Chutney has long been known as a delicious accompaniment to a quick snack or a full family meal. It’s an amalgam of flavors that adds depth to your dishes and a kick to every bite. Here, we explore chutney’s origins, regional flavor differences, and how Zesteez is reimagining chutneys today!

Brief History

In modern times, chutney is typically a side dish or condiment made of spices, fruits, and/or vegetables. The earliest chutneys can be dated back to 500 BC in India, as a method of preserving food similar to pickling, and using a mix of simple spices. Back then, it was considered the vegetable portion of the meal, not just a side dish. The word chutney originates from the Hindi word, chatni, meaning ‘to lick,’ suggesting its delicious and tasty flavors.

Regional Differences

Indian cuisine has recently become a popular choice in our mainstream dining options, but many may not realize or recognize from which region their favorite dishes or flavors originate. There are significant differences in the ingredients, which vary not only from North India to South India, but even among the other regions as well. One of the major differences is that South Indian cuisine tends to be vegetarian, while North Indian cuisine will more often incorporate meat into their dishes.

Indian cuisine in general is known for their extensive uses of spices, and used in varying combinations throughout the country. For example, South Indian cuisine uses a lot of onion and garlic, but a classic combination particular to North Indian cuisine could include onion, tomato, ginger & garlic. However, a spice or an ingredient’s function can vary from region to region, depending on what the purpose is for the chutney, whether it is used for heat, sweet, or savory flavors. Tomatoes are used to give sour flavors in North India, whereas tamarind is favored in South India for sour or even savory flavors as well.  Northern chutneys also tend to have tangy flavors, whereas South Indian chutneys tend to use a lot of lentil, coconut, and tamarind in addition to hot peppers to add heat to their chutney.

Zesteez Versatile Chutneys Made Easy For Your Everyday

Zesteez is proud to provide chutneys that can be used in the conventional way, as a relish or dip accompanying your main meal or a snack.

However, Zesteez brand of gourmet chutneys are also breaking the mould by infusing them into everyday meals, while also giving a nod to the traditions of South Indian cuisine. We feature three unique flavors, Tomato Chunky Chutney, Mango Tango Chutney