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Plum Chutney With Warm Spices

This  is  a  sweet  plum  chutney   with a  hint  of  warm  spices.  I love  to use  this to  make chutney sandwiches  – a  bit  of  tang , heat  and  sweetness  seems  to  work  wonders  on  piece  of  plain  toast !   But  these  go  really well with spicy samosas  or  Naan   or   with Indian  chaat or  as  a  glaze   when roasting   poultry or  ham.  Thin it a  little  and  and  it  becomes   a  dipping   sauce  for  spring   rolls .. well  the  options  are endless ..

Spiced Plum Chutney

These  plums  were  not on my list, but  as  I was  stepping  out  on the   grocery run  a  little  voice  chirped  from  behind  “Mom,  you never  take us to the store with you!”. As  usual  everything  is  dramatic  when   viewed  through the little  eyes. “ Go  with  mommy”,  chimed in DH.   An uninterrupted  afternoon nap  is  worth  a  few  angry stares   from  wife, he  would  have   figured.  Anyway the  long  story short  the kids  and I went  shopping  together.

… And that is how a fairly large box of plums ended up on the  kitchen counter.

How  bad  can  it get? after all it is  just a  few  plums,   right ?  These  ones  looked good –  perfectly shaped , no blemishes , beautiful even coloring.  The only thing  you  may not  guess by looking  at  them is  that  they  weren’t ripe enough.  So after the   first bite  no one  spared  them a  second glance.

Commercial plums  are picked  before  they are  ripe. Sometimes  these  are  forced  to ripen  by exposing the  raw  fruits  to  ethylene.  Leaving  them at  room temperature  for  a  couple days also has  the  same  effect.  But  the  science lesson is  lost  on  my family –  once  bitten  twice  shy ! So these  beauties  ripened as they  sat  there on the  counter, but  no  one showed  any  interest  in them.

I could  throw it  into the  trash bin –  or  compost.  But  every time  I look at  it  I am  thinking “Ommm  this is  going  to make  some  nice wine !”.  I had  made wine  with   these  ages  back  just the  way  I make  my home  made  grape  wine.  It  was  delicious – (is  that   something  you  say about  wine)  !  The point  is that  if  I get  another  glass  , I will  be  more than willing  to  try it. But somehow the wine making never came to pass, and  the   fruits  sat there  getting  more  and  more ripe.
Plum  chutney  – the  light bulb went  on my head  as  I was  spreading  the  last  bit  of  spiced  pineapple jam onto  my toast ! It  has  been  sometime  since  I made  jams  or  jellies, and  I was  just polishing  off my last  bottle  of  home made  jam! So  yes it   seemed  like a  good  idea.

And  it  turned  out  to be  much  better  idea.  For  one  thing,  plums  don’t  need  a lot of cooking  time.  I had  a little  over  2 lbs  of  fruits  left  over   and  that  was  perfect  for  about 4 cups of   chutney .

Plums,  except  for  the  Italian variety,  contain a  lot  of  pectin , making  these   perfect  to  make  jams  and  jellies.  There is  no need  to  add  extra  pectin  or  find  other  fruits/peels that  contain pectin.  These  impart  wonderful  color  to the  jam as  well.  Believe  me  all that  beutiful  read  comes  without  any food coloring.   Keep in mind  though   that the  color  might  vary a  little  depending on the variety of  plum ,  but  most  dark varieties  yield this  gorgeous   red  color.

Spiced Plum Chutney - plums stewing


These  soften   really  well on  cooking  and  unless   you are looking  for a  really smooth jelly texture  do not  worry about  straining    the  mix  or  pulverizing  the   fruit.

Another thing   in  favor of  this  fruit  is  that it does  not  need  a  lot of  elbow  grease. Chop the  plums  and  cook  with sugar  stirring  every couple  minutes .  Once  the  mix  turns  into a  liquid  add the   spices  and   cook down to the   desired  consistency – in my case just  set.  Add  a little  vinegar  simmer  for a  few minutes  and   bottle.

Plum Chutney Test

For  the most  part  I do not  use a  candy thermometer  when making  jellies.  I go the old fashioned  way – test  using  a  bowl of  cold  water.  Keep a small bowl with   water  nearby as  the jelly thickens.  Drop a little  into a  bowl  when you think it is  ready.  If  it   spreads the jelly needs  to  be  cooked a  little  more. If  it  sets   you are  good to   go.  For  jellies  that  are  going  to be  used  up   soon   this  works  perfectly.

In this  recipe  I have  used some  warm  spices ,  medium hot  chili powder ,  ginger  , clove  and cinnamon powders.  A  little bit  of   these  spices goes a  long  way in  complementing  and  enhancing the  flavors.  For a spicier  version  increase  the  chili   and  ginger powders.

Coming  to  bottling  part, it  is  one of  the  most  important   things  to keep in mind  in home  canning.  If you  are making  a  large  batch, do  follow the  proper  canning  procedures.  There  is  no point  in  going  through all the  process of  preserving  if  it  is  going  to   spoil before  you get  to open it.  More information  on canning  can be  found  on  the usda website .

I on the  other hand  make  these  in  smaller  batches.  The recipe  here  is   for  a  small  batch  of  up to  1  kg  fruits.  You get  3 to 4  Cups  of  chutney  depending on  how  thick you want  it  to be .  These  can be  bottled  and  refrigerated  for  a few   weeks  ( 3 to 4) , without  pressure / water canning .

In any case use  clean  dry bottles to prevent  spoilage.

Here is  the  recipe  for  spiced   plum chutney .

Spiced Plum Chutney

Spiced Plum Chutney

By Syama
A sweet  and  tangy plum  chutney  with  a   touch of  warm   spices .
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Preserves
Cuisine Fusion


  • 1 kg Plums, chopped About 10 -12 medium
  • 250 g Sugar About 1 C
  • 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp  Dry Ginger Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Medium Hot Chili Powder To Taste
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground cloves Can add up to 1 Tsp
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar


  • Remove  the  seeds  from the  plums  and  chop into small  pieces.
  • In  a thick bottomed  stock pot mix  the chopped  fruit with  sugar. Cook over  medium  heat  stirring  occasionally.  Cook for  about  8  to 10 minutes  until the  mix  turns to  liquid.
  • Add salt , chili powder ,  ginger powder , cinnamon and  cloves to the mix  . Over  low  heat  cook until  the mix  reaches  the  desired  consistency.  Stir  often  to prevent  the  chutney from   sticking  to the bottom of the pan.  Taste and add more  spices  if needed.
  • When the chutney  thickens  place a drop of it into a bowl with cold water. If it sets and does not spread the chutney is ready , otherwise cook a little more and test again.
  • Add  the vinegar, mix in  and  cook over low  heat for  5  more  minutes. Stir  frequently to prevent  burning.
  • Bottle  into  clean   sterilized bottles   and  process in  a  water/pressure  Canner  if planning to store for  long ,  otherwise  cool  completely and  refrigerate.
    Use within the  next  few  weeks (3 to 4 ).


  • Freshly ground  spices  pack   more  punch. 
  • You could  substitute  Apple  Cider  Vinegar or red  wine  vinegar for white  vinegar. These   will change  the  flavors  a little.  
  • Adjust  sugar   as  to your  taste .  When   using   ripe  plums this   recipe  will  yield a sweet  chutney, but  not  overly  sweet.

Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.

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Spiced Plum Chutney

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