Chutney originated in Southern Asia and was introduced into Britain in the 1600’s where it rapidly became popular as a delicacy with people who could afford it.
Many food manufacturers make chutney on a mass produced basis these days and a visit to any supermarket will reveal a huge range of chutneys to choose from. While these chutney recipes tend to follow a traditional recipe it is very difficult to make exceptionally good chutney in “bulk”. It is our opinion that the best chutneys are made by hand, follow a traditional chutney recipe and are made in relatively small batches.
Chutneys come in two major groups, hot and sweet and usually contain a pickled blend of almost any spice. For example try this Indian Red Hot Chilli Chutney or this versatile sweet and spicy Chilli and Apple Chutney.
One thing is for sure, chutney recipes are many and varied and take the form of either a wet or dry base with ingredients either blended into a smooth paste or left in large pieces to produce a more chunky texture.For example try this chunky Aunty Gee’s Spicey Mediterranean Chutney or this smooth Aunty Rith’s Appel Chutney.
A common ingredient with the majority of chutney recipes is the chillies. The amount of chilli used in any recipe will determine how hot the finished result will be. Try this Mint Chutney with green chillies.
While the vegetable or fruit mix will give the chutney recipe its distinctive flavor. Most Chutney recipes will contain some sweetening agent like sugar or honey. Try Mrs Barnett"s Chutney from Leicestershire for example which is a real anthentic chutney recipe using dark brown sugar to give the chutney a sweetish flavour. The sweetening agent tends to balance out the chili flavour making spicy food more tasty and adding to the flavour and complexity of more mundane dishes.
Chutney is a popular accompaniment to most meats and are particularly good with ham and pork but also work well with many cheeses and even fish dishes. But most of all nothing can beet a good chutney with a lovely curry dish.