What Indian cuisine dish is complete without some chutney? Not many. This delicious fruit-based spread is more than mere jam - it is a jamboree of healthy flavor.
Chutney is made from fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. But that simple description masks a continent of variety.
Chutney can be made with mangos, plums, peaches, tamarind... even cranberries or coconut! In short, any pulpy fruit makes for a great base for chutney. The spices can range from red chili powder to coriander and cardamon or cinnamon and caraway seeds. They may include mace and masoor in a mixture called masala which is just Hindi for 'spice'. Mmmm...
It can be salty or spicy hot, sweet or mild, chunky or smooth - or a mixture of all of the above.
Unlike American jams, chutney is not intended to be spread on bread. Instead, it makes for a delightful complement to dosa, a delicious spread on lamb, or just as a tasty bit of spicy fruit topping on rice.
Because it is so flexible it can be served cold or warm, depending on the dish. Sweeter chutneys do better cold, with spicier ones just perfect for a hot dish like pork chops, Indian style.