Kumquat Atchar:



This is a delicious, spicy jam that goes well with cheese and curries. It keeps for weeks in the fridge and makes a wonderful gift. Kumquats, at the moment, are in most of the supermarkets and are really reasonably priced (R10 a bag at Checkers!).



I love making this preserve for three reasons (1). It is so simple: requires basic kitchen equipment and basic cooking skills. (2). It uses ingredients that are easy to find and inexpensive (3). You can eat it straight away (after it has cooled that is); although it does get better with age (the spices get a chance to mingle more) it is nice, however, to be able to eat something the day you’ve made it.


I made it in the day and had it with cheese that evening. It also goes superbly with curries, my boyfriend and I enjoyed this kumquat atchar with a Chicken Tikka and Dahl I made. The sweetness complemented the spices in the curries and the spices in both dishes didn’t clash.


This is my first preserve/jam/atchar I have made and it will not be the last – I have already started collecting jam jars for all the wonderful preserve recipes out there.


Kumquat Atchar:


300g kumquats (about 30)

½ cup of white wine vinegar

¾ cup sugar

3 clove garlic, sliced into slivers

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp chopped chillies

½ tbls canola oil

1 tbls chopped coriander


Pan spices:


1 tsp mustard seeds

6 curry leaves, torn or lightly crushed (fresh or dried)

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds


Rinse the kumquats thoroughly and dry. Slice each kumquats in half lengthwise and remove all pips.


Place the kumquats in a medium-sized saucepan and add the vinegar. Heat on high, stirring constantly until the vinegar begins to simmer. Reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes until the kumquat rind is semi-soft.


Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Continue to simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the liquid is syrupy. Pour the contents of the saucepan into a bowl, add the garlic slivers and stir well. Leave the kumquats to cool for 10 minutes. Add the salt, crushed chillies and chopped coriander, stir well.


Heat the oil in a small saucepan. When hot, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, stir and allow to sizzle for about 15 seconds. Add the curry leaves and the sesame seeds and stir well. Remove form heat, pour over the kumquats and stir in.


When cool, place kumquats into a sterilized jar and store in the fridge for several weeks.






  1. Divine Kristy – I feel like eating this now ;-)


    Kristy Reply:

    Thanks Kate. You must come over and have enjoy some with me!


    Comment by Kate on July 12, 2011 at 4:13 am

  2. Oooooh! Love the idea of making atchar with kumquats. One of my favourite memories is walking home from school as a kid and plucking (& eating) the kumquats off of a tree on the route.


    Kristy Reply:

    What a lovely memory. The kumquat atchar is a great way of using kumquats with savoury dishes.


    Comment by Marisa on July 13, 2011 at 7:57 am

  3. Hi Kristy,
    Your recipes, enthusiasm presentation, attention to detail and love of cooking is an inspiration to me!


    Comment by Jeannie on July 15, 2011 at 4:27 am

  4. [...] made some kumquat atchar from a recipe on the foodmonger’s blog © kumquat [...]

    Pingback by In My Kitchen « Lavender and Lime on August 1, 2011 at 3:06 am

  5. ooh I must try this! Whenever I’ve gotten kumpuat’s I’ve only made kumquats in syrup. Great for a topping on choc pud.


    Comment by karen on August 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm