5 vegan chutney recipes

Culture Tuesday is a weekly column in which Best of Vegan Editor Samantha Onyemenam explores the cuisines of different cultures across the globe through a plant-based and vegan lens. This article featuring five vegan chutney recipes was written in collaboration with Priya Narayanan of SpicesAndSpoons.com and @spices.and.spoons on Instagram. All images and recipes were made by Priya.

Culture Tuesday: Chutneys of India (with 5 Vegan Recipes)

Culture Tuesday – 5 Vegan Chutney Recipes

Chutneys are condiments of Indian origin that are served with various foods ranging from plain flatbreads such as plain naan to more complex dishes such as samosas, chaat, or gravies/sauces with rice. They can be made with:

  • fruits such as mangoes, limes, papaya, pineapple, tamarind, tomatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, and coconuts; 
  • fresh herbs such as coriander (cilantro) and mint;
  • nuts and seeds such as walnuts, peanuts, fenugreek, flaxseed (linseed), and mustard;
  • sweet canes such as jaggery;
  • vegetables such as onions, ginger, okra, and garlic;
  • and even legumes such as pigeon peas, cowpeas, chickpeas, and lentils.

Thus, chutneys can have flavor profiles that are sweet, savory, sour, spicy, or a combination of all four, and they provide a greater depth of flavor to dishes or provide people with the opportunity to alter the flavor, spice level, consistency, and/or texture of the food(s) they are eating.

This piece will explore five Indian chutneys: cranberry chutney, coconut chutney, cilantro peanut chutney, onion tomato chutney, and radish chutney.

Cranberry Chutney

5 vegan chutney recipes
Click on the image for the recipe.

Cranberry chutney is a sweet, spicy, and sour condiment made by combining aromatic roots and alliums such as ginger, onions, and garlic, with fresh cranberries, green chillies, and spices such as turmeric, cumin seeds, and asafoetida and sugar (or jaggery). The sugar does not simply add sweetness to the dish but also softens and balances the tartness of the cranberries and the heat of the chillies.

The combination of cranberry chutney ingredients is cooked until the ingredients break down and the liquid from them reduces. Then they are blended to form a somewhat textured paste. This chutney can be served as is or finished with a tadka (spices tempered in oil) for a greater depth of flavor and texture.

Click here for the full recipe.

Coconut Chutney

5 vegan chutney recipes
Click on the image for the recipe.

Coconut chutney is a quintessential South Indian condiment made by blending, or grinding, coconut meat with ginger, chillies, salt, and tamarind (although the addition of tamarind is subregional). 

It can be finished with a tadka containing mustard seeds, dal, and dried chillies and served with breakfast foods such as dosa idli and vada or as a dip for a range of snacks or appetizers.

Click here for the full recipe.

Cilantro Peanut Chutney

5 vegan chutney recipes
Click on the image for the recipe.

Cilantro chutney, also known as kothmiri chutney, dhania chutney, and coriander chutney) is a vibrant green, fresh, and spicy herbaceous chutney made by grinding cilantro with raw peanuts (skins on), green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds, and salt. Rather often, lemon juice and sugar are added to the mixture to balance the flavors and add a slight tang to the chutney.

Traditionally, this chutney, along with most others, should be made using a sil batta – a traditional Indian grinding stone, and it is believed to taste better when made using it, although a blender can also be used to make the chutney.

This cilantro peanut chutney can be added to sandwiches or served as a dip for appetizers, snacks, or breakfast foods, as it pairs well with a lot of foods.

Click here for the full recipe.

Onion Tomato Chutney

5 vegan chutney recipes
Click on the image for the recipe.

Onion tomato chutney is a tangy, spicy, and flavorsome South Indian chutney made from purple onions, ripe tomatoes, chillies, lentils, ginger, and spices. The ingredients are sautéed and left to cook down till there isn’t any visible liquid from the tomatoes. Afterwards, they are transferred to a blender and blended till smooth to make a chutney perfect for South Indian breakfast foods, appetizers, rice dishes, or anything a person might like to dip into a tomato-based sauce or condiment.

Click here for the full recipe.

Radish Chutney

5 vegan chutney recipes
Click on the image for the recipe.

Radish chutney, also known as mullangi pachadi, is a South Indian chutney made by sautéing or roasting dried red chillies and split peeled dal until the dal becomes golden brown, then further cooking them with purple onions, turmeric, and the radish until the onions and garlic are cooked through and translucent. 

After the mixture is cooked and cooked, it is combined with salt and tamarind, then ground till a smooth paste is reached.

This chutney is finished with a tadka by tempering black mustard seeds, curry leaves, and asafoetida in coconut oil. The tadka is poured over the chutney for more flavor and texture.

The recipe for radish chutney can be used to make a range of chutneys by substituting the radish with seasonal vegetables of choice.

Click here for the full recipe.

Author: Samantha Onyemenam with Priya Narayanan (@spices.and.spoons).

If this article on vegan chutney recipes inspired you to learn more, you might also like:

Culture Tuesday: An Exploration of Indian Cuisine

Culture Tuesday: One Dish. Three Regional Recipes. (Indian Cuisine)

Culture Tuesday: an Exploration of South Indian Cuisine (+3 Vegan Tamil Breakfast Recipes)

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