Chutneys, thick flavorful sauces, often with the consistency of jam, play an important part in an Indian meal. Chutney originated in India, where their Hindu name, chatni, means "strongly spiced". They can be cooked or uncooked, sweet or sour, mild or hot. They are made by stewing fruits or vegetables in a vinegar, sugar and spice sauce. The long cooking concentrates the flavors and softens the textures, resulting in a condiment that is much darker and often more richly flavored than crisp, fresh-tasting relishes. Mangoes and apples are traditional fruits for chutneys, although cherries, cranberries, plums and all the citrus fruit can be turned into delicious chutneys as well. Dried fruits and nuts are welcome additions because they add an extra layer of both flavor and texture. Warm aromatic spices - cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and all spice are best for flavoring chutneys. Brown and white mustard seeds are good for relishes.
There are no particular guidelines as to which chutney goes with which dish, they are all interchangeable according to one's own preference. They can be served with snack, appetizers, like samosas or pakoras, indian breads, dosas or curries with rice. One thing is for sure, they all taste amazing!
Important: Stainless steel or enamel saucepans are recommended. It is best to avoid iron, brass, and copper as they react negatively to the acidity of vinegar mixtures and can impart a bitter taste to the food.