Chutney is a family of condiments mainly associated with South Asian cuisine that usually contain some mixture of spice(s), vegetable
(s), and/or fruit(s) like Mango
, Bramley apples
, Dried Apricots
, Dried Fruits
. There are many varieties of chutney.
Chutneys may be either wet or dry, and can have a coarse to a fine texture. The Indian word refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with preserves often sweetened. Several Indian languages use the word for fresh preparations only. A different word achar applies to preserves that often contain oil and are rarely sweet. Vinegar
, citrus, tamarind
, or lemon
juice may be added as natural preservatives
, or fermentation in the presence of salt
may be used to create acid.
The name "chutney" covers a wide variety of foodstuffs. The common element which makes them all "chutneys" is that they are added to meals to add flavour; the best English "translation" of "chutney" is "relish". As such, they can be, and are, eaten with a wide variety of foods.
Traditionally, chutneys are ground with a mortar and pestle
made of stone or an ammikkal (Tamil). Spices are added and ground, usually in a particular order; the wet paste thus made is sautéed in vegetable oil
, usually gingelly (sesame
) or groundnut
(peanut) oil. Electric blenders
or food processors
can be used as labor-saving alternatives to stone grinding.