Green Tomato Chutney

Far from being a waste, the tomatoes that don’t ripen can be one of the most important assets you will get from your veg patch this year. The beauty of this recipe for green tomato chutney is its exclusivity. Because you can’t buy the primary ingredient (green tomatoes) in the shops, it can really only be made by a GIYer.


  • 3kg green tomatoes
  • 6 large onions (about 1kg)
  • 3 or 4 large green peppers
  • 700g brown sugar
  • 1.2 litres of vinegar
  • Spices: 3 tbs mustard seed, 1 tbs coriander seed, ½ teaspoon celery seed, 1 teaspoon turmeric


Chop the onions and slice the tomatoes finely. Layer them in a very large bowl – i.e. start with onions, then tomatoes, then onions etc, seasoning each layer with plenty of salt and a little pepper as you go.

Leave it to stand for a day or so – then drain off the liquid and transfer the veg to a large stock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients (sugar, vinegar, spices), bring the whole thing to a boil and let it simmer on a low heat for two or three hours. Put it back in to the bowl and let it sit for another day.

Put it back in the stock pot and cook it for another half hour so that the liquid reduces down further – you want just enough liquid to cover the vegetables when they are transferred in to pots.

Sterilise some jam jars and ladle the chutney in to them. Don’t be tempted to eat any for about a month – it’s like a fine wine, it will get better with age.

Related: Broad Bean Hummus

Michael Kelly is a freelance journalist, author and founder of GIY Ireland.  We are trying to get 100,000 people to take a pledge to grow something they can eat – take the GIY pledge at

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls