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
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
32 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 96
Amount per serving
Calories 32
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 51mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 3mg 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.)

Chutney is a form of relish with South Asian origins. Fruit chutney became the mainstay of South Africa's food bottling industries over the course of the twentieth century. South African chutneys such as Mrs. Ball's are now world-famous brands distributed in the UK, America, Australia and other parts of Europe. 

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 were seen to increasingly incorporate 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 possibly stemmed from Indo/Malay roots of a word describing chutney. If you observe Mrs. Ball's chutney, you will find the word "blatjang" 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 ​sundried apricots, extra heat from chilies and a smoother consistency. Whichever word you choose, it is fair to conclude that every blatjang is a chutney, however not every chutney is a blatjang.


  • 1 pound/500 grams peaches
  • 1/2 pound/250 grams dried apricots
  • 1/2 pound/250 grams raisins
  • 1 pound/500 grams red onions
  • 1 pound/500 grams sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water (boiling, to soak the dried apricots)
  • 8 ounces/250 milliliters vinegar
  • 2 level teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 level teaspoons coriander
  • 2 level 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 whole in just enough boiling water to cover them; allow to soak for about an hour. This allows them to rehydrate and become plump.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Chop them into chunks, reserving the water to aid in dissolving the sugar.

    Cut up apricot
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Blanch the peaches in boiling water and then place them into a pot of cold water in order to remove the skins.

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

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

    Chop onion
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Place all ingredients into a pot and heat gently for 20 minutes. (This action primarily allows the sugar to dissolve thoroughly.) 

    Add to pot
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Now allow the chutney to simmer at medium heat for about one hour without covering and 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. Once ready, allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes prior to bottling into hot, sterilized jars.

    Allow to cool
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Keep sealed and allow to mature for two weeks to a month prior to consuming.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Enjoy!

    South African fruit chutney
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 

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