Five-Spice Pineapple-Tomato Chutney

Legend goes that a British army officer of the same name made Major Gray’s Chutney during colonial rule in India.  Now, commercially produced Major Gray’s Chutney is popular all over the world and is often served over creamy sharp cheeses.  I love the combination of sweet and sour mangoes with Indian spices but it is often hard to find green mangoes in the US. So I improvised with tomatoes and pineapple instead and came up with this chutney. It is a versatile recipe because I serve it with cheese or just over a warm buttered toast for a quick snack, or with rice and daal/lentils to give the plain meal some pzazz.  I usually make this chutney when I have surplus of tomatoes from my backyard veggie patch or when my store-bought tomatoes are getting wrinkly and I need to use them fast.


1.    1.5-2 lbs of tomatoes
2.    One 20 oz can of pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple in juice
3.    ½ cup of sugar
4.    2 table spoons of Panch Phoran (Bengali five-spice available at Indian stores – a combinations of the following spices: cumin seeds, onion seeds, yellow mustard seeds,fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds)
5.    One teaspoon of sugar
6.    One teaspoon of red chili flakes
7.    2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
8.    20-25 dried apricots
9.    10-12 dried dates
10.    3-4 oz of raisins
11.    3-4 tablespoons of olive oil


1.    In a medium sized sauce pan pour two tablespoons of olive oil and place the pan over medium heat.
2.    Chop the tomatoes into small cubes and put them in the pot containing the hot oil and mix thoroughly.

3.    Open the pineapple can and add all the contents into the hot pan and mix again.
4.    Add the salt and cider vinegar and cover the pot with a lid and let it cook on low heat for 15-20 min, stir frequently.
5.    Chop the apricots and dates and add them to the tomato and pineapple mixture.

6.    When the tomatoes and pineapple pieces look almost cooked, blend them with a handheld mixer to a rough paste consistency (do not blend totally!) and continue cooking them on low heat for another 4-5 min.
7.    Add the sugar and the raisins to pot and continue cooking.

8.    In a separate small sauce pan, warm the remaining two tablespoons of oil and add the red chili flakes and the Panch Phoron and cook for 1-2 minutes (until the spices start to pop).
9.    Add the heated oil and spices to the tomato-pineapple mixture and stir thoroughly.
10.    Taste the chutney for a balance between salt and sweet and if you need it tempered to your taste, go ahead and add a little bit more salt or sugar. The chutney should not have too much water content, if it looks watery, cook it for a bit longer.
11.    Let the chutney cool a little and you could then serve it over some soft creamy Brie cheese or over Boursin cheese with water crackers on the side (as shown in the picture) or over a warm buttered toast.
12.    The chutney can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for later use.


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  1. Permalink Submitted by Poonam Arora on Wed, 15/02/2012 - 20:54

    My version of this chutney starts with sauteed garlic and ginger. That would make it too ur Indian.

  2. Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Wed, 15/02/2012 - 20:58

    yup, I have tried that too – I don’t mind a bit of dried ginger powder in it but garlic makes it too Indian and if I am using as a spread over cheese or toast, I prefer it without ginger or garlic. The five-spice does give it a bit of the “fusion-edge” but it still pairs well with non-Indian foods!

  3. Permalink Submitted by alka sawhney on Mon, 14/05/2012 - 21:53

    looks really good!if u put a little side note and tell me how to make with mangoes i will try it;we have 4 mango trees and half the fruit just falls before it has a chance to even become full size-so wee get a lot of raw mangoes during summer;also can i use fresh pineapple instead of canned-we have a lot of pineapple here and there is 1 growing in my backyard

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Tue, 15/05/2012 - 18:03

      Hey Alka – you are lucky that you can get raw or ripe mangoes (ahhhh the advantages of living in a warmer climate!) – yes I am sure you can use raw mangoes but you may need to add a bit more sugar because the original recipe with the pineapple has some sugar contributed from the ripe pineapple and also the juice in the can. I put the tomatoes to give it some tartness but if you use mangoes, you may not even need the tomatoes because the green mangoes are quite tart. I will look for green mangoes here and see if I can get a good recipe down. One alternative idea would be to char the green mangoes a bit – they get a great smokey flavor – and then put them in a foil bundle and bake them in the oven till the flesh is cooked and ooey-gooey! I don’t know if you remember how they make “Panna” from green mangoes in India – maybe you could use the method to cook the flesh of the mango and then make a chutney out of it. This gives me some ideas as well – I will try and look for mangoes and experiment! Keep me posted on your own experiments 🙂

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