Plum Chutney


Our neighbors stopped by with buckets (yes, buckets) of excess plums. Not that you’ll necessarily be so lucky, but if you should happen to find a nice supply of plums, here’s something awesome you can make with them: Indian style plum chutney. Perfect for topping your samosas or naan, and at least as easy as marmalade.

Plum Chutney (in bowl)   Plum Chutney (on Pappadum)

There are probably thousands of other chutneys, and this is only one particular style: it works well as a sweet, tangy and slightly spice dipping sauce. Inspiration for some of the spices we use comes from a tamarind chutney recipe from a great introductory Indian cookbook, Indian Home Cooking. You can read more about our approach to spices here.

Plum Chutney ingredients


  • 8 cups cut up pieces of plums, pits removed, skins left on
  • 3 lemons, cut into small pieces, seeds removed
  • juice from 3 more lemons
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated (a microplane works great)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups brown sugar

(Yes, more ingredients than marmalade, but the prep work is less time consuming!)

Plum Chutney ingredients mixed

Throw everything except the sugar in a sauce pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit starts to soften.

Plum Chutney--softening the fruit

Add sugar and cook until it thickens to a consistency you like. Soft enough to dip a papadum piece in it is a good goal. Remove cinnamon stick after cooking.

Plum Chutney about done

Serve warm or cold; with papadums, samosas, naan, or on a cream cheese and turkey sandwich. Mmmm….

Plum Chutney--Jars and bowl

You can also follow your favorite canning procedure for longer term storage. Makes about 3 1/2 pints.

If you liked this, you may also like our instructable on cooking papadums, our South Indian Restaurant Menu Decoder Ring, and our lemon pickle article.

8 thoughts on “Plum Chutney

  1. An old flame’s Mother made this wonderful plum sauce. It was great for adding depth of flavour to all sorts of savoury dishes. Sweet, and less spicy than this recipe. I remember adding it to bolognese/cottage pie to excellent effect. Also good as a condiment with sausages.

    1. What should I do in the event of excess blueberries? (Or my neighbors, I don’t really like blueberries, but have a bush of them. It grows more than we can take and less than the birds can. We put a tent-like thing on it to keep them out.)

      1. Well if you don’t like blueberries and there are too many for you, why not let the birds have some???

        I’ve had this stuff before at an Indian restaurant it was awesome. I may just have to make some of this now!!!

  2. Plum wine is a top way to use up excess plums – to the poster above with excess blueberries, you can make wine from it, although a good blueberry wine is a rare thing – plum wine is generally brilliant on the other hand.

  3. I quite like the color of your chutney! A deep ruby like that is really appetite-stimulating. I have been dealing with loads of plums from our bumper crop this year, but we have greengages (Reine Claudes actually) which means that when you cook the mixture down (my recipe is similar except that I use cranberries or some such as a tart element) it becomes a bit of a brown slurry. The beauty is only in the mouth. I use lots of spices: star anise, clove, cardamom, etc. Hadn’t yet tried Garam Masala, so I should give that a go. My French neighbors are startled by the bright spiciness of chutney!

  4. This is spectacularly wonderful. Thank you so much. Mine was still quite soupy, but never mind still thoroughly divine. Also, it made far more than the recipe claims — 5.5 pts, so line-up some extra jars.

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