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Spicy marrow chutney recipe

Posted by on Thursday 16 September 2010 in cooking, preserving | 19 comments

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.

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/marrows, 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.


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Colette O'Neill

    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

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

  3. john b

    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?

  4. Alison

    Thanks for the recipe. I didn’t end up using it because I had a recipe from my mother in law. Every year I wonder what else I can make with marrow other than slicing it in half and baking it with mince meat, so this is my first attempt. next year I will try your other marrow recipes. They look great!

    • louisa

      Hi Alison, thanks for the comment!

      I’d heartily recommend the marrow cake/bread – it’s really quite something.

      We’ve also been loving some marrow & chilli jam I made at the end of my preserving marathon – unfortunately I was too tired at that point to get the recipe down exactly but it was gooooood. This chutney and the marrow & ginger jams are good too but the chilli stuff just hits all our buttons :) I will reproduce it and write it up here as soon as I can!

  5. Alison

    Thanks Louisa! No rush on the recipe… I have snow all over my garden right now, so it will be awhile before another marrow grows. I had never been a chutney fan until I started making my own! I will trying yours next year. This year I made four kinds of chutney – the best two were the Green Tomato Chutney and the Green Tomato & Vanilla Jam. I also read a recipe for Bacon and Apple Chutney that I just might have to try….

  6. Lisa

    Hi Louisa

    Just finished making my batch of chutney. Tastes fab!

    My friend made it first and I loved it, so was converted to marrow chutney. Its our first year of having our own allotment and we are loving the cooking of the produce as much as the growing. By the way how long should the unopened chutney last?

    Thanks for a great recipe Lisa

  7. RachyP

    Great recipe! I added a handful of raisins and a chopped apple as had some left from the garden, but other than that kept all the spicing the same. Was delish! Vinegar balanced perfectly with sugar, really good flavour. Thanks so much!

  8. Shelley

    GREAT recipe thanks have made it this morning. Smells Beautiful. Will be trying it in cheese sandwiches………..
    Had to use cider vinegar with the remaining white wine vinegar, as I had run out of the white wine vinegar. My Husband said that the two smelt similar so gave it a go.

  9. Anita Malhotra

    This is a great reipe. The normal over-sweet English chutneys are not to my taste at all, being raised on the fiery Indian versions, but my husand like them, and this recipe offers a good balance between them that both of us enjoy.

  10. Sally

    Bleedy ansome best chutney so far, I added extra chilli and its like a lime pickle.. Very very nice Thanks

  11. Jan Hams

    I looked up your recipe because a friend gave me a marrow. The ingredients say ‘courgettes’ and the instructions say marrow .. Bit confusing but I’m going to give it a go.

    • louisa

      Good spot, Jan! I’ve updated the recipe now to say “courgettes/marrow” – they just different stages of the same thing. (There are different sub-species which are nicer at each stage but the marrows I use for chutney or cake are just overgrown courgettes – a bit too tough/fibrous to eat as a vegetable but fine for this type of thing.)

  12. Sara

    Excellent recipe. I added a tin of chopped tomatoes and used cider vinegar. Really lovely and spicy. I mashed a bit but kept quite a lot of whole pieces . Being lazy really but it looks prettier. Is it a keeper ?

  13. Anita

    Have done your chytney today, will let you know how it tastes but the aroma is great!

  14. julie

    I have made a huge batch of chutney today, can I freeze it?

  15. Janis

    YouI have just made several made of your chutney, smells delicious but how long will it keep? Thanks


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