The Difference Between a Chilli Jam and a Chutney - Single Variety Co

The Difference Between a Chilli Jam and a Chutney

When it comes to defining our chilli jam, you could argue that it is a chutney as well as being a jam. We see our chilli jam as being a hybrid between the two. Here we explain why and firstly I’ll take you through the key differences between a traditional jam and a chutney.


A chutney, originating from the Indian subcontinent, traditionally refers to any condiment or relish served alongside Indian cuisine. However, this has evolved over the years and today would incorporate English-style chutneys. 

Whilst both an English-style chutney and a jam are traditionally fruit based, we do see vegetable based chutneys today, for example onions. 

These chutneys will have the addition of vinegar, which gives it its distinctive sharp, tangy flavour. They will tend to have the addition of spices and other dried ingredients such as raisins too.

 A traditional jam would contain only a combination of fruit, sugar and pectin, so without any of the additional ingredients you would find in a chutney and a chutney wouldn’t contain any pectin.  


Both a jam and a chutney will contain sugar, although a jam would be much sweeter, with the chutney having a more acidic, tangy flavour from the addition of vinegar.


To preserve a chutney a combination of vinegar and sugar are used, whilst in a jam it is the sugar alone which acts as the preserving agent.


A jam will have a sticky, spreadable consistency whereas you’d find a chutney to be more spoonable.

What does this all mean for our chilli jams?

Well our chilli jams contain a combination of fruit (chillies), sugar, pectin and vinegar. Having the addition of vinegar to our recipes means that you could say it goes into the chutney territory and therefore not a jam. However, we do not add any other flavours such as spices or dried ingredients, making the chillies the hero of the product. When it comes to the texture, we feel the texture of our chilli jam is jam-like, where it is spreadable and sticky rather than like a chutney.

Like a chutney, our chilli jams are delicious paired with savoury food, served as a condiment on the side of your plate, accompanying a cheeseboard or added to a sandwich / toastie. Therefore, when people ask us how to use them, we often start with suggestions that a chutney would traditionally be used for. 

We have lots of chilli jam ideas on our website, so why not give one of them a go? Also our range of chilli jams can be bought here.

 Much jam love,

Kate x

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