Sunday, 18 August 2013

Spicy Courgette Chutney

Each year I suggest that a couple of courgette plants might be enough, but currently we have about 10. Result: courgette fritters, longboats, gratin, dressed ribbons, buttered, cake and now ... chutney. (Can't hack ratatouille, sadly. Yucky slop.)

This recipe uses a kilo of courgettes, which is 'several', and makes around 850g, or roughly three standard jam jars full. I have adapted a recipe by Pam the Jam at River Cottage. Mine takes 2 hours for the courgettes to salt, then another hour and a half - though most of that is the simmering of the chutney which gives the near environment an appetising, spicy feel.

Any one of the seeds and spices could be omitted, though they go together very nicely.

Shortly before the chutney is ready, the clean jam jars should be placed in a fairly low oven (100C) for a few minutes to sterilise them. Not that the vinegar wouldn't do a great job on its own.

Spicy Courgette Chutney
1 kg courgettes, wiped, ends trimmed, chopped into 2cm lengths then halved across
2 tbsp salt
2 medium onions, white or red, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 red chillies, finely snipped (keep the seeds in if you like things hot)
40g piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
75ml of oil - olive, veg or rapeseed
2 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
200ml cider (or wine) vinegar
175g demerara sugar

1  Put the courgette pieces in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the salt. Leave them
       about 2 hours to drip, then rinse and pat dry.
2  Blitz the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger together to a coarse paste or a very fine chop.
3  Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the mustard and coriander seeds and fry gently for
       5 mins, stirring often.
4  Add the onion paste, cumin and turmeric to the pan and fry for a further 5 mins, again 
       stirring often.
5  Add the vinegar, sugar and courgettes and mix well. Simmer on a low heat for 60-75
       mins until the courgettes are softened, most of the liquid has evaporated, and the
       mixture is starting to get sticky. This needs stirring from time to time.
6  Spoon into the hot jars, pressing down as you go to remove air. Seal and store,
       preferably in the dark.

I'm loving this with vegeburgers, vegesausages and savoury rice, and as part of a ploughman's. Here's my latest ploughman's with home-made wheat-free bread and Cashel Blue cheese. The chutney uses our own courgettes, onions, garlic and chillies, and the tomato is from the garden, too. Earth goddess.

It does take a while, but this is the way more of our courgettes will be heading shortly. I might even try putting in a few of the beastly cucamelons next time - got to do something useful with them!


  1. What a great idea, for all those wonderful courgettes around at the moment. (Mine end up cooked in oil, with garlic and chilli and thrown over pasta. Even I can cook that.)

  2. Er what do you do with the paste when you've made it?

    1. Whoever you are! This is not a paste, it's a chutney as it says, and I have mentioned how I like to serve it. Thanks for looking at the blog, anyway.

    2. Sorry - misunderstood. Paste escaped the method as it's not listed as such in the ingredients. I have edited the post, including the paste at stage 4.

  3. She means the onion & garlic paste - which you made but didn't add to the final mix???

  4. I absolutely love this recipe, as does everyone I’ve shared it with. I’m sharing it with my ladies group this evening with credit for the recipe to you. The recipe also works well with marrow. I use a shortcut by chopping it in my food processor.


    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Pauline. Glad it worked for you.