In a pickle?
The world is full of mysteries, most of which are beyond the purview of humble curry crafters, but there is one puzzle we tried to solve this week - what is the difference between a chutney and a pickle? According to Rafi, in her book Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Chutneys in India are made on an almost daily basis and only intended to last a few days: while Pickles are intended to last for months, if not for years.
Traditionally, this is because chutneys were made with cooked fruit and were a good way of adding layers of flavour to dishes. The word chutney is even derived from a Hindi word, “catni”, which roughly translates as “lick it”. The sight of Mr Vikki's Tomato and Nigella Chutney on a table can make everyone at Rafi’s lick their lips without realising, it seems to be accurately named!
Meanwhile “pickle” derives from Dutch and refers to the practice of preserving fish in brine. In Indian cooking, it has come to be associated with placing raw vegetables in either vinegar or flavoured oil.
Simply put, chutneys tend to be cooked fruit (but not always), while pickles tend to be raw vegetables (but not always!).
The main point is that both relishes are delicious and don’t have to be complicated; this Instant Pineapple Pickle takes minutes to make, is as cheap as pineapple chips, and is the perfect side dish with our Xacutti Curry Pack. Some of you will already be familiar with our Spring Onion and Mint Chutney Pack, which is unbelievably good as a dip for prawns in a Bhajia batter.