Country-Style Homemade Chutney

Darth Vader
"A tasty homemade chutney that we love eating spread on a thick loaf of bread."
Servings70 jars
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  • tomatoes - 88 lb (40 kg)
  • peppers - 88 lb (40 kg)
  • eggplants - 11 lb (5 kg)
  • onions - 11 lb (5 kg) (provides an incredible sweetness to the chutney)
  • carrots - 6.5 lb (3 kg)
  • sugar - 2 cups
  • vinegar - 1 cup
  • black pepper - 2 tbsp (30 g)
  • ginger - 1 1/3 tbsp (20 g) (optional)
  • cumin - 2 tsp (10 g) (optional)
  • oil - 6 1/5 cups (1.5 L)
  • salt - to taste
  • bread - 1, most important of all


First, let me say this: the biggest mistake you can make is to drain out the juice from the tomatoes (yes it's quicker but the ingredients don't boil properly).

I've been making chutney for 10+ years. The ingredients I use are all ones I grow myself and it's not at all cheap. I use a large copper tray - 23 1/2″ (60 cm) diameter, 11 3/4″ (30 cm) deep, 26.5 gal (100 L). You need at least 3 people for this recipe - don't bother with it alone, it's way too much work, plus even with 3 people it takes all day without a break (or eating).

Making the chutney:

Roast the peppers the day before, peel them and put them away in the fridge.

The next day:

Get up at 6 a.m. Wash, get ready, drink your coffee and begin...

6:30 - Clean and wash the tomatoes (all 3 people participate).

6:50 - Start cutting the tomatoes coarsely (2 people participate, the other person prepares the fire pit and tray).

7:00 - Light the fire pit (I just use a gas lighter to make life easier), pour the chopped tomatoes you have so far in the tray and start stirring. Initially, stir occasionally because the tomatoes release plenty of juice and water to prevent burning. Have the other 2 people continue cutting tomatoes.

7:30 - Pour in the next batch of tomatoes (about 2/3 of the total).

8:00 - Pour in the remaining tomatoes into the tray.

8:20 - Have 1 of your helpers take your place stirring.

8:30 - Assemble your meat grinder (I have an electric one for separating the skins and seeds). Have your other helper cut the eggplants and put them to bake in the oven (takes about an hour). While the eggplants are baking, clean and coarsely chop the carrots (about 3/4″ (2 cm)), put them to bake in a pot to soften a little (about 30 min). The eggplants are now softened, salt them and add vinegar, leave them to sit for 20 min. to drain out the bitterness.

10:00 - Grind the eggplants.

10:10 - Put the eggplants, peppers and carrots into the tray with the tomatoes.

10:20 - I start stirring, while the other 2 people start peeling and chopping the onions (coarsely). At this point, stir nonstop because the mixture gets very thick and there's a danger of it burning.

11:00 - Add the onions to the rest of the ingredients. Everyone else is now washing the utensils and cookware we've been using thus far.

13:00 - Give the kids something to eat - whatever you have prepared - something quick. Everyone else eats if they have time. I don't - I'm still stirring.

14:00 - I put the attachment for separating the skins and seeds on the machine. It's as late as it is because everything will be boiled well and softened enough at this point to pass quickly through the machine. I set up a table near the fire pit, with the machine on top of it and prepare a large tray and bowl for the residue (seeds and skins), as well as 2 very large, very clean 16 gal (60 L) plastic buckets and a 4 1/5 cups (1 L) plastic beaker. Then I start passing all of the mixture from the tray through the machine, without removing the tray from the fire.

Once I've passed 2/3 of the material through the machine, I pour the rest of the material from the tray into 1 of the buckets and give the tray to my helpers to wash it. The large tray that's been filling up with chutney is now quite full, so I pour it into the other bucket at this point and continue mashing the rest of the material. Once they've washed the tray (about 15 min), I return it to the fire and pour in the mashed material from the bucket into it. If you're using wood, don't put out your fire.

Then I continue passing the rest of the material through the machine. Once I've passed all of it through, I pour it into the tray as well - it takes me 1 hour. This saves me time when boiling the material the 2nd time. Some might think that their chutney is ready once it's passed through the machine - nope. There's still a long way to go before the material becomes chutney.

15:00 - Someone takes my place at the stirring spot and we all take turns every half hour because we're all starting to get tired. We prepare the jars we're going to be filling with the chutney.

18:00 - 18:30 - The material is now thick enough and the chutney starts roasting (you'll know when it stops splattering and you just get hot air rising). It's too much material to know otherwise but when you pull your stirring ladle or spoon it needs to leave a furrow. Fry your oil (we always do this).

19:00 - Add the vinegar, sugar, stir and taste it. If needed, add some more sugar or vinegar. Add the oil and stir until absorbed (about 20 min).

19:30 - Add the spices and stir another 10 min., remove from the heat.

19:45 - Start filling up your jars.

20:45 - Your jars are full. It's time for the last ingredient that we haven't used yet - the BREAD.

Take your bread, start dipping it in the tray and eating until you've wiped the tray completely clean - it's soooo delicious.

Close the jars and boil (to sterilize).

22:00 - Put the fire out. Your jars of chutney for the winter are now ready.

You get about 70 jars of chutney (1 2/3 cups (400 ml) each).


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