Christmas table decor... to homemade chutney.

The week before Christmas I went to the market in Cascais, as per usual, for my greens and fresh flowers. What I found, were these chilli " flowers" that I thought would make a brilliant bouquets of red and green at my table. I thought they looked perfect, filled up several vases with them. 

Come the new year, I felt I didn't want to throw them out so I decided to make a chilli/ tomato chutney! Actually, there were so many that I also dried a few in the oven, overnight, and I'm going to pulverize them into chilli powder.

But let me give you the easiest recipe for this chutney. 


500g red onions, finely sliced
1kg fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
8 - 12 fresh red chilli's, roughly chopped
a thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
250g brown sugar
150ml red wine vinegar
5 cardamom seeds
1/2 tablespoon paprika

Chilli's, onions and tomato.

Brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic, ginger and cardamom. 

How to:

  1. Put all your ingredients into a deep frying pan or pot, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Keep simmering during 1 hour, but stir occasionally.
  3. After an hour, using a hand-held blender, blend the mixture but not completely so it has a few chunks in it. 
  4. Put your pan back on the stove for another so that the mixture reduces and becomes sticky like a jam and darkens slightly. 
  5. Place mixture in sterilised jars, let cool, and keep in the fridge.

I like to add it on just about anything, like spread on a baguette with tuna, mixed in a bowl of cous-cous, with some olive oil as a sauce for spaghetti, accompanying cheese, like gouda or cheddar, as a spicy marinade on chicken, pork or prawns. 

Spice up your life, but a warning, if you do it as hot as I did, keep a piece of bread nearby to ease those numbed lips!

The rest of them, I dehydrated in the oven overnight and ground them to flakes!