A sweet and sour sauce of Indian origin and waiting to be discovered: here is the classic recipe and three unusual to accompany meat, strong vegan dishes or cheeses
Originally from India, the chutney it's a sweet and sour sauce with spices, sugar and vinegar, with the addition of fruit or vegetables, also arrived in Europe from the seventeenth century. Among the recommended spices the Indians mention cloves, garlic, coriander, mustard, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper and tamarind. But there are so many variants of his recipe.
The traditional recipe for chutney
In our part this sauce is not yet very widespread, while English and French they make an almost inordinate use of it as an accompaniment to cheeses, meats, rice, vegetables and various aperitifs. Moreover, the chutney can be both wet and dry, with a coarse and fine consistency. The most famous one is the chutney al mango, which is prepared with minced such exotic fruit plus ginger, chilli and parsley, to which you can add garlic, cinnamon, raisins and dates. The recipe calls for the use of a pot anti-adherent and above all that it is not of iron, brass or copper: the reason is that the acids present in the ingredients react badly with these substances and therefore the chutney risks assuming a metallic taste. For the same reason, we always recommend using tools from wood.
One of the variants to be discovered, however, is that of coconut chutney. The ingredients we need are: 250 grams of freshly grated coconut, 2 sweet green and one red chillies, a tablespoon of fresh ginger and one of toasted chickpeas, half a teaspoon of mustard seeds, 2 curry leaves, a tablespoon of olive oil and salt. First, cut the green pepper into small pieces and grate the ginger; then blend everything together with the toasted chickpeas and a little water, until you get a creamy dough. In a pan with a drizzle of oil, toast the mustard seeds with the chopped red pepper and the curry leaves, remove from the heat and add to the coconut cream. Mix everything well, add salt and pour into a jar. The entire procedure takes about a quarter of an hour. Put the coconut chutney in the fridge and let rest a day before consuming. The result (which one could rightly call also coconut chutney) is an ideal sauce for vegan dishes, such as lentil balls, or rice patties: two excellent ideas for original and light appetizers.
The variant with mint and yogurt
For accompanies dishes with a rather strong taste, instead, here is the chutney of yogurt and mint, refreshing and fast to prepare. They serve a white onion, a spicy green pepper, 150 grams of fresh mint, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 200 ml of plain yogurt, 3 tablespoons of coconut flour, three of milk and half a tablespoon of salt. First you need to wash the mint, drain it and finely chop it. Do the same thing with the onion and the chilli pepper and add all the mint. Meanwhile, the milk is heated apart. Let it soak the coconut flour for a quarter of an hour and when the milk is cold, it's time to add the yogurt, salt and pepper. Mix everything well and add all the other ingredients, until the mixture is well amalgamated. Keep in the fridge for at least half an hour before bringing it to the table and here is a tasty variation of this sweet-and-sour sauce.
If you want to continue experimenting, the advice is finally to try the sesame chutney, ideal for meat dishes. To prepare it, get 40 grams of sesame seeds, 60 grams of coriander leaves, 3 green peppers, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. First of all, toast the seeds in a pan until golden brown, then pour them into a mortar and crush them until they are pulverized. Pour the powder into a blender together with the leaves of coriander, with chillies, lemon juice, salt and two tablespoons of water. Blend at low speed and your alternative chutney will be ready. In short, it is not yet widespread in Italy, but it will be enough to try it only once, with theright accompaniment, and this sweet and sour Indian sauce will also conquer our palates.