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Spicy Lemon Chutney

User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (4 Reviews)


Spicy Lemon Chutney
Photo © Molly Watson
This spicy lemon chutney preserves the bright flavor of winter lemons for use all year long. It is based on the excellent recipe in Laurie Colwin's "More Home Cooking." Spoon it on roast meats (it is especially tasty with leftover cold chicken) or serve with a mild cheese on crisp toast or crackers for an easy appetizer. I will also admit to eating it, by the spoonful, straight from the jar.

An absolute key to the success of this recipe is to be sure to remove all of the white pith from the zest and from the fruit – it is remarkably bitter and if you include it in the mixture, the chutney will be bitter too.

Note: You need to prep the lemons the day before you plan to cook the chutney.

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 4 hours


  • 10 to 12 lemons (about 3 lbs.), plus 2 or 3 more for juice (see below)
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 4 half-pint (8 oz.) jars and lids


  1. Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, remove zest from lemons. Be careful to remove only the zest (the thin outer yellow skin) and not any of the white pith beneath. Finely chop zest and put in a large bowl.
  2. Cut off and discard the white pith. Finely chop lemon flesh, discarding any seeds, and add to bowl with zest. Add salt, stir to combine, and let sit at room temperature overnight.
  3. Put salted chopped lemons in a large pot. Add sugar, garlic, currants, lemon juice, cider vinegar, ginger, coriander, cayenne, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine over medium heat. Cook until mixture thickens, about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add jars and lids and turn off heat.
  5. When chutney is thick, remove jars and lids from their hot water bath and dry. (Bring pot of water back to a boil.) Fill jars with chutney. Using a wide-mouth funnel makes filling the jars much easier. If you don't have one, however, just spoon chutney into jars and clean edges with a damp paper towels when jars are full. Firmly screw on lids.
  6. Put jars back in pot of boiling water (jars should be covered by at least 2 inches of water). Boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool. Store at room temperature for at least 6 weeks and up to 6 months before eating to let flavors blend. Keep opened jars chilled.

Makes 4 jars (8 oz. each) chutney.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
This is FANTASTIC!!, Member jjgola67

OMG - I just finished making this and it is SO good! I had to write this review to contradict the 1-star review. Mine was not at all bitter, but I was very careful to remove all of the white pith and the membrane of the lemons. I was concerned about it setting (it appeared very liquid) so I added some pectin and also a little honey to sweeten it more and balance out the acidity from the lemon juice and vinegar (my lemons were very tart). This will be fantastic as a dipping sauce for coconut shrimp and on grilled salmon. I plan to make more to give as gifts.

14 out of 14 people found this helpful.

See all 4 reviews

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