Pineapple Chutney

Pineapple Chutney
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pineapple chutney
Sweet! Sour! Spicy! Tasty!

Several times a year, we see fresh pineapples on sale, which we buy without even knowing how we’ll use them. This time, we went with a version of Pineapple Chutney. It’s slightly different from the Roasted Chili Pineapple Chutney we made a couple of years ago, and we think this is the better of the two.

We based this recipe on a Pineapple Chutney recipe that we found on BBC Good Food. You can use that recipe, or just see how we made ours (basically the same, but with a few more spices, and only half a batch). Also, if you haven’t broken down a pineapple recently, you can see our instructions at the beginning of our Piña Colada Sorbet recipe.

Pineapple Chutney

Yield: 1 pint

Pineapple Chutney


  • 10 coriander seeds
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 pineapple, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 small dried chili pepper, seeds removed and broken into pieces
  • 125 g (1/2 cup + 2 Tbs) dark brown sugar
  • 90 g (1/3 cup) white vinegar

Abbreviated Instructions

Place coriander seeds, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon stick in a small spice infuser or tie up in a small sachet made from muslin.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes. Add mustard seeds, and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Add pineapple, turmeric, ginger, chili pepper, brown sugar, and vinegar, and bring to a boil. Place sachet in pan so that it's submerged.

Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 2 hours.

Pack in a clean jar and refrigerate.

Ingredient discussion:

Spices. It’s all about spices, and they’re expensive, if you buy them at a grocery store. We buy ours at Penzey’s here in town. Great selection. Great prices. If you don’t have a Penzey’s nearby, look for an ethnic market. They often have better deals, too.

Procedure in detail:

making spice sachet
Any tough spice that you don’t want to bite down on while eating chutney goes into the spice sachet.

Make spice sachet. Okay, whatever spices you don’t want to crunch into while you eat the chutney needs to go into a spice sachet. For us, that was coriander seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, and cinnamon stick. We happen to have a handy spice infuser — it’s actually a tea infuser — that we can fill with spices, simmer, then wash and reuse. If you don’t have one, you can use a small piece of clean muslin or a few layers of cheesecloth to wrap around the spices. Tie the opening so the spices won’t fall out.

cooking onions and mustard seeds
Frying the mustard seeds a bit will reduce the sharp, mustard-y, taste.

Sauté onions. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. When shimmery, add the onions and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 7 minutes. Now add the mustard seeds and cook for another 2 minutes or so.

making chutney
Everything goes in, and it’s simmer, simmer, simmer.

Simmer. Add the remaining ingredients: pineapple, turmeric, ginger, chili pepper, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, push aside some of the pineapple to reach the simmering liquid, and place the spice sachet into the liquid so that it’s partly covered. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until thickened. Total simmering time will be 1 to 2 hours, depending on how juicy your pineapple is.

Pack. Remove the spice sachet, and transfer the chutney to a clean jar. Seal and place in the refrigerator.

This chutney is great. It’s not too spicy, it tastes like pineapple, or, perhaps more accurately, a sweet and sour pineapple pickle with a bunch of other subtle flavors, making it quite interesting to eat. We think it’ll be best as part of a cheese and cracker plate, because it’ll pair very well with strong-flavored cheeses such as aged Cheddar. Since this is such an easy recipe, and so tasty, we think it’s a keeper: five stars.

Worth the trouble?

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