In a medium saucepan, combine the onion with vinegar, maple syrup, water, vanilla bean and seeds, star anise, and cinnamon. Stir well, then cook over medium-low heat until the liquid is gently reduced by about a third and the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients, then cook over a medium-low heat, gently smashing the tomatoes into very small pieces without breaking the chili. Leaving the chili whole gives light not too spicy heat; if you prefer it hotter, cut the chili into two or three pieces and crush it as desired, which will release its heat into the chutney.
Simmer gently for about 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool, then transfer the mixture into a 32 oz sterilized glass jar.
Letting it age in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours gives a better flavor and texture.
Enjoy the chutney with a nice cheese board, or alongside a honey-glazed ham–also, lovely as a holiday homemade version of classic ketchup!
Note: This will keep for about 2 weeks; to keep it longer you can either freeze it in smaller portions or process the jar/s for canning.