Rhubarb Chutney

Rhubarb Chutney

When did fruits and vegetables get to be so polarizing? Seems like many people are on one side or the other when it comes to many vegetables, and there’s no in between.

Brassicas (broccoli, brussel sprout and kale) are definitely in that category. Celery is really polarizing. And so is rhubarb.

I love rhubarb because it’s one of the first spring things you can harvest. Rhubarb and asparagus in the markets means summer is on its way. I also have nostalgic memories of growing up and harvesting and eating rhubarb from our garden as a kid.

Rhubarb. Photo by Alison Kent.

So I love it, but I get why people don’t, too. It’s kinda sharp, it’s not sweet, and it has a pretty fibrous texture.

But cooked right, rhubarb is delicious. With sweet strawberries to balance it in a pie, it’s so yummy.

Rhubarb can also work well in savoury recipes, too, because it’s not too sweet. This week, I made a savoury rhubarb chutney.

A chutney is a term that encompasses a lot of different things. To me, it’s kind of like a jam that’s been cooked down, but it incorporates both sweet and savoury ingredients. It’s often used to accompany savoury recipes. I’m currently deeply obsessed with the Saltspring Kitchen Tandoori Chutney, if you can get your hands on a jar of this, please do, it’s amazing.

Chutney often has sweet and sour elements that balance each other out. Most of them include vinegar and also sugar.

You can eat them with meats, with samosas or pakoras, or my favourite way of enjoying them is on a grilled cheese, or on toasted baguette with some nice brie. The sharpness of the chutney mellows out the richness of the cheese.

This is a super simple recipe to make, and it won’t take you a lot of time. You may want to add a little food colouring to the finished result, though, just to make the colour a little more appealing, though it tastes great.

Rhubarb Chutney

Rhubarb Chutney

Rebecca Coleman
A savoury chutney recipe made of rhubarb with sweet and sour elements.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course side
Cuisine Indian


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cups rhubarb chopped
  • 1 granny smith apple peeled, cored & chopped
  • 6 dried figs chopped
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch red pepper flakes optional
  • red food colouring optional


  • In a large pot or dutch oven over medium low heat, heat the olive oil.
  • To the pan, add the onions, and begin to sautee them, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and stir well to combine. Sautee for another minute or two.
  • Now add the rhubarb and apple and stir well.
  • Add in the spices and stir well.
  • Add the vinegar and sugar and stir well. Allow to cook down for about another 10 minutes, until everything is soft.
  • Add the figs and stir. Allow to cook for another few minutes. Add food colouring and stir in (if using).
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool before putting into jars. Store in the fridge.
Keyword condiment, vegan

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