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Chutney is a type of dip or a salsa prepared by grinding the ingredients partially or finely. It is served as an accompaniment to snacks or as a part of the main course with any type of bread or rice. It adds to the original flavors of the recipe it is served with. Chutney can be in the form of a jelly or a relish. The chutney recipe can be fine or semi-grind. Traditionally it was prepared by manually grinding the ingredient with a mortar and pestle, but now the modernized methods include grinding in mixer or with a blender. Normally, chutney is made from the fresh ingredients and consumed for immediate use. Sometimes preservatives are added to keep them afresh for a longer duration. With the growing popularity and demand, a variety of the recipe is found in a preserved and packed form and sold in the ready market. Storing it in a glass container reserves the original taste for a longer time. Usually chutney should not be kept for a longer time in steel or copper containers; it spoils the taste of the original delicacy. A chutney recipecan be sweet, sour or tangy depending on the ingredients used. The taste can be reformed by varying the spice content in it. The variety of chutney is innumerable be it any type of fruits, vegetable, spices or herbs. The most common recipes of Indian origin being the ones prepared from mango, coconut, mint, pineapple and apple seasoned with variety of spices including garlic, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves , tamarind and chilies .

Origin of Chutneys

Chutney is a dish of Indian origin. It is derived from the Sanskrit word that meant ‘licking’ and is a Hindi word which means ‘to crush’. The name highlights the procedure it is made with. With its origin from India a variety of chutney recipes are state bounded delicacies. The mango chutney and tamarind chutney of Haryana, lime chutneys of Gujarat, peanut chutney of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, fish, shrimp, onion and coconut chutneys of Kerala and coconut chutney of Tamil Nadu, some popular specialties of the state and are famous worldwide. The popularity of chutney spread from India to Britain and later to the other Western countries. Originally Mango chutney was exported to England and France as luxurious commodities which were later alternated with unripe peaches. In America it became a popular form of relish made from fruits, vinegar and sugar and served with ham, pork or fish.

Ingredients and Method of Preparing Chutney Recipes

Chutney is a wide term with authentic variations. The method of preparation of the basic recipe involves grinding all the ingredients together. Sometimes the ingredients have to be sautéed and then ground. All this depends on the type of the dish. Some excellent recipes are enumerated below:-

· Coriander mint chutney– Coriander, mint, cumin seeds, ginger and green chilies ground properly. Later the taste is adjusted by adding salt and lime to the chutney.

· Mint tamarind chutney– The mint leaves are pulverized with green chili, tamarind and salt to make this chutney recipe.

· Tomato Garlic chutney– Tomato, garlic, onion, ginger, cardamom, raisins and vinegar together make the chutney delicious.

· Onion chutney- Onion, garlic, chana dal with mustard seeds and curry leaves bring out the delicious flavors of chutney.

· Curd Chutney- A common relish made with thick curd and spices.

· Coconut chutney- Grated coconut, red chili and chana dal are ground together to a fine paste. Later, a tadka of mustard seeds and curry leaves bring out the traditional South Indian flavors.

· Carrot chutney– Chutney is also made by crushing carrot, coriander leaves, green chili, lemon juice with salt and pepper is common.

· Banana chutney– Chopped bananas are cooked in vinegar and sugar to make a pulp. Later raisins, almonds, ground spices and salt is added. This chutney recipe is to be served after a couple of days.

· Pineapple chutney– Cook pineapple (fresh or tinned), garlic and dates. Later seasoning with red chili, cardamoms, and vinegar makes chutney.

Variations in Chutney Dishes

Chutney can be sweet, sour or spicy. It can be made with fresh ingredients for immediate use or are canned with preservatives for the future consumption. Chutney recipe may be just grinding the raw ingredients or it may include the further processing. It may be prepared by heating for several hours in the heat of the sun or by cooking on the gas. The vinegar when added to the chutney keeps the flavors afresh for a longer duration.

Serving Chutney Recipe

Chutney is served as accompaniment to the starter or as an intimate part of the main course. It enriches the flavors of the recipe it is served as a dip with several fried recipes, be it with kebabs, cutlet, tikkis or burgers or any form of puris or rice pulao. Chutney is sometimes served with curries or vegetables. When applied on bread with some butter, cheese and vegetables, it is amazing. In India the common coriander and tamarind chutneys form the indispensable part of chaats and bhel. The famous coconut chutney is an accompaniment to South Indian dishes like dosas, idli, or uttapam. Sometimes it is served with salads and papads. In Western countries a chutney recipe tantalizes the flavors of the regular tortillas or nachos. Chutney is also served with pork or ham.

Some Health Facts to Chutneys

Chutney made with wide ranging ingredients is very nutritious. The benefits of some ingredients commonly used in a variety of chutneys cannot be forgotten. Onions used in this help controlling the body heat. Tamarind is a good substitute of Vitamin C. Amla itself contains vitamin C, protein, carbohydrate resource and it helps improving digestion. The curry leaves helps in the purification of blood. Chutney made with a variety of fruits like raw mango, pineapple, apple etc are depicted with the health facts of the fruits used. The exotic apricot and thyme chutney is a good source of protein, sodium and potassium. The chutney recipe made by grinding mint leaves, ginger and anardana are recommended by doctors to be consumed on a daily basis. Chutney is helpful in different types of aches, liver, kidney problems, asthma and weakness.