Homemade apple chutney is a delicious way to preserve the bounty of an autumn apple harvest. This recipe is warm and richly spiced. The sweetness of apples and dates is balanced by the addition of apple cider vinegar.
Best of all, this recipe uses fermentation, rather than cooking, to blend the flavors and preserve the chutney. It’s a really simple recipe, even if you’ve never fermented anything before. The secret to this fermented apple chutney is raw apple cider vinegar, which naturally ferments and preserves apples!
How To Serve Chutney
I usually make a triple batch and freeze it in straight-sided, 1-cup mason jars (I think they’re officially salmon canning jars). Then we have a quick and easy chutney that we can enjoy throughout the year.
Apple chutney is a versatile condiment that adds flavor to all sorts of dishes:
- Chutney is delicious with an Indian meal. Serve it with samosas, pakoras or poppadoms.
- It’s a simple addition to a cheese platter or charcuterie board.
- Try a cheese and chutney sandwich.
- Puree the apples for a smooth sauce that is a flavourful alternative to ketchup or relish. Serve it anytime you want a sweet and tangy sauce. Perfect with fries, hamburgers and hot dogs
The original version of this recipe involved cooking the apples prior to fermenting. However, I got tired of the two-step process, so I updated the recipe to involve fermentation only.
If you were a fan of the cooked version, here are the instructions.
- Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a saucepan and add the seeds. When they smell fragrant add the ginger.
- Heat for one more minute, then add the apples with the powdered spices. Toss to coat the apples in spices.
- Pit and finely chop the dates. Add them to the apples with 1/4 cup of water. Simmer until the apples are cooked and the chutney has thickened.
- The chutney can be used right away. Or leave it to cool to room temperature ferment as described in the recipe below.
Simple Apple Chutney
This simple apple chutney is finished with cultured cider vinegar or kombucha for a fermented twist on a traditional recipe. Don’t let the long list of spices scare you. Feel free to omit any that you don’t happen to have in your kitchen. It will still taste delicious!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 1 pint jar 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Cooked
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Vegan
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or kombucha (see notes)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, chlorine-free
- 4 medium apples
- 1/2-inch fresh ginger root
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
- 6 dates (see notes)
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- The recipe was recently updated. If you would like instructions for the cooked chutney variation, see the section above.
- Mix the apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of water in a 1-quart jar. The recipe only makes 2 cups, but you will need lots of space to stir your apples.
- Peel, core, and chop the apples. I recommend using a mix of soft and hard apples as they will give the chutney a nice consistency. Add the apples to the jar, and toss to coat in the liquid.
- Peel and finely grate the ginger. Add it to the jar as well.
- Heat a dry pan on medium. When it is warm add the seeds and toast until they start to smell fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered spices and heat for 1 more minute. Be careful not to burn the spices. They are ready as soon as you start to smell them. Remove from the heat immediately.
- Pit and finely chop the dates. Stir the dates and spices into the jar. Mix well so that all the apples are coated in spice. Pack the fruit down into the jar. The goal is to have the apples below the fermentation liquid. Depending on the juiciness of the apples you may need to add a few more tablespoons of water.
- Place the jar in a cool dark location to ferment for 3 to 5 days. Cover with a loose lid, or a fermentation-specific lid. Apple cider vinegar won’t bubble quite as much as kombucha, however, it’s important to let the gas escape.
- After fermenting, stir in salt. Cap with an air-tight lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months.
- The asafoetida and cayenne pepper can easily be omitted without impacting the overall flavor of the chutney. There are so many spices in this chutney that you can skip one or two of them without greatly impacting the overall flavor.
- The dates are used to sweeten the chutney. For a sweeter chutney, skip the dates and add a 1/4 cup of raw sugar instead.
- It’s important to use raw, unpastuerized apple cider vinegar. Not all brands will work, so be sure the read the label. The ACV can be replaced by unflavored kombucha or a different probiotic beverage.
- Salt will slow down the fermentation in this recipe, which is why it is added after fermenting.
Keywords: healthy, probiotic, sugar free, vegan, gluten free, fermented, fall, winter