What is Chutney: Everything That You Need to Know
Chutney is a type of condiment originating from Indian cuisine and is similar to a typical American salsa. It is a type of sauce in its own right or it is often used as a dry base for making a sauce. There is no fixed chutney recipe, it all comes down to what you prefer in terms of flavor. Chutneys are traditionally eaten with almost all meals in India, and they can be eaten raw or cooked. As they are created from a varied range of ingredients you can achieve some very interesting tastes by combining different fruits, vegetables and spices. Chutney has a multitude of flavors from spicy to sweet to sour with varying textures making it a versatile addition to any meal.
How to Create Chutney
There are literally thousands of potential recipes out there for making the best chutney but on the whole they will all usually start with a fruity base. When you grasp the basics of producing a fruity chutney you can build on your knowledge and make your own adaptations using all kinds of fruits and vegetables. It is best to make chutney with fruits which are not yet quite ripe as softer fruits lose their flavor in a cooked chutney and will turn to a jam. Most chutney recipes will include some onion and countless varieties will have garlic in them.
The general rules to make a chutney are to use 1 cup of sugar, 1lb of fruit and just less than one cup of vinegar. When adding spices, you simply adjust the quantity of sugar to get the taste you like. You will just need to use a large pan on the stove for slow cooking your chutney recipe if it needs to be reduced down. You cook on a low heat for as long as it takes for all of your ingredients to give you a sweet and sticky textured mix.
The Best Chutney Recipes
This delightfully spicy chutney is created using freshly picked mint leaves. It is a very popular traditional Indian chutney and once made you can use it either as a condiment or as a dip for breads, samosas or spread on sandwiches.
- 2 cup mint leaves
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup coriander leaves
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 2 green chillies
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon rock salt
- Put the yogurt in a bowl with the lemon juice, cumin, and salt.
- Next using a different bowl combine the mint and coriander leaves with the other ingredients and blend.
- Now add both bowls together to mix everything to a smooth paste.
Mango chutney is a famous chutney recipe as it is utterly scrumptious. In the past mango chutney was created using unripe mangoes because in India green mangos are eaten widely and have a sour taste giving this chutney a pungent aroma.
- 4 large (ripe or green) peeled and sliced mangoes
- 2 baking apples, chopped
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 1lb sugar
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp mustard powder
- 1-pint white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- Place mango slices into a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Place the mango in the refrigerator overnight. The following day you will need to drain off the mango juice and wash the salt from the fruit.
- When ready, place the sugar, garlic, apples, cumin seeds, mustard, vinegar and cayenne pepper into a large pan on the stove and cook on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Once you have a syrup, bring the mix to a boil and put in the mangoes. Allow to simmer until the chutney feels syrupy.
How to Store Chutney
Use glass containers and ensure that you sterilize them before using the airtight jars. On the whole the majority of chutneys will last a couple of weeks in your refrigerator once opened. Sealed jars can be left on a shelf in a cool, dark place and if they have not been opened, depending on the ingredients used, they should keep for around a year.
Now that you understand everything you need to know about how to make a chutney, you can start trialling new tastes and flavors by making your own. Whether you are making it as a fruity addition to go along with your cheese and crackers or you want to create the tastiest sandwich ever, it is well worth making your very own homemade chutney.