Oberholzer Chutney

Easy, No-Cook Chutney with Apricot Jam, Onion,Chilli and Coriander

Chutney- no cook easy chutney.jpg
Easy, no-heat chutney with coriander

If you grew you grew up in South Africa, no imagined meal would be complete without Mrs. Balls chutney. In our house however, Mrs. HS Balls took back seat to our family’s no-cook chutney recipe. I remember how we used to form make-shift production lines in the kitchen, producing huge  quantities of our own unique brand of chutney.

The original recipe was developed by my great grandmother, and contained a number of additional ingredients like raisins and ginger. Later the recipe was adapted by my grandmother, resulting in a simpler, easy recipe that does not require to be cooked.

When my grandmother passed, my mother created a cook book in her honour. It contained all our family’s most loved recipes, and stories from my mother’s youth. The best known recipe, must certainly be the chutney and everyone who knows it, always has a stash of it in their homes.

It is super quick and easy, and doesn’t require any cooking or refrigeration. This chutney, slathered on a boerewors-roll (South African spin on a hot dog), could possibly have you move the tomato sauce and mustard to the back of the cupboard for good!

Chutney - ingredients
Chutney ingredients


  • Jam: Way back, when this recipe was first concocted, my great grandmother used her very own homemade jams. My grandmother also believed that the ‘little something special’ was in the home made jam she used. Today, we mostly use store bought jams. Commercially produced jams work perfectly, but for this batch, I used small batch home industry/ artisanal type jams. Each container has only 2 ingredients: Peaches (about 70%) and sugar and apricots (about 70%) and sugar. Commercial jams usually contain closer to 30% peach/ apricot. The crux: different jams will render more or less runny consistencies, with more or less fruit pieces.
  • Coriander: We use dried, whole coriander seeds. In a dry saucepan, over medium heat, we toast the coriander until it becomes fragrant, and turns darker in colour. Use a pestle & mortar or quick blitz in a food processor to grind the coriander to a consistency of your liking. We like a bit of texture, and keep some larger pieces to add to the mixture.
  • Onion: Chop the onion finely, do not grate it. The texture and long pieces you get from grating is not desirable.
  • Chilli: Very finely chopped, fresh red chillies work best if you like a bit of heat. (I find the small red specs are also quite appealing in the final product) You can use ground chilli or chilli flakes too, if you can’t lay your hands on the fresh stuff.


  • 900g Smooth or fine apricot jam
  • 900 g Chunky peach or apricot jam
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 -3 Red chillies- seeds removed and finely chopped or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 Large onions finely chopped (I generally prefer red onions, but we grew up using white onions)
  • 2-4 tbsp Freshly toasted, ground coriander
  • 1 cup Brown vinegar
  • Optional: 3 Cloves garlic, chopped very finely, or grated on a micro plane.


Combine all the ingredients and decant into seal-able containers for storage.

This recipe is fairly flexible, and you can play around with the quantities and ingredients.

Let me know what your favourite dish is to enjoy your chutney with!

5 thoughts on “Oberholzer Chutney

  1. I am going to try it later… potentially with some fresh coriander too… I am going to dip bobotie balls into it at a bring and share lunch. Thanks so much, I was going to make my own, and it would have been – by and large – very similar to your recipe x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Charmaine, Thank you for your feedback! The chutney is typically, slightly runnier than shop bought or cooked/reduced varieties. The biggest determining factor would be the jam you opt for. When using shop bought jams, I generally pick small batch or artisanal varieties, as they tend to be thicker/firmer than the tinned, mass produced options. The second option would be to slightly reduce the liquids added to the mixture. I hope you manage to get the texture you prefer!


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