Fermented Apple Chutney

Apple chutney and whole apples on cutting board
GoDakshin/Flickr/CC 2.0
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 Quart (7 to 8 Servings)

This lacto-fermented apple chutney is crunchy, lightly tangy and delicious enough to use as a side dish rather than a condiment. Plus, you get all the awesome probiotic health benefits of lacto-fermented foods!


  • 1/2 cup filtered water (the chlorine in unfiltered tap water can halt the fermentation process)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons whey* (if you have yogurt in the house, you can make whey, see note below)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tsp. kosher or other non-iodized salts
  • 3 cups cored and finely chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon slightly crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, if you like your chutney spicy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine the water, honey, vinegar, whey, and salt, stirring to dissolve the honey and salt.

  2. Mix the other ingredients separately and pack firmly into a quart-size glass jar, leaving at least an inch of headspace. Pour the liquid mixture over the other ingredients. The liquid should come up to the top of the fruit. If it doesn’t, add a little filtered water.

  3. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for 2 days. You should see some bubbles on top by then, which is a sign of active fermentation.

  4. Refrigerate and leave for another week before eating. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 months. Serve with rice, meat, cheese, whatever suits your fancy. Combined with shredded cabbage, this lacto-fermented apple chutney makes an excellent winter salad.

    *The whey in this recipe is already alive with healthy, probiotic bacteria and jumpstarts the fermentation process. To make whey, drain yogurt through cloth or paper filters over a bowl. The liquid that separates out is whey.

    Drained yogurt is thicker than regular, and delicious. If you let it drain in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours you have something with the exact consistency of a soft cream cheese, which is wonderful on toast topped with some of that chutney you used the whey to make.

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