Deep Fried Dictionary: Chutney

Chutney: fruit/vegetable condiment; South Asian/Indian

Totes practical, Adam Linder and I were at the Brooklyn Local food festival brought to us by the City Harvest organization, and we got these sandwiches from a place whose name I can’t remember for the life of me (or else I’d link them) but they were GOOD, crusty bread with huge hunks of sharp cheddar and rhubarb or apple chutney.

So we got two, walked away and Adam Linder immediately asked “what’s chutney?” and I said “I’M GONNA DO AN ENTRY ON THAT!” Already had it planned. I know my audience and they don’t know chutney. I told him what it was in real time, though. He didn’t have to wait til now.

So that’s that anecdote.

I want[ed] to tell you about our stay in New York, so maybe I won’t or will, but chutney is now at hand.

CHUTNEY is basically an Indian condiment. Think salsa, kind of. The kinds you usually see in America are fruit chutneys, which are sweet and spicy and also a bit tangy from a typical ingredient of vinegar. Most I’ve seen are also a texture similar to salsa, but they can be any variety or chunky or smooth! Like pasta sauce, everyone has their own favorite little tricks. Condiment is the key aspect here.

Mango and tomato chutney are two American favorites, from what I’ve seen. You can put chutney on any Indian food you might have whipped up, or even on a cheese sandwich, as was the case in the anecdote I shared with you earlier. In America it’s really come to mean any chunky sauce made with fruit, vinegar and Indian inspiration.

Availability: In the photo here, Whole Foods has their little “chutney section.” This is probably not the case in your major supermarket. They might have a couple varieties in the Asian food aisle or they might not. If not, try Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or an Asian market.

Recipe to try: Homemade Mango Chutney from Simply Recipes via The Kitchn. This is what I think of when I think of chutney. Note that this recipe makes 6 cups. Probably excessive for many home cooks, do some math to get your desired sampling.

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About Jen Cantin

Follow Jen Cantin on Twitter if you have nothing better to do! Wouldn’t want to impose… Two cats and three times more ‘tude than the leading car insurance provider.
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