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Chutney – A “Licking” Good Condiment

Posted on February 11, 2021 at 12:20 PM by Madhu Gadia

February 11, 2021

Chutney – A “licking” Good Condiment 


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Dear Friends,

Today, I am sharing an Indian classic genre of dishes called chutney. Per dictionary, chutney is a spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar, originating in India. The word chutney is derived from the Hindi word 'chatna", which literally means "to lick” – finger-licking goodness.

Chutneys and pickles are as Indian as curries. The concept of chutneys is no longer new to the Western world; they have become as well-known as salsa. Indian chutneys are typically piquant—with all its synonyms, hot, spicy, tangy, and sharp—palate-pleasing condiments that liven up any dish. They can also be sweet and mild. Chutney can be fresh ground or preserved. You will find them in most Indian restaurants as a condiment.

You will find some of the most popular chutneys in my books, including the quintessential cilantro chutney, which is probably the most popular chutney enjoyed in Indian homes and restaurants worldwide.

Indian pickles are also unique to the cuisine. They are an acquired taste; Indians love them, but many non-Indians find them too strange, intense, or stinky. For more about Indian pickles/aachar, check out the Indian Pickles blog and the New York Times article on India’s Pickle Queen.

Chutney Jokes

“Chutney” word inspires both negative and positive connotations. In a positive tone, it is used for complementary, love, licking good, and then there are the negative ones – smash you like a chutney, make a chutney out of you (maar maar ke chutney bana dunga) – make a pulp out of you and so on...

Types of Chutney

There are 100s of chutneys made with various ingredients such as cilantro, tomatoes, mangoes, apples, coconut, and so on. They can be made fresh and eaten within few days or preserved like Indian pickles (shelf-stable).

Word of Caution: Remember to use chutney as a condiment; in small amounts, it’ll compliment the dish, but too much will overpower your dish. It’s like ketchup with French Fries.



I recently made these two chutneys. All I can say is, you have to try them to know how you would eat it. You might serve it as a condiment with a meal or top it on a cracker for a snack. It'll open a whole new array of condiments you'll want to serve with a variety of meals and snacks. Kids love chutney too. 

Cran-Apple Chutney  

This chutney is a shelf-stable preserve. I make a batch of it and enjoy it with meals and snacks. We enjoy chutney with flatbreads (roti, paratha…) or serve it with cheese and crackers.

Cran-Apple recipe was feared in the Food and Nutrition Magazine of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The article was Cinnamon: The Warming Spice Elevates Sweet and Savory fare. 


Tomato Launji – Spicy Sweet Tomato Chutney

This tomato chutney is called a “launji” because of the spices added to the chutney. The launji or chutney may be interchanged, although some people will not agree with that. This laungi/chutney will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It is a delicious accompaniment to a variety of meals and snacks.



For more chutney recipes, see New Indian Home Cooking and The Indian Vegan Kitchen. Also, I will be sharing more chutney recipes in future blogs. 

Enjoy Happy Healthy Living!

Madhu Gadia

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