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How To Make Delicious Chutneys

what are chutneys
Photo by Yakynina Anastasia

Chutneys are delightful spicy preparations comparable with thick sauces. They originated over 5000 years ago, in India. The Hindi word chatni comes from a verb that means "to lick".
In the 17th century, during the colonial era, the British shipped chutney along with spices, textile, Ayurvedic books and other exotic food, from India to England and France. Nowadays, chutney has become very popular in Western cuisine. 

Western-style chutneys are usually made of fruit, sugar and vinegar. Vinegar is used to preserve chutneys but it is not used in traditional Indian recipes. Indian chutneys are intended to be consumed right after they are made. Most common traditional chutneys are coconut, coriander, mint, tomato, mango and tamarind chutney.

Chutneys are served as a side dish with almost every meal in India. They can be fresh or cooked, smooth or chunky, mild or spicy, sour or sweet, made with vegetables or fruits.

Every region in India as various recipes, depending on season and what is grown locally in a particular area. Use of fruits and vegetables of one season in another season is not recommended in Ayurveda. 
Fun fact: India has 6 different seasons. Since Vedic times, the various seasons in the Indian subcontinent was classified into these six categories: spring, summer, monsoon season, autumn, pre-winter and winter.

Traditional preparation of chutney does not include stove cooking. Chutneys were solar cooked or slowly infused in the hot sun for one week or until they attained the right flavor and consistency. This method is still used today. 

Chutneys and Ayurveda

This delicious side dish gives the food a distinctive flavor to every meal. They include all 6 tastes that are prescribed by Ayurveda to be incorporated into meal. A proper Ayurvedic meal always includes all six flavors (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent) with one or two flavors standing out. This is the reason why sweet chutneys are traditionally paired with spicy dishes to balance them and spicy chutneys are paired with sweet dishes. 

Chutneys are beneficial for Agni and digestion of Ama.

Use chutney as salad dressing, with rice, as a spread on bread or crackers, with roasted vegetables, as a snack dip, pasta sauce etc.

Wear rubber gloves when working with chili peppers and take care not to touch your eyes or face while handling them. 

Peanut Chutney Recipe

This protein rich peanut chutney with creamy texture is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. These include biotin, copper, niacin, folate, manganese, vitamin E, thiamin, phosphorus, and magnesium. 
Peanuts are low in carbs. This makes them a good dietary choice for people with diabetes. However, they are high in fat and calories and should not be eaten in excess. Peanut chutney can be used with several snacks and breakfast foods.


1 cup plain peanuts (with or without skin, as desired)
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 dry red chilies
1 tsp mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
1/4 tsp asafoetida (optional)


Roast the peanuts on a very low flame until it turns light brown.

Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and crushed chilies. Fry the spices just until you get some aroma. Turn off the flame and let it cool down for couple of minutes.

Place all mentioned ingredients with salt and lemon juice in a blender and grind until it forms smooth paste with little water. 

In old days pestle and mortar made of stone was used to grind ingredients for chutney.

Tomato Chutney Recipe

Photo by Edgar Castrejon

This delicious homemade ketchup is low in calories and fat, and high in lycopene, fiber, vitamins K, C, E and B9.


8 tomatoes (blanch, de-skin and puree)
2 tsp ghee or vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chili peppers
3 cloves
2 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp dry cilantro
1 tbsp raw grated ginger
1/4 tsp asafoetida (optional)
1 tsp salt 
3 tbsp sugar


Pre-heat oil in a cooking vessel and add all spices except salt and asafoetida. Saute for a minute. 

Add tomato puree and cook on low heat for 20 min. Check at regular intervals and stir. 

After 20 min add sugar and asafoetida. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Turn off heat and take out bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cloves. Add salt and transfer to serving bowl.

Mint Chutney Recipe

Photo by Artur Rutkowski

This light and fragrant chutney is balancing to all three Ayurvedic doshas or subtle energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Mint soothes the digestive tract and it is effective home remedy for IBS, indigestion or dyspepsia. It also has a soothing action on mind. Mint has anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, anti fungal and rejuvenative properties.


50 g fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp raw grated ginger
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 crushed chili peppers
1 tsp salt 
2 tsp sugar


Blend all ingredients together with 1 tbsp of water.

Mango Chutney Recipe

This juicy recipe is very effective aphrodisiac. 
Since ancient times, mangoes have been highly appreciated in Ayurvedic medicine and cooking. 
Always ensure that full-grown mangoes are well ripened before eating. Unripe mango may weaken agni, aggravate all three doshas or cause blood disorders.  


1 mango
1 fresh chili pepper
1/2 tbsp raw grated ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar 
1 tbsp orange or lemon juice (optional)


Wash, peel and cut mango into small pieces. 
Blend all ingredients together and serve. 

Remember, fruits are simple to digest. When mixed with other foods, fruit start to move through the digestive tract too slowly which result in production of Ama or toxins. Ama is created of improperly digested food. This damp and sticky substance adheres to the circulatory channels and causes various types of inflammation, bloating, food allergies, IBS, malabsorption etc. 
Snack on plain fruit chutneys, and always eat fruit separately from other food.

Read more about Ama here: Formation Of Toxins In Ayurvedic Medicine

Read more about food combinations here: Improper Food Combining

Green Peas Chutney Recipe

Peas are an excellent source of dietary fibers, proteins, vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B9, beta-carotene, zinc, potassium and iron. They are very low in fat and calories.


1 cup peas (cooked)
2 green chilis (chopped)
1 tbsp raw grated ginger
pinch of asafoetida (optional)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp oil
1/3 cup coriander or parsley leaves (optional)
few cashew nuts (optional)


Heat oil in a pan on low heat and add mustard seeds, chilies, asafoetida and ginger. After one minute turn off the heat. 
Blend all ingredients together with 2 tbsp of water and serve.  

Check out our other recipes

How To Make Real Ghee  

Garam Masala Traditional Recipe 

Ayurvedic Carrot Dessert 

Celery Sorbet Recipe 

How To Make Ayurvedic Smoothie

Author: Ayurveda Tutorials


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