Plum Chutney

Traditional Plum Chutney Recipe

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  • Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
15 Calories
0g Fat
4g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 15
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 13mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One of fall's most bountiful fruits are plums, a prolific fruit that seems to ripen all at once. Plum jam may be the most common way to make the most of the fruit before it over-ripens, but chutney is another way to make good use of the harvest.

Traditional plum chutney is so easy to make and for the time given, will reward you with a wonderful side to meats, cheeses, on sandwiches and particularly delicious on a Christmas ham or a fun twist on traditional cranberry sauce with the turkey come Thanksgiving.

Once made, the chutney will keep for up to one year, so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy it.


  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger (peeled)
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 cup dates (stoned and roughly chopped)
  • 3 pounds fresh plums (halved and stoned)
  • 2 red onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 cooking apples (peeled, cored, and roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger ground
  • 1 piece star anise

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for plum chutney
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Start by thinly slicing the peeled ginger, then cut again into thin matchsticks.

    Cut ginger
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 
  3. Place the cardamom pods into a pestle and lightly crack them and remove the seeds. Throw the shell away and crush the seeds. 

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Roughly chop the dates.

    Chop dates
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Place the ginger, crushed cardamom, and dates into a large, non-reactive saucepan.

    Put in pot
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Cut the plum halves into two and add to the pan with the onions, apples, vinegar, and sugar. Stir well. 

    Add to pot
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Put the pan onto medium heat and stir until all the sugar dissolves. Add the cinnamon, ground ginger, and star anise. Stir again.

    Add cinnamon
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  8. Let the chutney reach a gentle boil, then turn down the heat to low and continue to cook for two to two and a half hours. During this time, keep an eye on the chutney, checking from time to time that it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. You do not have to stand over the pan, but do not leave it for too long in between stirs. 

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  9. The chutney is ready when it has thickened, turned a delicious glossy dark brown. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes before potting into hot sterilized jars. The chutney will keep up to a year in a cool place and it does not need to be refrigerated until opened. 

    Chutney is ready
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Recipe Variation

  • The sweet dates in this recipe add a deep flavor and color to the chutney but if dates are not your thing, then switch them out for a different fruit like golden raisins, currants, or sultanas.
  • Another alternative to the dates is to add only half the amount and make up the difference with chopped, dried figs instead.