Disaster Tomato Chutney

This easy to make tomato chutney recipe is great for using up unripe tomatoes.

As the proverbial phrase goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

More precisely, when snapped tomato plants give you semi-ripe tomatoes, make chutney.

Last weekend, the heatwave finally broke and as many did, I savoured the refreshing rain that fell. However, it came with the wind as its sidekick. This combination provided the first storm since the winter and the first test of the newly constructed polytunnel.

After the storm, I apprehensively headed to the allotment. However, my eyes lit up and there was even a little fist pump. The polytunnel still stood and from the outside, I saw no damage.

Unfortunately, the relief ended when I opened the door. Three snapped strings hung from the polytunnel frame and the plants they once held lay looking very sorry for themselves across the floor.

In that moment of horror, I couldn’t work out what had happened. Vandalism? Thankfully, we don’t get many incidents of that on our site and when I took some time to think things through, I knew it was down to the the frame being a little wobbly.

The polytunnel is anchored but it does wobble in the wind. As the strings were attached to the frame, a good ole shake had caused them to snap. It’s frustrating. But, with every disaster you learn how to make things better.

While I ponder on the solution for the shaky polytunnel frame, here’s what I did with the semi-ripe tomatoes.

(Makes 3.3 kg)

Mustard seeds and tomatoes

Tomatoes in blender

Cooked Chutney

Jar of Chutney


I love a good chutney and I will take a huge amount of pleasure enjoying this with some mature cheddar or cold meat over the autumn and winter. Every cloud has a silver lining, right?

I love to hear what you think? Have you had any garden disasters and turned them into something delicious? Let me know in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Disaster Tomato Chutney

    1. There’s always going to be disasters. It’s part of the experience. But, when we spend so much time looking after the plants, it’s always best to make sure we eat what we can from them. I do love chutney.


  1. Your recipe looks yummy and love that nothing goes to waste. Hope you don’t have any more disasters.(I so want my tomatoes to grow and ripen as I love love love making chutney using a recipe of my mum’s which I tweak.) Do you water bath your chutney or does it not last that long?


  2. I feel your pain! Last year I was very excited to be growing cherry tomatoes in my lovely new wooden greenhouse – and was devastated to come home one day to find them all in a broken heap! I too had tied them up with string – but I’d made the mistak mistake of tying all the strings to one that was going across the top – it all just got too heavy and broke! So it can happen even in a greenhouse! We made lovely tomato chutney too! Enjoy!


  3. That doesn’t seem like much of a disaster. I happen to like pickled green tomatoes. The problem is that we get only a few that stay green at the end of the season. Almost all of those left on the vines when they vines succumb to frost eventually ripen on the sill, leaving only a meager few nasty underdeveloped green tomatoes for pickling.

    Liked by 1 person

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