of homemade chutneys and Mrs Ball's, from left: Tamarind and date, green with yoghurt, jewelled, and Mrs H.S. Ball’s. (Photo: Louis Pieterse)

We all need good old Mrs H.S. Ball’s in our lives and on our pantry shelves, but making your own chutney is a highly rewarding thing to do for the home cook, and not as challenging as you might think.

Jewelled chutney


200 g seedless Thompson raisins

100 g dried cranberries

250 g sultanas

250 g dried peaches, chopped

250 g diced papaya cubes

250 g diced dried pineapple cubes

250 ml red wine vinegar

500 ml brown grape vinegar

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic

3 red chillies, chopped

1 cup water

1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes

100 g palm sugar, chopped

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground fennel

Salt to taste


Put all the dried fruit into a bowl and pour in all the vinegar. Leave to steep for two hours.

Transfer the contents to a heavy-bottomed pot, including the remaining vinegar that has not been absorbed by the fruit. Put it on the stove on a medium heat. Add to it the ginger, garlic, chillies, water, tomatoes, spices and chopped palm sugar (or use jaggery). Season with a little salt.

Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat to very low and let it simmer, covered, for about 90 minutes. Stir it occasionally to ensure that it does not catch at the bottom of the pot.

Leave to cool, then bottle in sterilised jars.

Tamarind & date chutney


(Photo: Louis Pieterse)

3 Tbsp tamarind paste

⅔ cup seedless dates, chopped

100 g palm sugar, chopped

2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups water

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

½ tsp ground fennel

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground ginger

Salt to taste


Put everything in a pot on a low heat and stir until the chopped palm sugar is dissolved and the tamarind pulp disintegrates. Season with a little salt. Continue to cook very gently for 10 minutes, while stirring. Allow to cool and bottle in a sterilised jar.

Green chutney & green yoghurt chutney

(Photo: Louis Pieterse)


2 cups chopped coriander

1 cup chopped mint

3 green chillies, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp fresh ginger, very finely grated and mashed

1 tsp ground jeera/ cumin

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp Masala


1 drop of green food colouring


Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend to the consistency you like. It can be rough in texture or finer if you prefer. 

For a milder version, mix one third of the green chutney with two parts plain yoghurt and stir well. Drop a tiny bit of green food colouring into a teaspoon, then drop a little of it from the spoon into the green yoghurt chutney and stir it in. Don’t try pouring directly from the food colour bottle into the yoghurt; it might not turn out well. Green chutneys are good with seafood. DM/TGIFood

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]

Our Thank God It’s Food newsletter is sent to subscribers every Friday at 6pm, and published on the TGIFood platform on Daily Maverick. It’s all about great reads on the themes of food and life. Subscribe here.



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