Spicy Lemon Chutney

Spicy lemon chutney in bowl
Homemade spicy lemon chutney

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Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 4 hrs
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
271 Calories
1g Fat
72g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 271
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2337mg 102%
Total Carbohydrate 72g 26%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Protein 4g
Calcium 112mg 9%
*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.)

This spicy lemon chutney preserves the bright flavor of winter lemons for use all year long. It is based on the excellent recipe in Laurie Colwin's "More Home Cooking." Spoon it on roast meats (it is especially tasty with leftover cold chicken) or serve with mild cheese on crisp toast or crackers for an easy appetizer. You will want to eat it by the spoonful straight from the jar.

An absolute key to the success of this recipe is to be sure to remove all of the white pith from the zest and from the fruit—it is remarkably bitter and if you include it in the mixture, the chutney will be bitter, too.


  • 10 to 12 lemons/about 3 pounds, plus 2 or 3 more for juice (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons salt (kosher)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 half-pint (8-ounce) jars and lids

Steps to Make It

  1. Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, remove the zest from lemons. Be careful to remove only the zest (the thin outer yellow skin) and not any of the white pith beneath. Finely chop zest and put in a large bowl.

  2. Cut off and discard the white pith. Finely chop the lemon flesh, discarding any seeds, and add to bowl with the zest. Add salt, stir to combine, and let sit at room temperature overnight.

  3. Put salted chopped lemons in a large pot. Add sugar, garlic, currants, lemon juice, cider vinegar, ginger, coriander, cayenne, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine over medium heat. Cook until mixture thickens, about 1 hour.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add jars and lids and turn off the heat.

  5. When chutney is thick, remove jars and lids from their hot water bath and dry. (Bring the pot of water back to a boil.) Fill jars with chutney. Using a wide-mouth funnel makes filling the jars much easier. If you don't have one, however, just spoon the chutney into jars and clean edges with damp paper towels when jars are full. Firmly screw on lids.

  6. Put jars back in the pot of boiling water (jars should be covered by at least 2 inches of water). Boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool. Store at room temperature for at least 6 weeks and up to 6 months before eating to let flavors blend. Keep opened jars chilled.


  • You need to prep the lemons the day before you plan to cook the chutney. You will need 4 half-pint (8-ounce) jars and lids.

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