Top 5 Things You Might Not Know About Chutney
Chutney is a staple of Indian cuisine. It’s used for a wide variety of dishes and there are many different recipes and ways to prepare it. Chutney is a versatile invention – just like many sauces around the world, it can be added to almost anything to make it taste even better. This dish is often eaten as a relish or an accompaniment to the main meal.
While chutneys are incredibly popular around the world nowadays, do you know everything there is to know about them? With such an interesting past and mixture of ingredients, there is always something new to learn about chutneys, such as:
Chutney is Not an English Creation
Chutneys were exported to European countries as luxury goods during the 17th century, and the famous Major Grey’s Chutney (a type of sweet and spicy chutney popular in the UK) was said to have been created by a British Army officer in the 19th-century.
Maybe because of this, many people believe that chutney was invented outside of India, but nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, this relish originated in Northern India and was brought home by the British during the colonial era. The word itself is anglicised, with the Hindi word being ‘chatni’.
Chutney is a Very Old Dish
Modern chutneys are completely different from their ancient counterparts. The first simple spiced chutneys can be traced back to 500 BC! It was initially a way to preserve food, which fell in popularity around the world due to the invention of food refrigeration methods; however, it reappeared around the 1780s in India as an appetiser.
Chutneys Should be Eaten Soon After Being Made
Because chutneys use fresh ingredients, such as fruits, it’s important that they are consumed as soon as they’re made, in order to better enjoy their flavour! For example, the original Indian chatni is made from a mixture of uncooked fruit (such as mangoes or bananas), green chillies, green herbs and spices, as well as an acid base (for instance, vinegar) and sugar. All of this is served as a paste and is best eaten immediately after being prepared.
Chutneys Vary by Region in India
No chutney is created equal! The Indian subcontinent is huge and each region is culturally unique, which also applies to chutneys. In Tamil Nadu, for example, popular chutneys include coconut, lentil, tamarind, onion and peanut. Haryana is famous for its tomato, potato and kachri chutneys; Maharashtra’s popular chutneys are made from raw mango and tamarind; Odisha’s even include dried fish chutneys; and much more.
The options are limitless, so there is always something for everyone!
Chutneys are Made with Many Different Spices
There are so many spices in Indian cuisine that it would be impossible for chutneys to be made with the ‘same old, same old’ ones! If you don’t like certain spices, then, you can always try a different chutney with other condiments and see if that one is more to your tastes. Popular spices used in chutneys are fenugreek, coriander, cumin, mint, chillies, ginger, although there are many others.
Indian food is our passion here at Spice Lounge Kitchen, and we strive to offer a unique and delicious experience to all of our customers. Why not give it a go and try out our tasty chutneys for yourself? Book a reservation with us, take a look at our amazing photos, or have a gander through our menus – we’ll be here waiting for you!