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  • Diane Lawton

How to make the best, spicy fig and ginger chutney

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Fig chutney
Fig and ginger spicy chutney

Grade: Easy. Simply put all ingredients in a pot and simmer

Taste Test: OMG. Divine.

This recipe makes: 1555g of Spicy Fig and Ginger Chutney from a kilo of figs

Late July and August is the season of figs in Spain. They are abundant and inexpensive. A kilo at the market cost me €3. When I moved to Spain and saw this abundance twice a year, I dreamed up all sorts of uses for them. I bought a fig plant for my garden, which grows very easily. I love fresh figs, I eat them with cheese, especially fresh goats’ cheese. I love them with ham or Jamon Serrano. I make the chutney at least twice every year and use it to dress a salad, hot and cold cuts of meat and fish, curries, mashed potatoes, and many savoury dishes to add spice and zest. They make wonderful home-made-with-love gifts.

Let’s get cooking!


  • 1 kilo of fresh figs

  • 800ml white or red wine vinegar

  • 700g brown sugar

  • 3 medium apples

  • A thumb or 40g of ginger root

  • 2-3 garlic cloves

  • A large onion

  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder or chilli flakes

  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons of salt

  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper, (freshly ground is best)

Unsure of the conversion of measurements in different countries? Use this link.

Unsure of Farenheight and Celcius conversion rates? Use this link


  1. Remove the stalk off the figs and discard, chop the figs finely.

  2. Remove and discard skin and core of the apple, chop the remaining fruit finely

  3. Half the onion and remove and discard skin, chop the onion finely

  4. Scrape the skin off the ginger with a teaspoon and dispose. Slice and chop finely.

  5. Remove ends from garlic and peel the skin away and finely chop the garlic cloves.

  6. Put all ingredients into a heavy bottom pan. Put the lid on. Heat to simmering point, remove the lid.

  7. Lower heat and leave between 1 and a half hours to 2 hours.

  8. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon, take off heat when the chutney is thick and syrupy. If it is too thick add a tablespoon of water and stir in.

  9. Taste, and add more sugar, vinegar of chili to suit your taste.

  10. Leave to cool and place in sterilised jars. Details in point 7 'Chefs Tips and Tricks' below.

Chefs Tips and Tricks

  1. Depending on the quality and density of the ingredients, if the mix is too wet, keep simmering for a little longer

  2. Or, put in less vinegar, and if it cooks too quickly add a little more vinegar.

  3. Chopping finely is important unless you want a very chunky chutney.

  4. For a less spicy chutney use a teaspoon less chili.

  5. Keeps for 8-9 months kept in a cool dark place.

  6. If opened, keep in the fridge and use it within four weeks.

  7. How to sterilise your jars and lids.

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/ 320 Farenheight / gas mark 3.

  • Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water or a dishwasher and rinse, but don't dry them completely.

  • Place the clean jars onto a baking tray and put into the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

  • Soak the lids in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Fun Fig Facts

  • Calcium fix: Eating one-half cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking one-half cup of milk.

  • Fiber and Potassium: Ounce for ounce, figs have more fiber than prunes and more potassium than bananas.

  • Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches. The blossom is inside the fruit! Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.

  • Figs naturally help hold moisture in baked goods, keeping them fresher.

  • Fig puree can replace fat in baked goods.

  • Many believe it was figs that were the fruit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, not apples.

  • The early Olympics presented the winners, with figs, becoming the first Olympic “medal.”

  • In Roman times figs were considered to be restorative, increasing the strength of young people, maintaining the elderly in better health, and to make them look younger with fewer wrinkles. –Pliny (52-113 AD).

  • The fig tree is a symbol of abundance, fertility, and sweetness

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