Parsi peach chutney

Last of the season peaches

February is the month for preserving the summer bounty in Australia, unfortunately in Sydney this is also a month of  hellish heat and humidity,  the making and bottling of chutneys, jams and sauces is always a sweat drenched affair.  At the end of last week we had a brief respite from the heat and I decided to seize the moment and preserve something… anything to take advantage of the cool spell.  The end of season peaches have been particularly good and cheap this year so I was keen to something that had a longer shelf life than baking or poaching them. My first thought was jam but we don’t eat an incredible amount of jam in our house and peach jam doesn’t have the same pull for me as raspberry or apricot jam.

Peach chutney though has an old fashioned vibe and a good homemade chutney is always special. I googled peach chutney but didn’t get that inspired with any of the internet offerings. I didn’t want to waste my time making a dud, when I remembered this superb Parsi chutney recipe from Niloufer Ichapouria King. I usually make this chutney with tomatoes but this is a master recipe and can be used with any number of fruits – apples, quinces, cherries, nectarines and peaches!

Parsi peach chutney

This is a great a great fail proof chutney. I’ve got a few more preserves I want to make this February so I held back on my usual excess and made a single batch, which makes about four 250 gram jars. (I always recycle my Meredith Goats Cheese jars which I’ve got a plethora of). I’ve still got a bit of back log of peaches to work through, and the heat and humidity has returned, so I’m thinking this simple iced peach tea from the Minimalist Baker is the way to go next.

Parsi peach chutney with cheese and crackers

Parsi peach chutney

Adapted from Niloufer Ichaporia King’s My Bombay Kitchen

  • 1.5 kilos (3 pounds) pitted and chopped peaches
  • 1/2 cup of finely julienned, peeled ginger (About 8 cm long)
  • 1/2 a cup of finely sliced garlic (about one large head)
  • 1 1/2 cups (375mls) malt or cider vinegar
  • 2 cups (400 grams) turbinado/ raw sugar (or half-light brown and half white)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of raisins (optional)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper or hot ground chilli (or to taste)
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Grated peel of one organic orange (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients apart from the grated orange peel in a large saucepan. Add only 1 tablespoon of chili powder to begin with you can add more later according to taste.
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for about two hours until the chutney gets thick and jammy. If you’re doing a double batch this process usually takes longer. As the chutney gets thicker, stir more frequently it can burn quickly if the heat is too high.
  3. Once the chutney is cooked add orange peel (if using) and adjust chili, salt and vinegar to taste. You can leave the chutney to cool and adjust flavorings if you wish. You want the right balance of spicy, sweet and sour or Niloufer Icahporia says it should ‘light up your mouth’. Once you’re ready to bottle bring the chutney back to the boil for two minutes and fill warm *sterilised jars with hot chutney. I always put the lids on tight and turn the jars  upside down to allow the chutney cool.

*I sterilize jars by heating them in 120C (250F) oven for 20 minutes and boil the lids in water for 20 minutes.




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