Chutney is an integral part of Indian cuisine… can you imagine no green coriander chutney with pakoras, or the nariyal chutney with those crispy vadas, or the aam ki chutney to eat along with your favourite papad? Life would have been a tad bit bland, right? Chutneys add the tinge of spice we need in our food (and life). But, have you ever wonder how chutney landed in our country?
Origin Of ‘Chutneys’ In India
Since the time we got independence from Britishers, the idea of canning food in glass jars went the commercial way and chutneys were widely available throughout the country at affordable prices. Every Indian household made chutneys for consumption over months. These chutneys were slow cooked over a period of several days to attain flavor and consistency.
The word chutney is derived from the Hindi word – chaṭnī, meaning to lick. Chutneys are more or less served with every Indian dish as a side. It’s not a meal in itself, but a meal is indeed incomplete without chutney.
Types Of Chutneys
Now if you were born and brought up in India, one of the things your mother would have done was make you taste a chutney as an infant. It’s fascinating to see kids make all those faces while savouring the sour and sweet taste of chutneys. Each part of our country offers a variety of chutneys that one has to try at least once in their lifetime.
With Love, From North
From aubergine chutney to guava chutney, Himachal Pradesh is the land of distinct chutneys in the North. Haryana isn’t far behind either with onion, garlic and kachri (small wild muskmelon) chutneys that are sweet and spicy. Pudina chutney is one of the most popular ones in the North, and it’s made in almost every household. Uttar Pradesh brings to us jaggery chutney which is sweet and often prepared during winters.
Whenever we talk about chutneys from South, the first thing that comes to our mind is coconut chutney. Well, the southern states in our country have a lot more to offer. Tamarind chutney from Karnataka to curry leaf chutney from Telangana – each of these chutneys is a must try. They go well with every South Indian meal – be it the breakfast, lunch or dinner. Another exciting chutney that South has brought to us is the flax seed chutney, also known as agashi. It’s extremely healthy if you are trying to lose weight.
When In West India
West India has states like Gujarat and Maharashtra that are known for their food all over the country. While Gujarat offers us hot lime chutney and garlic chutney, Maharashtra has given us kachcha aam (raw mango) chutney and dudhi (roasted bottle gourd skin) chutney.
It’s All Exotic From East
Food from the east is drool worthy and yet so different from rest of the country. The north-eastern cuisine is known for being super spicy and so their ghost chili pepper chutney is a definite try, though you should try it at your own risk. Assam brings a variety of chutneys ranging from beetroot chutney to chickpea chutney to dried fish chutney. Another interesting chutney is the amla (gooseberry) chutney from West Bengal.
Shaam Ka Nashta
No matter which part of the country you belong from, you know that chutney is one food item without which your shaam ka nashta is incomplete. It’s the essence to your samosas, the taste to your momos and the life to your bread pakora.
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