The word chutney derives from the Hindi word chatni that translates to heavily spiced and it is often used as an accompaniment to a main dish. It can be in paste form or it can even resemble jam, the main difference being that it requires spices for it to be a true chutney. Best of all it’s all wholly vegetarian making it suitable for most diets.
Instead of just eating these with your usual thosai or capati, why not get creative and use these chutneys when preparing other meals. We’ve given you a few suggestions, but as with any recipe, use your imagination and try it in any way you can think of. With a decent chutney you’re sure to come out with a delicious dish every time.
4 Tbs chopped ginger, 5 dried red chillies, 4 tsp cumin, 4 tsp curry leaves, 1 small lemon sized tamarind, 3 Tbs gula Melaka, 3 tsp oil, Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan, fry the red chillies and set aside. Roast the cumin and set aside. In the remaining oil sauté the ginger pieces and curry leaves for 3mins. In a blender or a mortar and pestle mix all the above ingredients along with the tamarind, gula Melaka, and salt. Grind to a smooth paste.
Food pairings: The strong flavours of this paste would make a great marinade for chicken. Let it marinate for at least 30mins and either bake or fry it afterwards. Serve topped with extra chutney and a side of rice to mellow out the strong ginger flavour.
Coriander Mint Chutney
½ cup mint leaves, 1 cup coriander leaves, 3 garlic cloves, 1/2 in ginger, 1 Tbs tamarind, 1 Tbs coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 3 dried chillies, ¼ tsp coriander powder, 4 Tbs sesame oil, Salt to taste.
Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan and add coriander seeds, chillies and cumin seeds. Once fragrant remove from heat and cool. Add to a blender or mortar and pestle and grind with the mint leaves, 1/2 cup of coriander leaves, garlic, ginger, and tamarind. Heat sesame oil in a pan and add the ground mixture and the remaining coriander leaves along with coriander powder and stir till fragrant.
Food pairings: This has a distinct coriander bite slightly reminiscent of a salsa that would work beautifully on cooked fish. Top it on a piece of cooked fish and eat as is or mix flaked fish with this chutney and pop it in a taco shell to make an Asian fish taco.
6 Tbs grated coconut, 2 tsp roasted lentil seeds, 1in ginger chopped, 4 Tbs chopped coriander leaves, 4 chopped green chillies, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 4 curry leaves, 1 red chilli chopped, 2 Tbs oil, lemon juice to taste, salt to taste
Grind the coconut, roasted lentils, green chillies, coriander leaves and ginger to a fine paste using a little water. Heat the oil in a pan on medium till hot. Add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter and then add the red chillies, and curry leaves. Fry briefly and pour it on the ground chutney. Add salt and lemon juice to the chutney according to taste.
Food pairings: Since this is quite a dry flaky paste use it as a ‘crumb’ for a baked dish. Coat fish or chicken in this crust and bake till crisp on the outside and cooked on the inside. Eat this with a side of dhal and a warm fresh capati. Since the flavours are mild this could also be stirred through plain rice to jazz it up a bit.
Tomato Onion Chutney
1 medium onion, 1 medium tomato, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp coriander leaves, 3in tamarind, 4 curry leaves, ½ in ginger, 1 ½ tsp chilli powder, salt to taste, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 Tbs oil
Heat the oil and add it to all the other ingredients. Grind in a mixer or with a mortar and pestle.
Food pairings: This works best as a salsa. Serve it up at parties to eat with tortilla chips or add a dollop to your steak wrap to give it a slight Indian flair.
Hot Garlic Chutney
½ cup peeled garlic cloves, 2 green chillies, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp cumin, 1 Tbs oil, 1 Tbs ghee, salt to taste.
Grind garlic and chillies without water. Heat oil and ghee together and then add the cumin and fry till crisp not burnt. Add the garlic and cook on a slow fire till it is crisp, add rest of the ingredients and turn off fire. Cool and store in the refrigerator, keeps for several weeks
Food pairings: The extreme garlic bite in this dish makes it a great condiment in our books (Trust us! We hovered over this pan greedily with capati and finished the first batch within minutes; we made a quadruple batch the next day because one batch is not enough). Slather it on baguette slices and create Indian style garlic bread. Sprinkle it on cooked steak for that slight fragrant crunch. You can even sprinkle this on salads for an added punch.
2 plums, 2 green apples, ½ onion, 30g raisins, 2 Tbs ginger, 15g mustard seeds, 120ml vinegar, 100g sugar, 1 tsp chilli, 1 tsp allspice, 325ml water
Cut plums lengthwise into strips. Peel, core and dice the apples. Cut the onion into thin wedges. Place onion, raisins, plums, ginger, mustard seeds, chillies, allspice, vinegar, sugar, and 2/3 of the water in a large saucepan. Set over medium-high heat, and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 40 minutes. Add the diced apples and the rest of the water. Stirring frequently, cook until apples are soft and translucent and liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Transfer chutney immediately to a jar.
Food Pairings: Despite the savoury ingredients and spices that go into this fruit chutney it still turns out rather sweet and it could be used to make a delicious spiced crumble. Top it with crumbled pastry and bake till golden. We tried it with a fragrant briyani and found it goes superb!
Friedchillies Pineapple-Mango Chutney
1 cup chopped pineapple, 1 cup chopped mango, 4 Tbs brown sugar, 1 garlic sliced, 1 tbs salt, ½ cup vinegar, 1 chilli, ½ in ginger sliced, 3 red onions sliced thinly
Cook vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan till syrup thickens. Add chopped pineapple and mango and continue to boil. Remove seeds from chilli and slice thinly. Add ginger, garlic, red onions, chilli and raisins to the pot. cook down until mixture thickens. Store in jars and refrigerate for future use.
Food Pairings: Upon tasting this we knew immediately that it would work in our own version of a Coronation chicken sandwich. Marinate the chicken in curry spices and bake, then dice and place in a sandwich topped with this chutney. The sweet and savoury flavours will not disappoint.
published first on: www.friedchillies.com/articles/detail/chutney-madness