South African Fruit Chutney

South African fruit chutney recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 96 servings
Yield: 3 pints
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
35 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 96
Amount per serving
Calories 35
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 47mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 60mg 1%
*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.)

Chutney, a form of relish with South Asian origins, became the mainstay of South Africa's food bottling industries over the course of the twentieth century, particularly when made with fruit. South African chutneys such as Mrs. Ball's are now world-famous brands distributed in the U.K., America, Australia, and other parts of Europe. But this condiment, which is often used as an ingredient, is also easy enough to make at home. Just plan ahead so the chutney has time to mature, which can take up to a month. This recipe uses peaches, dried apricots, and raisins and makes enough to fill 3 pint-sized jars.


  • 250 grams (about 1/2 pound) dried apricots

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water

  • 500 grams (about 1 pound) peaches

  • 500 grams (about 1 pound) red onions

  • 125 grams (about 1/2 pound) raisins

  • 500 grams (about 1 pound) sugar

  • 250 milliliters (about 8 ounces) vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for South African fruit chutney recipe
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Soak the dried apricots in just enough boiling water to cover; let sit for about 1 hour to allow the apricots to rehydrate and become plump.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Chop the apricots into chunks, reserving the soaking water.

    Cut up apricot
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. To remove the skins from the peaches, blanch the whole fruit in boiling water and then place them in a bowl of cold water.

    Blanch the peaches
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Chop the peaches into large chunks, discarding the pits.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Chop or dice the onions.

    Chop onion
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Place all of the ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

    Add to pot
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Allow the chutney to simmer at medium heat for about 1 hour, without covering, stirring occasionally. Do not worry if the mixture still appears to be runny; it will thicken once cooled.

    Now allow chutney to simmer
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the chutney into 3 hot, sterilized pint jars.

    Allow to cool
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Keep the jars sealed for two to four weeks prior to consuming to allow the chutney to mature.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Enjoy.

    South African fruit chutney
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 

What is the origin of chutney?

Chutney itself has its origins in India and other parts of South Asia. With the mixing of cultures through colonization by the British in India, traditional jams increasingly incorporated more savory ingredients as well as spices. The Dutch had already brought enslaved South Asians to the Cape by the time chutney had gained popularity in Europe as a luxury food item; however, the popularity of chutney in South Africa came about through Cape Malay influences during the Dutch enslavement of Malays and Indonesians.

The Afrikaans word for chutney is blatjang, which may have stemmed from Indo/Malay roots of a word describing chutney. You will find the word "blatjang" on a bottle of Mrs. Ball's chutney; the word is written as the Afrikaans translation, implying that chutney and blatjang are one in the same thing. However, many South Africans will still make a distinction between fruit chutney and blatjang, with the latter almost always consisting of fresh or ​sun-dried apricots, and boasting extra heat from chiles along with a smoother consistency. Whichever word you choose, it is fair to conclude that every blatjang is a chutney, but not every chutney is a blatjang.