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Here’s the first recipe from my preserving marathon on Tuesday: spicy marrow chutney.

With all the different spices, it’s got a very full taste rather than a one-note blast of chilli heat.

spicy marrow chutney

It’s not the texture of either smooth jelly-like jam nor chunky like Branston — although it would be possible to make it like that – just cut the marrow a lot smaller to start with, blend the onions etc and skip the mashing stage. I did it my way because I wanted something more spreadable for sandwiches. Plus chopping up so much marrow into teeny-tiny pieces? yawn.

It’ll be amazing with ham and beef.

Spicy marrow chutney recipe


1.5kg of courgettes, peeled and deseeded
2 medium onions
25g root ginger, peeled
4 cloves of garlic (or equivalent garlic puree)
300ml of white wine vinegar
300g of Demerara sugar
1tbsp of salt

2tsp of dried chilli flakes
2tbsp of black mustard seeds
1tbsp of cumin seeds
1tbsp of coriander powder
1tbsp of turmeric

oil for frying


1. Cut the marrow into chunks no more than around 1cm square. Sprinkle them with salt and put them in a colander (over a bowl/the sink) for a couple of hours to remove excess (and potentially bitter) moisture. When they’re ready and you’re about to start cooking, rinse off the salt and leave them in the colander to drain.

2. Peel and dice the onion, garlic & ginger – the pieces should be as big as you’d want to find in a chutney, so no more than 5mm square. If you’ve got a blender, you can puree them together instead of dicing them.

3. Add the oil to a large heavy bottomed pan (with a lid) and fry the mustard & cumin seeds for a couple of minutes, until the first seeds start to pop. Add the coriander powder and turmeric, and fry for another minute – keep everything moving so it doesn’t burn.

4. Add the diced/blended onion, ginger & garlic to the frying spice mix, and add the chilli flakes too. Fry that for a good 5 minutes – add a tiny bit of water if it starts to burn but try to keep it pretty dry so it fries, rather than boils.

5. Add the diced marrow to the pan and stir well.

6. Add the sugar & the vinegar and stir well again.

7. Put the lid on the pan then bring to simmering point and reduce the heat to maintain the simmer but not burn. Leave it to simmer until the marrow is squishy (30-45 minutes), stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick.

8. Using a potato masher, smoosh the marrow into smaller chunks/a thick mash. Stir together so the mash absorbs any remaining moisture.

9. Spoon the hot chutney into warm sterilised jars*. Because it’s pretty thick rather than a liquid, it’ll sit in clumps so needs a bit of manual intervention to make sure it’s packed down without air pockets. Seal with waxed discs/vinegar-proof lids.


About 2.5kg or 5.5lbs

* Wash jars in hot soapy water then rinse in warm clean water, then put them into the oven on a low heat – gas mark 2 or 160C ish – for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool a bit before using them — just to make the handling easier – but use them while still warm.

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6 Comments on Spicy marrow chutney recipe

  1. I have had to trawl through a lot of nonsense before I happened upon this site…the recipe for the chutney will being tried out today…thanks! I’ll be back…
    Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

  2. louisa says:

    Hope it works well for you, Colette — let us know what you think! :)

  3. [...] Spicy Marrow Chutney recipe uses flavours inspired by the Indian sub-continent but this one uses flavours from further [...]

  4. [...] observant may notice a pattern with the things I cook. What can I say, we love spice-inspired endorphins. ;) Again though, like with [...]

  5. john b says:

    gonna make this tomorrow with the last of this years marrows, but where do i find gloves of garlic and will it taste the same if i don’t wear them?

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