Tomato chutney is a sweet and savory condiment bursting with tomato flavor, delicious spices, vinegar, and brown sugar. Best known for being the perfect pairing for Indian cuisine, tomato chutney is a great addition to curries, naan bread, and charcuterie boards.

I sure do love a good sauce on the side of my meals for dipping! It just makes the meal so much better because who doesn’t love to dip? You should definitely try my yum yum sauce, my homemade cheese sauce, or this buffalo sauce. I want to drizzle these sauces on everything and I know you will too!

Top view of tomato chutney in a white bowl with a gold spoon lifting up chutney.  A tan kitchen towel and whole tomatoes are next to the bowl of chutney.

What Is Tomato Chutney?

Tomato chutney is the combination of tomatoes, spices, and vinegar slowly cooked down to create a thick and flavorful sauce. If you have never had tomato chutney, then you are in for a treat! It’s the best because it can be served with many different dishes or even as an appetizer! It has a great combination of sweet and savory, and the flavors really make the tomatoes stand out!

Not only is this recipe super easy to make, but it stores so well in your fridge and will last up to 3 months! Which makes it a great recipe to make ahead of time for all of the yummy dishes that you can use it in. You can eat this warm, cold, or at room temperature. I absolutely love eating this with some delicious naan bread. It makes a great snack or even a side dish to some tikka masala!

Ingredients Needed For Tomato Chutney

If you are like me and your garden is bursting with tomatoes during the fall, this recipe is perfect for you! And the best part about it is that it will last you a few months, especially if you make more than one batch! To find all of the ingredient measurements, check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive Oil: Olive oil helps cook and soften the shallot and garlic.
  • Shallot: I love using shallots, but feel free to use a white onion if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Garlic: Garlic always adds the best flavor. It’s a MUST!
  • Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are my favorite, but you can use canned ones if you would like.
  • Brown Sugar: Just a little brown sugar adds a delicious caramelly sweetness.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Vinegar is a must in chutney because it adds tanginess and helps preserve the chutney. Substitute with red wine vinegar!
  • Ground Ginger: Ginger is a delicious spice used in a lot of Indian cuisines.
  • Cumin: I love the smoky flavor of cumin!
  • Chili Powder: Chili powder is a delicious spice in this recipe!
  • Salt: Salt helps balance and enhance the flavors.

How to Make Tomato Chutney

This one-pot tomato chutney recipe easily comes together for you to enjoy! Just allow yourself time for the chutney to cook slowly and simmer on the stove. It can be cooking and doing its thing while you focus on the other things in life that keep you busy! Just set your timer and come back when it’s cooked and ready to be mashed!

  1. Saute the Shallot and Garlic: In a large skillet, add the olive oil, shallot, and garlic and heat over medium-high heat. Gently sauté until they begin to soften.
  2. Add the Tomatoes, Sugar, Vinegar, and Spices: Add in the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, ginger, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Then stir to combine.
  3. Simmer and Cook: Simmer for 1 hour, occasionally stirring, until the chutney reduces to a jammy consistency. 
  4. Mash or Blend: Once cooked, remove from heat and mash by hand or pulse in a food processor or blender. I prefer chutney on the chunkier side, but feel free to make it chunky or smooth.
  5. Serve: Allow to cool and serve, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
First photo is the shallot and onion sautéing in a saucepan.  The second phot is the tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices added in the pot.  The third photo is the cook chutney in the pot.  The fourth photo is a masher mashing the chutney in the pot to make it a smoother consistency.

Tips and Variations

Tomato chutney is easy, and you can tweak it to be less sweet or even spicier! Everyone can enjoy this dip, and I even serve it to my vegan and gluten-free friends. I hope you find my tips helpful!

  • Reduce the Sugar: The sweetness of your chutney can depend on how sweet your tomatoes are. Simply taste and adjust the sugar if you prefer it sweeter. Start out by adding a little less sugar because you want to be able to control the sweetness. You can also use honey, agave, or granulated sugar if you prefer.
  • Make it Spicy: Feel free to add red chili pepper flakes to add some heat!
  • Use Any Tomatoes: I use large vine-ripened tomatoes, but Roma tomatoes or canned tomatoes work great too!
  • Thicken it Up: Chutney has a similar consistency to jam. In order for your chutney to thicken, just be patient because it has to cool in order to thicken! You can also mix two tablespoons of cornflour with one teaspoon of vinegar and stir into your chutney until it has thickened.
  • More Serving Ideas: Not only can you serve this with Indian dishes, but you can use it as a spread on burgers, sandwiches, or on crackers. I also love adding it to a cheese board and spreading it on toast.

Top view of tomato chutney in a small white bowl with tomatoes and kitchen towel next to the bowl.

Storing Leftovers

Storing tomato chutney is easy, and you can use it again and again for as long as it lasts! Pull it out of the fridge whenever you need a spoonful. Follow my simple tips below for storing this lip-smacking condiment.

  • In the Refrigerator: Once your chutney has cooled, then you can store it in an airtight jar or container. Chutney stays fresh for up to 3 months in the fridge!

Photo of a piece of naan bread being dipped into a bowl of tomato chutney.  Tomatoes and a kitchen towel are styled next to the bowl of chutney.

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