When the Brits returned home after the rule of the British Raj, they were keen to recreate the chutneys they relished in India. Unable to use exotic ingredients such as mangoes, coconuts and tamarind, the English compromised with apples, tomatoes, and onions, which were then cooked with sugar, raisins, and spices. These jammy, sugary, spiced reductions of fruit are often enjoyed alongside cheese and cured meats. This style of chutney has remained hugely popular and is now a staple part of many an English pantry.
Authentic chutney preparations in India are quite different. The word chutney is derived from the Hindi word ‘chatna’ which means ‘to lick’ and they vary vastly from region to region.
The most popular chutney comes in the form of a smooth sauce, and is used as a dip for snacks. Street food favourites such as samosas or pakoras are served with delicious ’red and green chutneys’: a spicy and zingy fresh coriander mint chutney being ‘the green one’, and a sweet, stick and tangy tamarind chutney being ‘the red’.