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Drying Salting Pickles ChutneysDrying * Salting * Pickles * Chutneys

DIG FOR VICTORY LEAFLET No. 14 (Page 3 of 4)


Chutney became popular in Britain when India became part of the Empire. The name is actually an Anglicisation of the Hindi word Chatni. As a method of preserving fruits and vegetables, chutneys are ideal for home growers. Better still, the fruits and vegetables need not be in first class condition for a chutney.

No special equipment is required to make chutney and different vessels can be pressed into service to store the product.

The strong flavour of chutneys, sweet and sour with spices, was ideal for enlivening a bland wartime diet.

The most suitable fruits for chutney are apples, gooseberries, plums, rhubarb and tomatoes. Vegetables, such as beetroot, marrow and turnip, may also be used.

The fruit should be washed, stoned, peeled, cored, etc., and then chopped or minced. Dried fruits do not require soaking before use.

The mixture is simmered gently for one or two hours, with occasional stirring, until it has the consistency of jam.

The spices should be tied in a piece of muslin, cooked with the other ingredients, and then taken out.

Some of the ingredients mentioned are likely to be in short supply and may have to be omitted.

Typical Recipes

Apple Chutney

  • 5 lb. apples
  • 1 teaspn. ground ginger
  • 1 lb. onions
  • ½-1 teaspn. salt
  • 1½ lb. sugar
  • ½-1 teaspn. pickling spices
  • 1½ pts. Vinegar

Green Tomato Chutney

  • 5 lb. tomatoes
  • ½-1 teaspn. salt
  • 1 lb. onions
  • ½-1 teaspn. pickling spices
  • 1 lb. sugar
  • 1½ pts. Vinegar

The spices commonly used for pickling are allspice, clove, cinnamon, ginger, mace and mustard. These can be used as obtainable and to suit individual tastes.


Cook the onion in some of the juicy fruit until quite soft. Mix in all the other ingredients except the sugar and most of the vinegar. Vinegar should be added as the mixture thickens and only enough to prevent burning.

After about 1½ hours cooking, and when quite thick, add the rest of the vinegar and the sugar, and cook until the consistency is like thick jam.