‘Chutney’ is a relish-type condiment; its increasing popularity reflects the inclusion of ethnic world cuisines in the Western diet.
The term ‘chutney’ includes several different varieties of sauce-type foods, drawn from traditional East Indian cuisine.
The main ingredient may be
- An herb such as cilantro or mint;
- a flavoring ingredient such as coconut, onion, ginger, tamarind; or, in the most common form, chopped fruit or vegetables, simmered with spices, onion, sugar and vinegar.
- Fruit-based chutneys are usually cooked, then canned or refrigerated.
- Other chutneys like cilantro, onion, coconut, etc. are usually eaten fresh, with minimal, if any, cooking.
Fruit chutneys are most commonly available and varieties include mango, apple, apricot, cranberry, date, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, tomato and mixed fruit, to which raisins and nuts may be added to complement the texture.
The result is a sweet-sour-spicy-hot versatile blend—an adventure for the taste buds.
- Chili powder or red pepper flakes are most common,
- but others include ginger (usually ground or chopped fresh ginger),
- garlic, turmeric, and curry powder (a mixture of ground spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seed, cumin, fenugreek, mustard seed, nutmeg).
- Other seasonings may include salt, pepper, sugar, tamarind paste, vinegar and lemon juice.
HOW CHUTNEY IS USED:
- Chutney is a perfect accompaniment to East Indian food; however, it can also be used
- As a side dish,
- Sandwich spread,
- An accompaniment to cheese and crackers, or
- As an ingredient to enhance the flavor of everyday dishes like chicken salad or casseroles.