We have all heard of chutneys, the famous tangy yet sweet ‘sauce-like’ dip from India. It is known for its sweet and sour taste and is widely served with meats, curries, and cheese.
Discover more about chutneys, their types, and how to preserve them in this article. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What is Chutney?
A chutney is often compared to a pickle. The difference between the two is their bases. Unlike pickles which are vegetable based, chutneysare a fruit-based condiment. This is the reason why they always offer a sweet touch despite the addition of acidic ingredients such as vinegar, and tamarind.
Usually, your average chutney recipe will contain plenty of spices. In addition to a plethora of spices, similar to the ones used in pickles, chutneys are also made from brown sugars which give the Indian specialty its characteristic red-brown, or blackish color.
To add a twist to chutney, the addition of a spice is necessary. In fact, a hot chutney is preferred over the average mild ones. The chili can sometimes dominate the other flavors of a chutney.
Types of Chutney:
The wide variety of fruit that is used to make chutneys is the contribution to the variations in chutney recipes. Since they are fruit based, several flavors are used to create unique chutneys, for example:
Mango Chutney: Mango pickles are quite a sensation too. However, unlike this spicy food, a mango chutney is usually much sweeter. Ripe mangos are used to prepare this chutney and they are blended to form a spreadable condiment. This chutney is a popular addition to spicy foods since it calms the overpowering spice.
Green Chutney: This is the go-to chutney for those in search of the perfect condiment for fried food such as samosas or pakoras. It is prepared using fresh greens which include green chilies, cilantro, mint, and other herbs to add flavor. Ginger, garlic, and lemon juices are added to boost its flavor.
Onion Chutney: This flavorful condiment is the perfect dip to accompany your South Asian snacks such as Masala Dosa, or Uttapam. The vegan chutney is made from onions, red chilies, and garlic as the primary ingredients. Other spices and herbs that boost its flavor include tamarind, urad dal, and chana dal.
How to Store Chutney?
Even with the addition of preservatives, chutney life can not be prolonged. Hence, it’s a good idea to store it in a refrigerator once you have opened it. On the other hand, a carefully prepared chutney has marvelous preservative qualities.
One way to identify a properly made chutney is its consistency. Properly made chutneys are often firm, contrary to popular belief. They should sit on a piece of meat until it reaches your mouth. The popular chutney recipes on the internet will tell you how to make firm a chutney that does not run away with itself.
Chutneys are gaining immense popularity because of their unique flavor combination. They have both a sweet and a sour side to them.