Purple ‘Chow-Chow’ Relish

Ever since I was a child, this has been a delicious part of our pantry. For those not familiar, ‘chow-chow’ is a cabbage, pepper & tomato relish that can add a boost to everything from peas, greens, and beans to pork chops, roasts, and fish.
This recipe is a variation from my family’s, in which I used purple cabbage and heirloom purple tomatoes (which I grew in my square foot garden!).

You can substitute regular cabbage, tomatoes and green peppers, but you will lose the robust color & flavor and the added nutritional boost that these bright foods provide.  For a sweet mild flavor, remove the seeds from the jalapeno. To kick up the heat, add another or use a Serrano pepper instead.

Makes: approx 8-10 pints


  • 1 head purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 3 med semi-ripe purple tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 bell peppers, diced (one each of red, orange & yellow)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped w/seeds
  • 1 tbsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional, for a ‘holiday’ version)


  1. Put all vegetables into large non-aluminum pot or bowl. Sprinkle with salt, stir & let sit for 2-4 hrs or overnight in refrigerator.
  2. After veggies have brined, add all ingredients into pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med low & let simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring continually, until it thickens into a relish consistency.
  3. Pour into jars and seal using any standard canning process.
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