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Suzanne F

Chutney v. Pickle v. Relish

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I just made something tonight with ground lemons (flesh and zest), chopped mango, ginger, and chilis, dried methi, sugar, and vinegar. Cooked it down to jam consistency (still a bit of chunky mango). It is more tart/bitter than sweet. Does this qualify as a chutney?

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I just made something tonight with ground lemons (flesh and zest), chopped mango, ginger, and chilis, dried methi, sugar, and vinegar. Cooked it down to jam consistency (still a bit of chunky mango). It is more tart/bitter than sweet. Does this qualify as a chutney?
Chutney - A spicy condiment containing fruit, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Chutney can range from mild to hot and is often used as an accompaniment to curried dishes.

According to your ingredients, it would appear that you have made a lemon-mango chutney ... just my opinion and based on this definition.

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sounds like a chutney to me. in return for these consulting services i will require a jar mailed to me. not just any jar, but one containing this chutney.

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sounds like a chutney to me. in return for these consulting services i will require a jar mailed to me. not just any jar, but one containing this chutney.

If it looks like a chutney, walks like a chutney, and quacks like a chutney, must be the real thing!! Bottles can be mailed southward, I assume, longingly! :laugh:

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Okay. Thanks. :smile:

But I'm sorry to inform everyone that there seems to be a prohibition on interstate shipping of hazardous materials -- vinegar, green chiles -- and on certain agricultural products. So you'll just have to come here if you want a taste. :biggrin:

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I'm trying to get a definitive definition for chutney, pickle and relish - are they synonyms? Is there a difference? Thanks.

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Gfron1

I hesitate to enter this thread because when you have posted it on the India forum, you may have to live with increased complexity, not less.

The foods described by the terms 'chutney' and 'pickle' change dramatically by region over India, whih is as large as western Europe and inhabited by an even more diverse group of peoples.

So unless it is your desire to understand these regional elements, which I gather it is not, there is no general way to distinguish 'chutney': what that connotes in Tamil Nadu or Kerala is entirely different than what is meant in West Bengal [the nature of the product, how it is eaten, and with what] and that again differs from the meaning as commonly understood in Punjab or Delhi.

What you understand as 'pickle' in the US and 'pickle' as the term is used in India belong in separate universes; ditto 'relish'.

So the issue becomes more muddied, not less, vis-a-vis an Indian angle, e.g. an Indian foods forum. If indeed you are interested in these Indian fruit and vegetable preserves, there are people here who may be able to help.

However, i suspect that that was not your aim, which was merely to clarify certain terminology. In that case, Indian usage is regionally variable and is not comparable to American products. Sorry not to have been of much help.

gautam


Edited by v. gautam (log)

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Other than what Gautam said, in my mind, pickle is something

meant to be preserved and eaten over several weeks or months.

Chutney is made and eaten fresh.

I don't know "relish", other than we relish our food with chutney

and/or pickle...

I know there's some chopped green whatever that people put

on hot dogs called relish, but I don't know what it's made of.

Milagai

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Wow...you're right, this is more complex than I suspected.

So let me try a different way of asking it. I have bought jarred products from the Indian market that call themselves one of the 3 different things: chutney, relish and pickle. I've had people say one is sweet, one is savory, etc., but that hasn't held true.

If I were to ask the meaning of the terms in Mumbai, could I get an answer?

:blink:

Thanks for the help - even if I'm not getting a direct answer, this is really interesting.

Rob

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Wow...you're right, this is more complex than I suspected.

So let me try a different way of asking it.  I have bought jarred products from the Indian market that call themselves one of the 3 different things: chutney, relish and pickle.  I've had people say one is sweet, one is savory, etc., but that hasn't held true.

If I were to ask the meaning of the terms in Mumbai, could I get an answer?

:blink:

Thanks for the help - even if I'm not getting a direct answer, this is really interesting.

Rob

Yikes!

Any of these can taste any way:

chutney can be sweet, or savory,

So can pickle.

Whatever "relish" is, it can taste any of the same.

There are:

sweet pickles (meetha achar, in Hindi)

pickles that are more salty,

pickles that are sweet and sour

pickles that are mostly spicy hot.

(whatever the dominant spice note is).

Chutneys can be the same way.

Morabbas (something between a jam and a chutney and a pickle)

can be the same way, though most morabbas I've eaten tend

to be on the sweeter side, and I think these are mostly made with fruit).

What the heck is a "relish"? Is that a loose translation of

"chutney" (=something to be licked)?

Milagai

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Gfron1,

You had to pick the most cosmopolitan city in India, home to the largest number of ethnicities and disparate food traditions!

Solet us take a deep breath and do this slowly!

First: South India: the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Andhra Pradesh should be treated all by itself.

One excellent source that you would find enormously useful is the book 'Grains, Greens and Grated Coonuts' written by Ammini Ramachandran, our own eG member Peppertrail. This is superb at descibing the range of what connotes Chutneys, pickles and in-between salad-and-salsas called pachadis in the vegetarian cooking of Kerala. These sides have some common features with similar elements in the vegetarian cuisine of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and will help you get a feel for the whole foodway, without which the place and relevance of the very important chutney,pickle and pachadi cannot be understood.

So that forms one very important segment of the population of Mumbai: people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.

Next, the largest segment in Mumbai are drawn from the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, but they do not all come from the same communities nor share the same foodways.

Just to keep things intelligible in this first pass over the terrain, let us consider the vegetarian cuisine(s) of Gujarat, which like those of the south, rely on, and are renowned for their chutneys, pickles etc. Here the pickles are fruit and vegetables preseved in a number of ways as Milagai indicated.

A common technique is salting green mangoes, peeled/unpeeled, whole, sliced, shredded, curing them in jars in the sun, with various aromatic spices like fennel, carom seed, red pepper, many other, and at a particular point immersing them and preserving them in oil of various types, mustard, cold pressed sesame etc. These are hot and sour. Lime, green chillies, Phyllanthus, lotus rhizomes, many things can be treated thus.

In Punjab and the north, this is very common,and a canned version called Pachranga is available, of mixed sorts. It is very good with North Indian foods, naan etc. Very pungent with mustard oil, it is an acquired taste, and is what most Indians think of as 'Pickle'. Even in the south, the flavoring and texture will change dramatically, as will the type of oil, but green mangoes or green or red chili, Phyllanthus, sour Hibiscus etc. in a hot, sour preserve in oil definitely conjures up the meaning of 'pickle'.

Shredded mango can also be sun-wilted, then cooked with 'brown sugar' and spices. This is a sweet-sour-hot 'pickle' that you are very likely to see in shops in the US labelled as Gur-keri or Gor-keri.

Sweet pickles of this cooked sort, called murabbas, are also popular in the North and in the east. Many fruits and vegetables can be preserved thus with varied or no spicing.

Cooked sweet pickles of the Gur-keri persuasion are made in Bengal out of a range of fruit.

We have not even entered the realm of non-vegetarian pickles of meat, fish, shrimp etc.! Look at Sri Lankan mail order sources in Kentucky for a good selection.

There is a range of water based pickles in the north:

Just limes preserved in salt, with or without spices.

Various vegetables picled by lactic acid fermentation, and preserved in thickish mustard paste. This is fairly similar to some notions of Western pickling, like chowchow in the South.

In the Punjab, 'kanji' a specialty made of beetroot, crushed mustard, lactic acid fermentation in earthen pots, very thin liquor: here the pickle juice is the desired element.

Enough for one day.

Maybe chutneys of the North and east next? who can tell? With so many Super Experts already haunting this forum in other threads, omniscient and omnipotent, one feels great repugnance and unwillingness to enter here. It is just the desire to help people understand a little more about India that drives one to do so.

The friends I deeply treasure and respect have been hounded out of eG, and I already feel most disloyal and foolish writing anything at all in this arena of folly, absurdity and pretensions.

However, if some seeker who is sincere comes to appreciate India a little more, then tolerating the adventitious garbage will have been worthwhile.

g


Edited by v. gautam (log)

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