Georgian Inspired Plum Chutney

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Georgian Style Plum Chutney

Its chutney time, and this year our orchard trees are groaning under the weight of beautifully ripening fruits. I have already made jams and jellies, and put pies and purees into the deepfreeze.  The last job of the season is to turn the remainder, and the later ripening fruits into chutneys and pickles. This year I thought I would try something a bit different and have developed a plum chutney inspired by the traditional plum sauce of Georgia.

Tkemali is made using sour wild cherry plums and has a deep slightly sour flavour with hints of smoke from the addition of smoked paprika. Here I have used Victoria plums, but if you like the sourness you could substitute with damsons.  You could add a ½ teaspoon of hot smoky paprika is you prefer a chutney with a bit of bite. It is delicious with cheese and cold meats and would also make an interesting substitute for the sweet mango chutney in the Devilled Pheasant recipe in At Home in Cumbria (available soon for prep order via Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland).



Makes 600ml

1 kg ripe plums

2 cooking apples

2 medium onions

3 garlic cloves

400ml cider or red wine vinegar

200ml light muscovado sugar

200g dark muscovado sugar

1 tablespoon black treacle

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika

20g fresh dill, leaves only chopped

2-3 sterilised and warmed preserving jars.


Prepare the fruit and vegetables: halve and stone the plums, peel, core and roughly chop the apples, skin and chop the onions. Peel and crush the garlic cloves.

Put the prepared fruit and vegetables into a heavy based pan and add the vinegar, sugars, treacle and spices (leave the fresh dill until later).

Over a gentle heat, dissolve the sugars and then increase the heat and bring the chutney to the boil. Bubble for about an hour stirring occasionally and then more frequently as the chutney thickens until the fruits is pulped and the chutney is thick and gloss.

Stir in the chopped fresh dill and bubble the chutney for further 10-20 minutes until it is a thick jam consistency.

Remove the cooked chutney from the heat and allow the bubbles to subside. Ladle into the warm sterilised jars, top with wax discs and seal with lids.

Cool, label and store the chutney for at least three weeks before consuming – this allows the vinegar to mellow and the full flavour of the chutney to develop.





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