If you’ve read any of my posts, you know by now how much I love Flour Bakery and any of Joanne Chang’s recipes. Sure, she has phenomenal baked good recipes, but her savory dishes and recipes are of equal quality.
When I worked FOH at the bakery, my absolute favorite sandwich was this lamb sandwich that was covered in a rich tomato chutney.
The chutney tied the flavors together between the creamy goat cheese and the meaty flavors of the lamb. It was slightly sweet & so savory… tying all of the ingredients together beautifully. This is how I fell in love with chutney.
A Healthier, Low-Sugar Tomato Chutney
When I whipped up the chutney from Joanne’s cookbook, I made a few minor tweaks. However, what I love about her recipe is that it is genuinely low in sugar – only a couple of tablespoons in the recipe.
Some chutney recipes call for 1/3 of a cup of sugar or more! This low-sugar chutney keeps it more on the savory side, which is what I was going for (I’ll save the sugary spreads for jams!)
I don’t think you’ll miss the added sugar, but if you must, feel free to up the sugar a bit. I’d recommend using a mellow sweetener like honey if you decide to increase the sugar.
What is Tomato Chutney
Originating in India, chutney is simply fruit or vegetables slow cooked with spices, vinegar, and typically sugar. In the United States, chutneys often fall somewhere between a jam or relish.
Chutney balances out dishes, or can highlight specific flavors. Tomato chutney can be used as a condiment on sandwiches, salads, burgers, or even alongside breakfast foods like frittata or scrambled eggs (I’ve even smeared it on a breakfast sandwich!).
What’s in Low Sugar Tomato Chutney
- Canned Tomatos. I love this easy recipe because it uses canned diced tomatoes – so easy! Make sure to get no salt added.
- Coconut Oil. I love the taste of coconut oil with the chutney.
- Vidalia Onion & Garlic. Sweet Vidalia onion is high in sugar and flavor.
- Brown Sugar. Just a couple of tablespoons to keep this low-sugar! I prefer to use brown sugar because it adds a bit of a layer of complexity to the dish. However, if you only have white sugar or prefer to use honey, both work great!
- Red Wine Vinegar. Fruity and robust! One of my favorite staples to have on hand, so I recommend buying this ingredient if you don’t have it.
- Currants. These little tiny seedless raisins are sweet, savory, and are a must.
- Golden Raisins. Golden raisins are a bit more fruity, softer, and plump than their darker counterparts.
- Orange Zest. You’ll need one fresh orange. The zest adds flavor without diluting the mixture.
- Salt & Pepper.
- Parsley. Preferably chopped fresh, but dried can work in a pinch!
- Paprika. (Optional – but I love a little kick).
How to Make Low-Sugar Tomato Chutney:
- Sauté the Onion and Garlic: Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and cook until softened. I like to keep them a bit crunchy for texture. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add the vinegar and dissolve the sugar: honey and lemon zest over medium-high heat until it boils.
- Add the tomatoes and dried fruit. Mix in the tomatoes, currants, and golden raisins. At this point, you can turn the heat down to a low simmer. Allow the juices to evaporate and the mixture will thicken. This can take anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes, but feel free to simmer longer. Make sure to stir the mixture (a wooden spoon works well) periodically to ensure consistency and prevent it from sticking to the pan.
- Stir in the remaining seasoning and flavors: Once the tomato chutney has reduced, add the orange zest, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper (and paprika or chili powder if you’re using it). Taste, and adjust the seasoning as you like.
- Allow the mixture to cool before transferring to an airtight container or jar.
How to Store Low-Sugar Tomato Chutney:
- This chutney should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last approximately a week.
- Freezing: To freeze the chutney, move it to an airtight container with approximately 1/2 inch of space at the top. When you’re ready to use it, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
- Note: Freezing the chutney can alter the texture slightly, and the defrosted chutney may be slightly softer than when it was fresh.
- Spread on sandwiches, wraps, or burgers.
- Dollop on a salad.
- Serve along side grilled meats.
- Serve on a charcuterie board or cheese platter (it pairs well with a hard, salty cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano).
- Enjoy a frittata or omelette with chutney.
Low-Sugar Tomato Chutney
- 1 Small saucepan
- 2 teaspoon coconut oil (sub canola or vegetable oil)
- 1/2 (about 40 g) small Vidalia onion
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 14 oz can "no salt added" diced tomatos (with the juice)
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried currants
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsely, minced
- In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly for approximately 5 to 8 minutes until they are softened. Add the garlic and stir to combine for approximately 30 seconds or until aromatic.
- Add the sugar and vinegar and stir for a minute until the sugar begins to dissolve.
- Add the tomatoes, raisins, and currants. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Use the back of the spoon to break up larger pieces of tomato. The chutney should begin to darken. Allow it to reduce and thicken for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, orange zest, and parsley.
- Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool. The chutney can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can freeze the chutney in an airtight container or freezer zip-lock bag for up to a month. Allow it to defrost in the refrigerator before using.
- If you like a little spice, add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika or chili powder.
- You can swap out olive oil for the coconut oil.
- Substitute white sugar or equal parts honey for the brown sugar.