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If South Africa Were a Sauce, It Would Be Chutney

If South Africa Were a Sauce, It Would Be Chutney

Falling in love with chutney isn’t a difficult because it very literally caters to every taste. How? Why? It’s simple; this versatile sauce can be made using just about any combination of spices, vegetables, herbs, or fruit. So you get bitter chutney, sweet chutney, hearty chutney, fruity chutney, wet chutney, dry chutney, and even bland chutney that is used only to enhance the natural flavours of what it’s used on.

The Origins of Chutney

Wait, don’t tune out – this is actually interesting. The word chutney actually comes from the Hindu word ‘chatṭnī‘ which translates into “to lick.” As that little bit of trivia suggests, chutney is a South Asian condiment (though some pinpoint this to India in 500BC), but this blog is about how it’s South African right?

The Literal Melting Pot of Cuisine

Chutney found its way to the shores of South Africa during its twilight years, and shares much in common with the values and ideals of the New South Africa – it’s always been here and has grown with us. Versatile, varied and diverse, chutney shares much in common with how we as South Africans share those qualities – that and it’s flippen delicious.

What’s In Your Chutney?

In South Africa, traditional chutney has many fruity variations from peach to apricots to mango and even pears. The secret to getting African chutney just right is to ensure it is not too thin – we love our chutney chunky. But with chutney all bets are off – just take a look at this list of possible ingredients:

  • Coriander
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • Curry Leaf
  • Chilli
  • Radish
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Beetroot
  • Lentil
  • Chickpea
  • Coconut
  • Mint
  • Eggplant
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya

Basically, so long as you grind, blend, or smash your ingredients you’re set for your own unique chutney.

Join us in the KitchenCoZa house for our take on Peach and Apricot Chutney this week!