What is Chutney – Usage, Origin, & Recipes

 Indian Dish with Chutney

What to expect in our article about Chutney:

You have probably come across the term “Chutney” before and wondered: “What is Chutney, actually?” This is the very question we aim to answer in this post. We will also explore the meaning and origin of Chutney, how you can use it, which dishes it is commonly served with, and where you can purchase high-quality Chutney...




Chutney - What is it, actually?

The term "Chutney" is derived from the name “Chatni” and literally translates to “lickable” in German. Chatni is Hindi, and it already hints at the origin of Chutney. Chutney originally comes from Indian cuisine, specifically from Eastern India.

The base of Chutney consists of vegetables and fruits as well as various spices. Ingredients like mangoes, apples, apricots, peaches, onions, or tomatoes, along with spices such as salt, pepper, chili, and ginger, are often cooked together with sugar and vinegar until the liquid evaporates, and the ingredients become soft. This allows the flavors of the individual ingredients to meld together perfectly. The addition of some acid (usually lemon or lime juice) can enhance the various flavors.

Through the cooking process, Chutney acquires a creamy, jam-like consistency, somewhat comparable to the texture of jam. Apart from very smooth Chutneys, there are also Chutneys that contain slightly larger pieces of vegetables or fruit chunks.

Chutneys also offer a wide variety of flavors. They are typically spicy, sweet-sour, and can be spicy depending on the ingredients and spices used. In India, Chutney is usually prepared fresh (pureed cold) and served with almost every meal. It is particularly popular with spicy curries or rice dishes. The sweetness of Chutneys complements hearty dishes and creates a delightful contrast.

Chutney, with its origins in India, was brought to Europe by the English during the colonial era. To benefit from its extended shelf life, it became common to preserve Chutneys in jars.

Now that we have clarified what Chutney actually is, let's take a closer look at the usage of Chutney.




Usage: What is Chutney eaten with?

Since Chutney can be used in a versatile manner due to its multifaceted flavors and combinations of aromas, the question of what you can eat Chutney with essentially becomes irrelevant. However, we want to take a closer look at the various ways to use Chutney and provide you with some helpful tips and recommendations.

You can enjoy Chutney – in the classic way – as a side dish with curry or rice dishes. Thanks to its sweet-spicy taste, Chutney also pairs excellently with savory and grilled meat dishes, fish, cheese, and burgers. Even desserts like rice pudding or waffles can be enhanced with the right Chutney. While Chutney is particularly popular in the USA during holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, it is commonly served with sandwiches in Great Britain. Before we delve into the most popular uses of Chutney in detail, here's a brief overview of the dishes you can pair Chutney with:

  • Classic curries
  • Rice and lentil dishes
  • Cheese
  • Grilled meat
  • Fish
  • Game meat
  • Cold cuts (e.g., roast beef or turkey)
  • Burgers & hot dogs
  • Fondue
  • Raclette
  • Potato pancakes
  • Vegetables & salad
  • As a spread or with sandwiches
  • Rice pudding
  • Waffles

In essence, with Chutney, you can turn a relatively simple meal into a culinary highlight.




Chutney for Grilling - Grilled Meat with a Sweet Note

If you want to add that special touch and a slightly sweet note to your grilled meat, it's best to use a fruity Chutney. In our selection, we have four high-quality Chutneys from Stonewall Kitchen that pair exceptionally well with grilled meat.

For instance, the Apple Cranberry Chutney pairs exceptionally well with grilled beef and pork. Poultry can also reach a whole new level with the use of Chutney. Ripe apples, fruity cranberries, and juicy apricots provide fruity notes, while brown sugar and candied ginger contribute a pleasant sweetness. Onions, apple cider vinegar, dried garlic, and various spices complete the Chutney perfectly, delivering a multifaceted flavor experience.

The popular Mango Chutney is responsible for the necessary sweetness with tropical mangoes, apples, delicate raisins, and brown sugar. Red bell peppers, a touch of garlic powder, and chili flakes give the Chutney a pleasantly mild spiciness. This Chutney not only complements sandwiches but also turns grilled fish and meat into a distinctive flavor experience. We personally love Mango Chutney with chicken!

Similarly, the Old Farmhouse Chutney, which has become one of Stonewall Kitchen's bestsellers, can confidently be served with grilled meat and fish. The fruity component of the Chutney comes from apples, cranberries, peaches, and apricots. The aromatic flavor profile is rounded out with raisins, roasted garlic, onions, and flavorful balsamic vinegar.

The recipe for Major Grey's Chutney is said to have been created by the legendary British officer of the same name from the 19th century, who lived in India. Stonewall Kitchen has crafted its own delicious version of this classic. How much truth lies in the story? We don't know, but what we do know is that this Chutney, based on mangoes, red bell peppers, brown sugar, ginger, red wine vinegar, and various spices, thanks to its slightly spicy note, pairs excellently with smoked meat and grilled chicken.




Chutney for Cheese - Aromatic Variety for Your Palate

If you want to explore the flavorful versatility of Chutney, the best way is to pair it with different types of cheese. We've compiled some usage suggestions that will surely delight your palate.

Serve Chutney as a classic accompaniment to a cheese platter. This way, you can combine various types of cheese and Chutney to create unique flavor combinations. At the same time, you'll create an impressive composition of different flavors and textures. For example, try pairing a sharp cheddar cheese with sweet Major Grey's Chutney (based on mango) or a creamy brie cheese with fruity Apple Cranberry Chutney.

Chutney can also be used as a topping for a cheese sandwich and makes an extremely appealing presentation. Spread a generous amount of Chutney (we recommend Old Farmhouse Chutney) on a piece of bread, place a slice of cheese on top, and grill it until the cheese is melted. The result is an irresistibly delicious sandwich with a sweet-sour note.

The fruity Chutneys can also serve as a base for delicious homemade cheese sauces (e.g., for pasta or vegetables). Simply melt cheese in a pot and add some cream along with a bit of Chutney. If you prefer it somewhat tangy, feel free to use a bit more Chutney.





Chutney for Burgers - An Irresistible Recipe

Chutney can not only be used as a side for cheese or grilled meat but also serves as an irresistible sauce alternative for delicious burgers. The following ingredients are needed for a total of four burgers with Chutney:

  • 500 g ground beef
  • 4 burger buns
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 4 tbsp Mango Chutney
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying

Once you have all the ingredients for the delicious Chutney Burger, you can start preparing it.

  1. Shape the ground beef into four burger patties (about 125 g each) and generously season them with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a pan or grill over medium to high heat and grill the patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until they are cooked through.
  3. Place a slice of cheddar cheese on each patty and allow it to melt.
  4. Meanwhile, sauté the onion rings in a separate pan with some oil until they are golden brown and caramelized.
  5. Lightly toast the burger buns and generously spread them with Chutney.
  6. Place the patty on a bun and top it with the caramelized onions.
  7. Serve the burger hot and enjoy it with French fries or a crisp salad.

Enjoy your meal!




Do You Eat Chutney Cold or Warm?

The question of whether to eat Chutney cold or warm can be answered quite easily. In principle, Chutney is served as a cold accompaniment to hot dishes. However, depending on the type and flavor of the Chutney, it can also be warmed up. Nevertheless, the majority of Chutneys are traditionally served as cold condiments. Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference whether you want to eat Chutney cold or warm. Why not try both variations!

Now that we've clarified whether Chutney is eaten cold or warm, let's take a look in our final section at where to buy really good Chutney!




Where to Buy Chutney?

If you want to buy Chutney, you will most likely find it in well-stocked supermarkets (usually in the international gourmet section). If you're looking for something a bit more exotic, you should visit Asian or Indian grocery stores and gourmet shops. For those who prefer to shop conveniently from home, you can order Chutney online – in our online shop, you'll find exceptionally delicious, high-quality, and highly recommended Chutneys from the Stonewall Kitchen brand, which we exclusively import from the USA. Stonewall Kitchen has received numerous awards for the high quality of their ingredients and the excellent taste of their products. For example, the Old Farmhouse Chutney has been awarded the prestigious title of "Outstanding Savory Condiment Winner." If you want to buy Chutney known for its exquisite taste, there's really no way around Stonewall Kitchen Chutneys.

By the way, gourmet Chutneys also make wonderful gifts. Customers frequently visit our store in Augsburg looking for a sauce (often a Chutney) to give as a gift. If you want to give your loved ones – or even yourself – a culinary present, consider giving a Chutney as a gift.