Recipe: End-of-Summer Chow Chow

Anything goes in this versatile chow chow, as long as you get the base right.

Words and photo: Extract from Kai: Food stories and recipes from my family table

Another great way to use up all the veges in an exploding garden, or veges that are cheap to buy at the end of summer. Anything goes, really, as long as you get the base right. All the men in our family make incredible pickle with kamokamo, and this chow chow recipe is a flavour memory of a good pickle with cheese and crackers.

Makes approx. 6 x 300 mL jars


2 cups green tomatoes, chopped
4 cups vegetables, e.g. kamokamo, courgette, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, chopped into chunks
2–3 large onions, chopped
⅔ cup salt
cold water to cover
1 tbsp mustard seeds
⅔ cup white sugar
2 cups white vinegar
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup plain flour or cornflour (for GF)


Put all of the prepared vegetables into a large nonmetallic (non-reactive) bowl, sprinkle over salt and pour over the cold water. Mix salt water through the vegetables, cover and leave to stand for 24 hours.

The next day, drain the water off thoroughly, and transfer the vegetables to a large stockpot. Add the mustard seeds, sugar and 1 cup of the white vinegar to the pot and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender.

In a small bowl, mix the mustard powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and flour together. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup vinegar to create a smooth paste. Add this mixture to the pot, continuing to simmer, and stir until the mixture starts to thicken.

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Pack immediately into hot, sterilised jars. Chow chow will keep for up to a year in a cool, dark place. year in a cool, dark place.

Kai: Food stories and recipes from my family table, by Christall Lowe, photography by Christall Lowe, published by Bateman Books, RRP $59.99, Release date 7 November 2022.

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