Orange chutney

Orange chutney


Last night I indulged.  I poured myself a whiskey, sat down at my kitchen table and gingerly cued Frank Sinatra’s Christmas carols.  Whilst I awaited the protests of my flatmates (which strangely enough never came) I spent the evening sketching.  I sketched with purpose, in the hope that from the collection of scribbles on the gridded pages before me an idea or two would emerge and happily materialise into a Christmas present or two (with a little bit of organisation and elbow grease of course).

Whilst I sketched I found my mind wandered.  It wove its way through the year, through the days and weeks which for me defined 2011.  As summer became autumn and autumn winter, the pictures which formed revealed a year overflowing.  Overflowing with the company of the people I love the most, of growth and change, of guitars and ukuleles, of beautiful food and celebration, of exercise and conversely of inactivity(!), of photography and exhibitions, of travel abroad and travel closer to home and of things exciting and new and full of promise.

But before bidding farewell to 2011 we celebrate Christmas, which with a bit of luck equates to an overflow of more good food and good company and a serious dose of Christmas carols (out come the ukuleles, guitars and champagne-laced singing voices!).  And when the time comes for Santa to do his rounds, this year my gifts will come mostly from my toils in the kitchen.  This orange chutney will have its place under our tree and is perfect accompanied with some good cheese and a glass or two of wine.

So here’s to another year ending, and to a new one beginning.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one!


Makes approx 10 jars
-- 16 oranges 8 apples, cored and finely diced 5 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced 400g ginger, peeled and grated ½ cup currants 2 tbsp cloves 1 tbsp cardamom seeds 5 bay leaves 75g salt 1.4kg brown sugar 2 litres malt vinegar


-- 1. Peel the oranges with a peeler so that the pith is left behind. Slice the peel finely – I ended up with fine strips which looked as though they had been julienned. Peel the pith from the oranges, cut them in half then slice them finely. 2. Place all the ingredients into a large pot (I used two pots) and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for several hours until the mixture reduces and becomes thick. 3. Sterilise the jars in the oven at 100ºC for half and hour and pour boiling water over the lids. 4. Spoon the mixture into jars and seal. The longer you leave the chutney the more the flavours develop and mature. Leave it for at least a month before opening and store in the fridge once opened.

28 thoughts on “Orange chutney”

  • Hi Alessandra!
    Lovely to get your message! I had never had orange chutney before either so I have only just begun to experiment what it goes with. So far I can confirm that it is delicious with blue cheese! I can imagine it would also go well with avocados or as an accompaniment to frittata or quiche.
    Buon Appetito! =)

  • Hi Emma!
    Greetings from the Netherlands 🙂

    We’re definitely going to try this recipe for Christmas…. we’ve always loved the traditional British Christmas traditions, decorations and food – but we can’t stand orange marmalade!

    I’m sure this chutney recipe is the perfect replacement – especially with a nice cheese platter…. thanks so much!

    Best wishes,

  • Beautiful words, Emma! And I love the photo of the spoon just below the ingredients. (and I love Frank Sinatra too hehe)

  • Hi Linda,
    Thank you for your message all the way from the Netherlands! I hope that you enjoy the chutney over Christmas – do be sure to try it with a nice blue cheese.
    Merry Christmas!

  • Hi Alli!
    Yes – I think it would be delicious made with tangelos! Let us know how it works out!
    Merry Christmas!

  • Thanks for your lovely comment Alisha!
    I’m glad you share my secret love for Frank Sinatra – you must give his Christmas carols a go if you haven’t already!!
    Merry Christmas!

  • Hi Renee,
    Thanks for your message. No better time of year to drink whiskey and listen to Frank!
    Merry Christmas!

  • hi there, this looks great. can you tell me, will the bay leaves and cloves and cardamon seeds (i am assuming these are all whole), will they soften or fall apart, or do you have to remove them?
    thanks so much! great blog.

  • Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for your message and sorry for the very slow reply, I have been on maternity leave. Yes – the spices you mention are whole. In the batch I made I didn’t even notice they were there so I suppose some of them must have softened. If they don’t then they do look pretty and can just be removed when eating.
    Happy Cooking!

  • Hi from Australia. Have a tree laden with oranges. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks. It sounds yummy and a nice change from using oranges for marmalade.

  • Hi Al,
    Thanks for your message from over the ditch! I hope you enjoy the orange chutney recipe – it was certainly popular with the people lucky enough to receive it from us!
    Happy Cooking,

  • Hi,
    The recipe sounds amazing and I can’t wait to begin. One query I have is how dried chillies would do in the recipe compared to fresh. I have a lot of dried so want to start using them up.

  • Hi Tanya,
    Thanks for your message. I am glad you like the sound of the Orange Chutney. Generally when chillies are dried their heat is intensified so you may want to use 3 or 4 chillies instead of 5. Whilst fresh chillies have a clean, fresh taste, dried chillies have more depth and complexity to them and can take on smokey qualities. So definitely experiment with swapping out the fresh for dried chillies. It will result in a different flavour but one which I am sure will be equally delicious!
    Let us know how you go.

  • I use a spicy orange chutney in a slow cooked chicken recipe, Brown chicken off, deglaze pan with cider (about 200 mld), add 200g chutney, small carton orange juice mixed with couple teaspoons of cornflour, then in oven at 125-150 for a couple of hours – lush

  • Hi Peggy,

    Thanks for your message. What a fantastic idea using chutney to flavour a slow cooked chicken dish – I think I will have to give it a go! I actually made a lemon and mustard seed chutney in the weekend and I think it might also suit the recipe you have described. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Happy Cooking!

  • Hi Emma,
    Thanks for the recipe(O. Chutney). I will let you know what’s the my friends will say.
    I actually making this for a Christmas present.


  • Hi Julie,
    Thanks for your message. I am glad you are making these for Christmas presents – I think it is so lovely giving homemade treats. Please do let me know what your friends say! I am posting another edible gift idea this month so keep an eye out!
    Happy Christmas!

  • Hi Sheilagh,
    Thanks for your message. It is a delicious recipe so I hope you do give it a go. You can definitely use Seville oranges in this recipe, it will just result in a more bitter chutney. Alternatively add a bit more sugar to the recipe to offset this.
    Let me know how you go!

  • I’m also going to try this with tangelos and glaze ginger. It sounds delicious and I’m sure my friends will love it.

  • The Sweet-sour pulp of an orange, its juice – fresh or preserved – stimulate appetite and promote digestion improvement, stimulate a biliation. The carbohydrates in orange peels have intriguing, potentially health-promoting properties. Pectin, a type of carbohydrate in orange peels and in certain other fruits and vegetables, increases the growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. Pectin fragments also help keep the intestine healthy by acting as natural “anti-adhesives.”


  • Hello, I have two orange trees and last year I made lots!!! of marmalade, so this year I wanted to go another way. I “Googled” orange chutney hoping I would find something nice, I got to your site made your recipe yesterday, it took some doing with all the chopping but I think it was worth it. I increased the chilies to 7, did not have currants in the freezer, so I used strawberries (not such fresh fruit in Greece this time of year) and decreased the malt vinegar to 1,5lit. I got a chutney with intense flavors!!!, canned 11 small jars since the malt vinegar had 6% acidity and half a jar is in my fridge. I am happy and if the crowds like it in a month, I will make more, my trees carry the oranges all the way to March. By the way, your blog is very interesting, thanks for the recipe.

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