It’s Chinese New Year this weekend as you know I love moon phases and I love new years. Fresh starts people. So to celebrate the coming year of the Pig I bought I’d create a chutney that was all red ingredients for as red is the colour of fortune in China. And chutney is something that just gets better as the year progresses. But I’ve left myself a wee time bomb hidden in this one that might be great or might cause its ruin. Hahaha.


500g red onions
1kg rhubarb
1kg cherries
200g dried cranberries
300g flame raisins
100g goji berries
2 red chillies
200ml hibiscus tea
100ml red wine vinegar
50ml shaoxing rice wine
200g molasses sugar
200g Demerara sugar
400g jam sugar
4 limes zest and juice
1tbs pink salt
800g red grapes

Spice Mix
3 star anise
2tsp fennel seeds
2tsp cumin seeds
2tsp green cardamon pods

First make a tiny amount of hibiscus tea. This is used to add the deep red tone to the the chutney. This chutney is made using lots of high water content fruits so it’s essential to not add too much liquid and to use some jam sugar for the pectin to help thicken it.

Basically you need to chop all the ingredients and put them in a large jam pan. EXCEPT the grapes.

Red Onions
Cranberries, Goji berries and flame raisins
Red chillis
Pink Sea Salt
Shaoxing rice wine

Pop the tea, red wine vinegar and Shaoxing rice wine in the pan along with the finely ground spices.

I like to pop the sugars on the top to slip in later. If they are at the bottom they slow up the sweating down of the fruits.

Put a lid on the pan and on a very low heat bring to a simmer. Then remove the lid to help the liquid evaporate. Cook it for about an hour or more.


Slice the grapes and stir them in just before bottling them. This is the risky part as I didn’t want the grapes to collapse entirely. So this way they are added in as halves but I worry about them going off in the jars. But if you don’t try you don’t know. So let’s see what happens over time as they sit in the jars. I want to be flippant and say just jar them up. But you need to remember that jar must be sterilised. I do this by popping them in the oven for 10 minutes at 120C. If you bake them too high then they might crack when you add the chutney. So jar them up and add the wax disks then cellophane disks and screw on the lids. Then cut some circles of fabric with pinking shears and add them to the tops. Label them and add a date to see how long you can put off eating them. Chutney gets better with age.

Chat me up people

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