All demo content is for sample purposes only, intended to represent a live site. Please use the RocketLauncher to install an equivalent of the demo, all images will be replaced with sample images.

24 May 2019

This step by step tomato chutney recipe will have you making chutney in no time, made with fresh tomatoes, optional chilies, vinegar and spices. It is wonderful with Indian food, or can be used as a flavorful condiment.

It’s chutney making time in the Madness kitchen, my friends. I’ve been in the mood for tomato chutney for days so I ran to the market for some heirloom tomatoes. I usually make chutneys from my own garden grown tomatoes as one way of preserving them, but alas, my garden isn’t producing tomatoes yet.

Chutneys make for flavorful condiments, and pair up nicely with many different foods and cuisines. Tomato chutney is a staple in south Indian cuisine, often paired with idli (savory rice cakes), dosas (much like crepes), fried snacks like vada and pakora, and more.

I personally enjoy spooning chutney over grilled meats for a tangy accompaniment. Tomato chutney particularly pairs well with chicken or pork. I also enjoy it spooned over grilled sausages. If you think you like ketchup, swap it out for this tomato chutney.

You’ll love it.

What is Tomato Chutney?

A “chutney” is a condiment made with a mixture of vegetables and/or fruits, often mixed with vinegar, spices, and some form of sweetener, such as sugar or honey.

Chutneys originated in India, but their flavor and versatility has helped it spread around the world.

There are many different types of chutney, including mango chutney, coconut chutney, and especially tomato chutney, which focuses on fresh tomatoes.

Let’s talk about how we make tomato chutney, shall we?


Tomato Chutney in a bowl and jar, ready to serve

Tomato Chutney Ingredients – What You’ll Need to Make Spicy Tomato Chutney

  • 1.5 pounds red tomatoes
  • 2-3 red chilies of choice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

NOTE: There are other spices and ingredients you can include to make tomato chutney. I discuss those options below, but this is everything you need to make a simple, easy tomato chutney.

How to Make Tomato Chutney

First, chop the tomatoes and peppers and add them to a a large pot or a wide pan.

Next, add the apple cider vinegar, cilantro, paprika, sugar and salt. Heat the mixture to medium heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The ingredients will break down and thicken up into a sauce-like consistency.

Finally, remove from heat and let the chutney cool.

Enjoy your chutney!

Recipe Notes

The simmering time is variable. You can simmer for shorter or longer, depending on the consistency you’d like. Simmer longer for more of a sauce. You can add a bit of water or extra vinegar to thin it out, again, depending on your preferred use. The longer you simmer, the more the ingredients will break down.

Cut the simmering time for a chunkier chutney. I like it a bit more chunky for topping sandwiches or sausages on a bun, but thinner for grilled meats. Though I enjoy it either way.

Recipe Variations

Use my recipe as a base recipe for making your own easy tomato chutney. There are many other seasonings and ingredients you can use to make it  your own. Some popular additions include:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Many different chili peppers
  • Mango or other fruit
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Clove or other seasonings

If don’t want to incorporate fresh chili peppers, you can use chili powder instead. Or, omit the peppers entirely and focus more on the tomatoes and seasonings. I like a good spicy tomato chutney, so I include peppers with mine.

You also can make tomato chutney with green tomatoes. In fact, green tomato chutney is quite popular in Indian cuisine.

How Do You Make Tomato Chutney with Green Tomatoes?

The process for making green tomato chutney is the same for making any chutney. The steps are:

  1. Chop your green tomatoes and peppers (if using) and add them to a a large pot or a wide pan.
  2. Next, add vinegar, preferred seasonings, sugar or honey (if using) and salt.
  3. Heat the mixture and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the chutney thickens up.
  4. Serve as desired.

See my Green Tomato Chutney Recipe with notes.

How to Preserve Tomato Chutney

Your chutney will last a good month in the refrigerator, but if you’d like to preserve your chutney, you can jar it and process the jars in a water bath. 

Here are the steps to preserve your chutney with the water bath method.

  • First, clean your jars and lids using a steamer rack in a 16-quart pot. Place the jars on the rack and fill the pot with water, enough to cover the jars. Do not let the jars touch the bottom of the pot, as the heat can cause the glass to crack.
  • Bring the water to a boil and boil the jars for 10 minutes. Remove the jars with tongs when you’re ready to use them.
  • When the chutney is ready, spoon it into the jars, leaving ¼ inch head space.
  • Clean the lids with soap and hot water, then place them onto the jars. Secure them with cleaned canning rings. Wipe the rims clean.
  • Place the filled jars back into the hot water bath, onto the steamer rack, ensuring the jars are covered with 3 inches of water.
  • Return the water to a boil and process them for 15 minutes. Remove the jars with tongs and tighten the screw caps.
  • The jar lids should make a popping sound as they seal. If a lid doesn’t seal for some reason, you can reprocess it, or store the jar in the refrigerator.
  • Invert the jars to test for leaks. Flip them upright after 10 minutes and allow to cool.
  • Store the jars in a cool, dry place. They will last a year or longer this way. Once you open them, however, keep the jars in the refrigerator.

10 Ways to Eat Tomato Chutney

  1. Spread some onto your favorite sandwich
  2. Use it to top grilled sausages on a bun.
  3. Top a grilled chicken breast or other grilled meat to add a pop of flavor.
  4. Mix it into pulled pork shoulder for a tangy zip.
  5. Serve it with your favorite curry recipes (like this Beef Vindaloo Recipe)
  6. Mix a spoonful into your breakfast scrambled eggs.
  7. Serve it as a dip with rice cakes.
  8. Toss some into your salad for a flavor burst.
  9. Add it to your charcuterie board.
  10. Use it anywhere you might use ketchup.

It’s also popular with vegetarian recipes.

Tomato Chutney in a bowl, ready to serve

Try Some of These Other Popular Recipes

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Spicy Tomato Chutney Recipe and How to Make It
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
This step by step tomato chutney recipe will have you making chutney in no time, made with fresh tomatoes, optional chilies, vinegar and spices.
Course: Main Course, Salsa
Cuisine: American, Indian
Keyword: chili peppers, chutney, recipe, spicy, tomato sauce, tomatoes
Servings: 40 tablespoons
Calories: 5 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
  • 1.5 pounds red tomatoes chopped
  • 2-3 red chilies of choice chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (optional)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Heat a pot to medium heat and add all of the ingredients.
  2. Simmer, stirring often, until the mixture breaks down and becomes thick and sauce, about 20 minutes.
  3. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Heat Factor: Mild, though you can easily adjust the heat with hotter or milder peppers, as well as chili flakes and powders.

Store in the fridge in airtight containers. Should last about a month.

Makes about 2.5 cups.

Nutrition Facts
Spicy Tomato Chutney Recipe and How to Make It
Amount Per Serving
Calories 5
% Daily Value*
Sodium 30mg1%
Potassium 53mg2%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Vitamin A 250IU5%
Vitamin C 5.6mg7%
Calcium 3mg0%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tomato Chutney Recipe - This step by step tomato chutney recipe will have you making chutney in no time, made with fresh tomatoes, optional chilies, vinegar and spices. #Chutney #Tomatoes


  1. Lesley Pitchford

    Help! I just made some chutney using Paprika instead of Cayenne pepper in error ! ..will it be ok…..

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Lesley, no worries. Paprika is actually great with this recipe. It has similar flavor to cayenne, but much lower heat. You’re good! Let me know how it tastes.

  2. This might seem like a dumb question, but what’s the difference btwn tomato chutney and salsa? Looks absolutely delish, btw!! 😊

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Not a dumb question at all, Toni. Honestly, chutney and salsa are extremely similar. Chutneys are more often made with fruits, though both can contain fruit. I feel the biggest difference is the amount of vinegar — more for chutney in general.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Karen, absolutely! Let me know how it turns out.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.