Chutney

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This article is about the condiment. For the music native to Trinidad and Tobago, see Chutney music.
Chutney
Chutneykarnataka.jpg
Alternative names
Chatney, Chatni
Place of origin
India
Region or state
South Asia(Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka )
Main ingredients
Seasonings such as salt, spices/herbs, and vegetables/fruits such as chilis, Damsons, plums, tomatoes, apple, pear, onion, garlic, fig, etc.
Cookbook:Chutney  Chutney
Dakshin chutneys
Chutneys
Mango chutney
Simple tomato chutney
Pesarattu and Ginger chutney

Chutney (also transliterated chatney or chatni) is a family of condiments mainly associated with South Asian cuisine that usually contain some mixture of spice(s), vegetable(s), and/or fruit(s). There are many varieties of chutney.[1]

Chutneys may be either wet or dry, and can have a coarse to a fine texture. The Indian word refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with preserves often sweetened. Several Indian languages use the word for fresh preparations only. A different word achār (Hindi: अचार) applies to preserves that often contain oil and are rarely sweet. Vinegar, citrus, tamarind, or lemon juice may be added as natural preservatives, or fermentation in the presence of salt may be used to create acid.

The name "chutney" covers a wide variety of foodstuffs. The common element which makes them all "chutneys" is that they are added to meals to add flavour; the best English "translation" of "chutney" is "relish". As such, they can be, and are, eaten with a wide variety of foods.

Traditionally, chutneys are ground with a mortar and pestle made of stone or an ammikkal (Tamil). Spices are added and ground, usually in a particular order; the wet paste thus made is sautéed in vegetable oil, usually gingelly (sesame) or groundnut (peanut) oil. Electric blenders or food processors can be used as labor-saving alternatives to stone grinding.

Types[edit]

Chutneys can be made from almost any combination of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices. Chutneys are usually grouped into sweet or hot forms; both forms usually contain spices, including chili, but differ by their main flavours. Chutney types and their preparations vary widely across Pakistan and India.

Types of chutneys:

American and European-style chutneys are usually fruit, vinegar and sugar, cooked down to a reduction, with added flavorings. These may include sugar, salt, garlic, tamarind, onion, or ginger.

Spices commonly used in chutneys include fenugreek, coriander, cumin and asafoetida (hing).

Etymology[edit]

The word "chutney" is derived from the Sanskrit word caṭnī, meaning to lick. The first chutneys in India would have been sticky fruit based preserves. Sugar, although available in India, was not widely cultivated and honey would have been used to sweeten dishes, this leading to the chutneys being used as more of a dipping sauce rather than a condiment. It is written differently in several North Indian and South Indian languages (Gujarati: ચટણી, Bengali: চাটনী, Marathi: चटणी, Punjabi: ਚਟਣੀ, Tamil: சட்டினி chaṭṭiṉi, காரத் துவையல் karathuvaiyal, Kannada: ಚಟ್ನಿ, Hindi: चटनी, Urdu: چٹنی‎, Sindhi: چٽڻي, Malayalam: ചട്ടിണി, chattin̩i, ചമ്മന്തി, Telugu: పచ్చడి(Pacchadi), as written in Telugu script here, refers specifically to pickled fruits, whilst chutney refers to minced foods, usually made out of coconuts.

History[edit]

Similar in preparation and usage to a pickle, simple spiced chutneys can be dated as far back as 500 BC. Originating in Northern Europe, this method of preserving food was subsequently adopted by the Romans and later British empires, who then started exporting this to the colonies, Australia and America.

As greater imports of foreign and varied foods increasing into Northern Europe the chutney fell out of favour. This combined with a greater ability to refrigerate fresh foods and an increasing amount of glasshouses meant chutney and pickle were relegated to military and colonial use. Chutney also appeared in India around the 1780s as a popular appetizer

Diego Álvarez Chanca brought back chili peppers from the Americas. After discovering their medicinal properties, Chanca developed a chutney to administer them. This coincided with the British Royal Navy's use of a lime pickle or chutney to ward off scurvy on journeys to the new world.

In the early 17th century, British colonization of the Indian subcontinent relied on preserved food stuffs such as lime pickles, chutneys and marmalades. (Marmalades proving unpopular due to their sweetness and a lack of available sugar.)

Beginning in the 17th century, fruit chutneys were shipped to European countries like England and France as luxury goods. These imitations were called "mangoed" fruits or vegetables, the word 'chutney' still being associated with the lower working classes.

In the 19th century, types of chutney like Major Grey's or Bengal Club created for Western tastes were shipped to Europe.

Generally these chutneys are fruit, vinegar, and sugar cooked down to a reduction.

The tradition of chutney-making spread through the English-speaking world, especially in the Caribbean and American South, where chutney is still a popular condiment for ham, pork, and fish.

By Indian region[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Weaver, William Woys. "Chutney". Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Ed. Solomon H. Katz. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 417–418. 3 vols. ISBN 0-684-80568-5.
  • Dahiya, Ashish. Food of Haryana: The Great Chutneys Vol. 1. India. ISBN 978-93-81818-05-3.

External links[edit]