I knew I wanted to make two chutneys this year, a nice mild chutney that goes with everything (the caramelised onion chutney ticked this box) and then something with a bit more kick.
This chutney is tangy and has that kick. It’s not hot as I wanted tomato to be the main flavour but you can use more chillies if you want something hotter. It’s quite relish-like and goes well with strong, mature cheddar and meats. It’s a bit too overpowering for milder cheeses. Best of all, it’s easy and if you have a food processor, prep takes no time at all.
You’ll need 1kg of ripe tomatoes; I just used regular round tomatoes. On the question of peeling, I believe life is too short (read: I am too lazy) to skin tomatoes. The texture of having the skins left in doesn’t bother me as I don’t think it’s particularly noticeable as none of the bits are big. But, if you prefer to remove the skins, go for it.
The tomatoes need to be cored and chopped into small bits, then both the onions, garlic and chilli should be chopped too. I saved myself some effort by doing everything but the chillies in the food processor. If you have sensitive skin or any cuts on your hands or nails, it’s a good idea to wear some latex gloves as chopping this many chillies is quite the irritant.
Everything goes in the pan at once with this recipe, so after you’ve chopped all the ingredients, there isn’t much work to do here except to come and check on the pan once in a while and give it a stir.
A few hours later and you have a rich, sweet chutney ready to be preserved. It tastes good now, but if you can, leave the jars to mature in a dark place for at least 2-4 weeks to improve the flavour.
Sweet Tomato Chilli Chutney
Makes 3 0.125L kilner jars
1kg ripe tomatoes, washed
1 large or 2 small red onions
4 – 6 mild red chillies, deseeded and deveined
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp soy sauce
220ml red wine vinegar
115g golden caster sugar
1. Core your tomatoes and then chop into small, roughly 5mm chunks. If you have a food processor, throw all your tomatoes in and pulse until all in small pieces. Don’t blend! Pour these into a large pan.
2. Peel and quarter your onions and put them into the food processor along with the garlic and process until small. Finely chop your chillies. Transfer both to the large pan, then add the spices, salt, vinegar and soy sauce.
3. Bring everything up to a simmer, stirring all the time. Once it’s gently bubbling, reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 – 3½. Give it a stir at least once every half an hour.
4. Once it’s nearing 3 hours, watch the chutney more carefully. Don’t let the chutney stick to the bottom of the pan. It’s ready when the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is thick and soft. You don’t want to overcook the chutney as it’ll be too dry, if undercooked it’ll be too runny. When it’s ready, pour into hot, sterilised jars and store in a cool, dark place for up to 8 weeks to mellow. You can enjoy sooner if you like!