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Spicy plum chutney recipe: plum & chilli jam

Posted by on Friday 24 September 2010 in preserving, recipes, wild food | 5 comments

With the last of the plums from the wild tree next to our house, I made a delicious spicy plum and chilli chutney.

The plums are slightly smaller than cultivated ones but highly flavoured – both sweet & tart at the same time. Yum!

My Spicy Marrow Chutney recipe uses flavours inspired by the Indian sub-continent but this spicy plum chutney uses flavours from further east than that.

It’s not a thick jelly-ish jam but is delicious spread thinly on a cracker and topped with a piece of tasty cheese. Mmm, cheese.

Spicy plum and chilli chutney recipe


750g of plums, halved and stoned
250ml of rice vinegar (or similar strength vinegar)
2tbsp of nam pla aka fish sauce (see note below)
400g of sugar – I used 300g granulated, 100g demerara for a richer taste

2tsp of dry chilli flakes
1tsp of cinnamon
30g/5cm of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated (for texture)
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1tsp of salt


0. Prepare some jars by washing them in hot soapy water, rinsing them, then putting them in a low oven (no higher than gas mark 2/150C/300F ish) for about 20 minutes. You want them still to be warm when you’re using them but they need to have cooled a bit so you can handle them.

1. Put the plums in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the spices (including the ginger & garlic) and cook until the plums fall apart.

2. Thoroughly stir in the vinegar and the nam pla/fish sauce then add the sugar and increase the heat.

3. Bring to a rolling boil for 15-20minutes or so. We’re not looking for a jelly-like setting point but near enough so when you start the boiling, put a saucer in the freezer. When the mixture starts to look ready, dollop a little of the chutney onto the sauce and place it back in the freezer for a minute to chill it slightly. Take it out again and drag your finger lightly across the surface. If there is some surface tension, it’s ready; if it’s still really liquid-y, keep boiling it for a couple of minutes and repeat until it does reach that point.

4. Once it’s ready, ladle it into the still-warm jars and seal with vinegar-proof lids. Leave to rest somewhere cool and dark for at least a couple of weeks (preferably a month) for the flavours to develop.


About 3lbs.

Nam Pla

This adds some savoury roundness, some umami, to the chutney but it isn’t in any way essential. If you don’t have it/don’t like it, leave it out or substitute it for something similar – like Worcester Sauce or Henderson’s Relish (for fish-free veggies).

Have you made this? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Lucy

    This chutney is absolutely delicious with blue cheese! I made a batch last year and loved it. We just finished it off and it’s not plum season yet, so yesterday I made a batch using cherries instead. It needs a couple of weeks in the cupboard, but tastes pretty good so far!

  2. Debbie

    I know this is an older post, but I had to comment anyway. Love, love, love this. I made one batch of this and after my husband and I sampled a bit and I went out to buy supplies to make a second (double) batch. I look forward to sampling it after it sits for a couple of weeks (if there is any left at the rate we are eating it)!! Looking forward to checking out more of your recipes, thanks so much for posting!!!

  3. Teena

    I have just made this chutney and it looks and smells fantastic. I can hardly wait to try it in a few weeks! Thank you

  4. annie

    A great recipe – thanks.I made this using balsamic vinegar and then again with wine vinegar. The balsamic gives a richer taste and the chutney didn’t last three days so no idea if it improves with keeping. The wine vinegar is a bit sharper. I’m going to try it using figs as we have a surplus.

  5. Anneke

    Found your site on Google after I discovered a whole bag of frozen plums that I had forgotten about from last year’s harvest in the freezer. Chucked in an insane amount of super hot birds eye chillies. No idea how am going to let this rest – it is simply divine! :-)Thanks for sharing!


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