Friday, July 17, 2020


Chutney, Homemade, Jam, Sweet, India I grew up eating mango chutney and I even made it on occasion but I've noticed there are chutney recipes associated with Asian cooking that didn't resemble what I'm used to.  I found a tomato chutney that was thick, flavorful with a hint of spice that I enjoyed spreading on Naan bread, topped with a bit of cheese and heated till melting for a quick meal.  That tomato chutney was nothing like the mango chutney so I needed to figure out what a chutney is.

Basically, a chutney is a slow cooked condiment made from fruits or vegetables , vinegar, and spices.  The sauce originated in India but has spread out across the world.  Most cultures have their own version of a chutney.  For instance, chutneys from South American include Apricots while the one from Britain usually have apples.  Those from India can be made from a variety of ingredients.

Chutneys are designed to complement other dishes.  In some cultures, the meal is not considered complete without the chutney.  They can act as a dipping sauce, as a finish for curry, or a spread for toast, to add a burst of flavor.  Chutneys are different from jams in that they are savory rather than sweet and they are not made with pectin while jams have it.  Although chutneys and relishes are similar, chutneys are softer with fruit while relishes have only one type of vegetable and no fruit.  Some chutneys are cooked while others are eaten raw.

American and British style chutneys are thought to have originated in the 17th century Britain where they were made of fruits in a mixture similar to preserves. Since the British did not have access to mangos or pineapples, they used apples, onions, raisins, sultanas, or dates to recreate the recipes.

There are four types of chutney that most people are familiar with.

1.  Mango chutney which is extremely well known. It is made with mango, ginger, garlic, and vinegar.

2. Major Grey's Chutney is also made with mango but has raisins and and lime juice.  It is thought this was created by a British officer in the 19th century.

3. Mint Chutney is used as a dipping sauce for Indian Samosas, and has mint, cilantro, and green chilies mixed together.

4. Tomato Chutney is made up of tomatoes, chilis, and ginger and is perfect for naan bread.

So how do you use chutney if you don't eat a lot of Indian foods?  There are lots of ways.

1.  Mix the chutney with some softened creme cheese to make a spread or dip for a party.  A different way of making it at the party is to place a block of creme cheese on a plate and pour the chutney over it.

2. Instead of using straight mayonnaise on your sandwich, mix chutney with mayo in equal parts and spread it on your sandwich for a bit extra flavor.

3. For appetizers, place a thin layer on crackers, cover with a bit of grated cheese and broil until it melts.  The other choice is to place a thin layer of chutney in your grilled cheese sandwich to spice it up a bit.

4. For a dipping sauce mix 1 tbsp chutney with 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp grated ginger, 1 tbsp mirin and  1/4 cup stock.  Use it for tempura.

5.  Take the chutney and dilute it with water to create a glaze for meats, or poultry.

6.  Mix equal parts of salsa and chutney for a party dip.

7.  Cut one or two sweet potatoes or one winter squash into small chunks, toss with chutney and bake at 400 degrees until done.

So now you know a bit more about chutney and how to use it.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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