Recipe: Fig chutney

Cheese and fig chutney, yum

It’s been a while since I put a recipe up here, but this is something easy and (just about) seasonal. We’re at the end of the season for fresh figs, so supermarkets are selling off their slightly-squishy figs pretty cheap. This recipe turns those over-ripe figs into a sweet jam, halfway between Branston pickle and mango chutney, and should keep for ages.


I’m doing this proportionately – four figs is roughly enough to fill one normal-sized jam jar.

Per fig you want:

  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 cardamom pod, popped open
  • Half a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar  (for more of a savoury pickle) or lime juice (for a fruity chutney)
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Some fresh chilli or chilli flakes – how much you use depends how spicy you want it

Plus, salt, pepper and cumin to taste.

Start by heating the onions, cardamoms and chillis in a saucepan with a little oil at a low heat. Stir regularly and make sure they don’t burn. Adding a sprinkling of salt softens the onions faster.

After about 15 minutes, the onions should be quite soft. Add the honey and sugar – which should melt down pretty quickly – and let it caramelise and soften more for another 15 minutes. Remove the cardamoms.

As it simmers, cut the figs up reasonably finely – they don’t need too much chopping, because the seeds should be loose. Once the onions are caramelised, add the figs (including as much of the seeds and juice as you can). Make sure you’ve already removed the cardamoms!

Add the vinegar or lime juice, and salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Let it simmer for about half an hour, and then pour it into sterilised jars. Easy!

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