Thursday, January 28, 2021

Chutney tirangi: recipes you’ve probably never heard of

In the spirit of Independence Day!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Chatpati chutneys – how much more enjoyable they make our meals! The ever-popular pudina (mint) and imli (tamarind) chutney recipes may continue to grace our tables for years to come, but every so often you come across a more exotic variant. Ever tried an eggplant or a green apple chutney?

The Indian chutney can take innumerable forms, we’ve found, thanks to the number of recipes that readers have sent us over the years. Here’s to celebrating the culinary diversity of India with some hatke twists on our beloved chutneys.

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1. CARROT CHUTNEY by Radhika Kulhalli

  • 4 large fresh carrots
  • Green chillies to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • ¼ tsp roasted methi (fenugreek) seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil

Grate carrots, chop chillies and fresh coriander. Grind it coarse in the grinder with the salt, lemon juice and methi seeds powder. Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add asafetida and pour on the ground chutney. Mix well and enjoy!

2. APRICOT CHUTNEY by Pramilla Chaturvedi

  • 100 gms dried apricots
  • 50 ml of light vinegar
  • 75-100 gms raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • Salt and chilli powder to taste

Soak apricots overnight in 100ml water (or 3-4 hours in hot water). Place the apricots and the soaking liquid with enough water to cover, in a saucepan. Simmer until tender, then beat or blend to a smooth consistency. In a separate saucepan, place the vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, chilli powder and salt. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat until a syrup is formed. Stir the apricot paste into the sugar and simmer gently for about ten minutes to desired thickness. Allow to cool and bottle in airtight jars with vinegar-proof tops.

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  • 2 green apples
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 green chillies or to taste
  • ¼ bunch coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
  • Salt to taste

Peel and core apples; chop roughly. Combine with other ingredients and grind to a smooth paste.


  • 250 gms sweet potatoes
  • 2 green mangoes, small
  • Dry red chillies to taste
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

Boil and peel sweet potatoes. Chop mangoes roughly. Roast dal till red and grind to a paste along with mangoes, red chillies and sweet potatoes. Then heat oil in a small pan and add curry leaves, mustard seeds (and additional red chillies if you like!). When the seeds begin to splutter, pour over the chutney.

5. MINT AND MANGO CHUTNEY by Radhika Kulhalli

  • 1 raw mango, medium sized
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 small onion
  • Red chilli powder to taste
  • ½ tsp roasted methi powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 2 tbsp oil

Chop raw mango, mint and onion finely. Grind coarsely in the grinder with chilli powder, salt, methi seeds powder and brown sugar. Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add asafetida and pour on the ground chutney. Mix well.


  • 1 ½ kg ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large beetroot, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp clove powder
  • ½ kg brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ cup brown vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix the tomatoes and beetroot and their juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer till mixture is pulped and beetroot is cooked. Rub the mixture through a sieve and discard any residue. Reheat the mixture on medium heat. Mix in all the other ingredients. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and is a jam like consistency. Cool and bottle.

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7. SPICY TOMATO CHUTNEY (Kerala style) by Shubhra Gupta

  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

In a covered frying pan, heat mustard and cumin seeds in oil over medium-high heat. When mustard seeds begin to pop, turn heat down to medium.

Add garlic and ginger; stir for 30 seconds. Add tomato and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add red pepper, turmeric, and salt and fry until tomatoes are well cooked and broken up. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add lemon juice and remove from heat.

8. EGGPLANT CHUTNEY by Vandana Lall

  • 1 large eggplant
  • Green chillies to taste
  • Dry red chillies to taste
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 lime-sized ball tamarind
  • ½ tsp jaggery
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste.

Grill eggplant till skin wrinkles and turns black. Toss into cold water, cool and peel. Heat oil and fry red chilli and dal till red. Remove and grind to a fine paste along with all the other ingredients.

9. LIME AND PEAR CHUTNEY by Gladys Roach

  • 4 Tahitian limes
  • 1 ½ cups brown malt vinegar
  • 4 pears, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 250 gm dates, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 10 red chillies, sliced
  • Salt to taste

Finely slice the limes, discard the seeds and cook in cup of vinegar till tender. Separately cook all the other ingredients till very thick. Half-way through the cooking, add the cooked limes and mix well. Stir constantly to prevent the chutney from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cool and bottle.

10. GARLIC AND TOMATO CHUTNEY (Rajasthani style) by Shubhra Gupta

  • 15 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 red chillies
  • 1-inch piece ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Pinch asafoetida
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Water, if needed.

In a blender, blend tomatoes, garlic, whole red chillies, salt, red chilli powder and ginger. Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add the blended puree and let it all boil well. Add water if necessary. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Cool the chutney and serve with desired snacks.

11. ONION CHUTNEY by Madhavi Sridhar

  • 6 cups chopped onions
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • Red chilli powder to taste
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large frying pan and cook over medium heat. Stir continuously till it all comes to a boil. Take off heat immediately. Pour into hot sterilized jars.

READ ALSO: Indulgent chocolaty goodness

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