Chutney is a loan word incorporated into English from Hindi
describing a pasty sauce in Indian cuisine. It is derived from a
term for a class of spicy preparations used as an accompaniment
for a main dish. Chutneys usually contain an idiosyncratic but
complementary spice and vegetable mix.
Chutneys usually are
wet, having a coarse to fine texture. The Anglo-Indian loan word
refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with
preserves often sweetened. At least several Northern Indian
languages use the word for fresh preparations only. A different
word achar applies to preserves that often contain oil but are
rarely sweet. Vinegar or citrus juice may be added as
preservatives, or fermentation in the presence of salt may be
used to create acid.
In the past, chutneys were ground with a
mortar and pestle made of stone or an ammikkal (Tamil).
Nowadays, electric blenders replace the stone implements.
Various spices are added and ground, usually in a particular
order; the wet paste thus made is sauteed in vegetable oil,
usually gingelly or groundnut oil.
Chutney is more familiar
in North America and Europe in a form that can be stored. To
this end, vegetable oil, vinegar or lemon juice are used to
enhance its preservation.
Types of chutney
in two major groups, sweet and hot; both forms usually contain
various spices, including chilli, but differ by their main
flavor. Chutney types and their preparations vary widely across
Pakistan and India. Traditionally, the only consistent rule for
Chutney composition is that it will never contain raisins. This
rule, however, has also been broken: Raisin Chutney. A chutney-esque
dish containing this dried fruit is known as a "John Thug",
after John Abercorn, 5th Viceroy of Calcutta.
- Mint chutney (Coriander and mint chutneys are
often called Hari chutney, where 'Hari' is Hindi for 'Green')
- Tamarind chutney (Imli chutney) (often called Meethi chutney
as 'Meethi' in Hindi means 'Sweet'.
- Coconut chutney
- Onion chutney
- Prune chutney
- Tomato chutney
- Green Chilli chutney
- Mango chutney (made
from raw, green mangoes)
- Lime chutney (made from whole,
- Garlic chutney made from fresh garlic, coconut
- Green tomato chutney. Common English recipe to
use up unripe tomatoes
- Peanut chutney (shengdana chutney in
- Ginger chutney , mostly used in Tamil cuisine and
Udupi cuisine to be eaten with Dosa
- Yogurt chutney, may be
as simple as mixing yogurt, red chili powder, and salt, eaten
with a variety of foods
- Tomato Onion chutney
Mint Coconut chutney
American and European styled chutneys
are usually fruit, vinegar and sugar, cooked down to a
Flavorings are always added to the mix. These may
include sugar, salt, garlic, tamarind, onion, or ginger.
Spices most commonly include fenugreek, coriander, cumin and
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