Alternative name(s) Chatni
Place of origin India
Region or state South Asia
Dish details
Main ingredient(s) salt, chillies, tamarind, coriander leaves, tomatoes
Dakshin chutneys
Mango chutney
Simple tomato chutney
Eggplant and lemon chutneys from Goa
Traditional grinding stone used for making chutney in India

There are different kinds of chutney all over the world. Some sweet, some sour, some spicy. Each chutney reflects the culture that produces it. Most of the content below concerns South Asian chutneys and ignores the many English, American and Caribbean types of chutney that tend to be sweet, cooked, savory jams. [1]

Chutney (Tamil: சட்னி) is a a condiment used in South Asian cuisine that usually contains a spice and vegetable mix.

Chutneys are wet or dry, having a coarse to fine texture. The Anglo-Indian loan word refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with preserves often sweetened. At least several Northern Indian languages use the word for fresh preparations only. A different word achār (Hindi: अचार) applies to preserves that often contain oil but are rarely sweet. Vinegar or citrus juice may be added as preservatives, or fermentation in the presence of salt may be used to create acid.

In the past, chutneys were ground with a mortar and pestle made of stone or an ammikkal (Tamil). Nowadays, electric blenders replace the stone implements. Various spices are added and ground, usually in a particular order; the wet paste thus made is sauteed in vegetable oil, usually gingelly or groundnut oil.


Types of chutney

There is no limit to the number of chutneys as it can be made from virtually any vegetable/fruit/herb/spices or a combination of them. Chutneys come in two major groups, sweet and hot; both forms usually contain various spices, including chili, but differ by their main flavour. Chutney types and their preparations vary widely across Pakistan and India.

Types of chutneys:

  • Coriander (Cilantro)
  • Mint chutney (Coriander and mint chutneys are often called Hari chutney, where 'Hari' is Urdu/Hindi for 'Green')
  • Tamarind chutney (Imli chutney) (often called Meethi chutney as 'Meethi' in Urdu/Hindi means 'Sweet')
  • Sooth (or Saunth) chutney, made with dates and ginger
  • Coconut chutney
  • Onion chutney
  • Prune chutney
  • Tomato chutney
  • Red Chili chutney
  • Green Chili chutney
  • Sooth chutney
  • Mango chutney (made from raw, green mangoes)
  • Lime chutney (made from whole, unripe limes)
  • Garlic chutney made from fresh garlic, coconut and groundnut
  • Dahi chutney
  • Green tomato chutney. Common English recipe to use up unripe tomatoes
  • Peanut chutney (shengdana chutney in Marathi)
  • Ginger chutney, mostly used in Tamil cuisine and Udupi cuisine to be eaten with Dosa
  • Yogurt chutney, may be as simple as mixing yogurt, red chili powder, and salt, eaten with a variety of foods
  • Tomato Onion chutney[2]
  • Cilantro Mint Coconut chutney[3]
  • Peased Chatni (laindy chatni in Naraghak)
  • Blatjang, used in South African cuisine. A sweet chutney usually made with apricots.[4]

American and European styled chutneys are usually fruit, vinegar and sugar, cooked down to a reduction. Flavorings are always added to the mix. These may include sugar, salt, garlic, tamarind, onion, or ginger.

Spices most commonly include fenugreek, coriander, cumin and asafoetida (hing).


The word Chutney is derived from the Sanskrit word caṭnī, a term for a class of spicy preparations used as an accompaniment for a main dish. It is written differently in several Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages (Marathi: चटणी, Tamil: சட்டினி, Kannada: ಚಟ್ನಿ, Hindi: चटनी, Urdu: چٹنی, Malayalam: ചമ്മന്തി, Telugu: పచ్చడి).


Beginning in the 17th century, chutneys were shipped to European countries like England and France as luxury goods. Western imitations were called "mangoed" fruits or vegetables. In the 19th century, brands of chutney like Major Grey's or Bengal Club created for Western tastes were shipped to Europe.

Generally these chutneys are fruit, vinegar, and sugar cooked down to a reduction.

The tradition of chutney making spread through the english speaking, especially in the Caribbean and American South where chutney is still a popular condiment for ham, pork, and fish.

Chutney by Indian region

See also


  1. ^ Washington Post Food Section, August 9 2011: Chutney Born in Virginia Inspired by Britain
  2. ^ "SinfulCurry: Tomato Onion Chutney recipe"
  3. ^ "SinfulCurry: Cilantro Mint Coconut chutney recipe"
  4. ^ Apricot Blatjang recipe


  • Weaver, William Woys. "Chutney." Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Ed. Solomon H. Katz. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 417-418. 3 vols. ISBN 0684805685

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