Mango Chutney: Preserving Summer’s Bounty
A condiment with Indian roots
By Wanda Adams, Honolulu Advertiser Food Editor
In India, chutney does not, as it does here, automatically translate to mango. Rather, a chutney is any form of pickled fruit or vegetable as its heart. It is equally likely to be made fresh, sautéed in minutes, as to be dried in the sun or slow-cooked and packed in jars, as is the custom here.
Early editions of the 1882 “Hawaiian Cookbook” by the Ladies Society of Central Union Church feature a dried chutney from missionary F. W. Damon, whose wife, Mary, was born to missionaries in China and probably learned to make chutney there. But by the 5th edition, in 1920, a conventional, sweet, cooked chutney recipe is included and the more spicy, sour dried version has disappeared, possibly for sanitary reasons.
Chutneys are most often made with green mangoes but in Bengal, a quick-cooked, spicy ripe mango chutney is served with meats and poultry. Besides the variance in cooking technique, chutneys may be sweet, sour or salty; fiery hot or mild; pungent with spices or flavored with just a few gentle herbs. It is safe to say, though, that when Indians gather for a meal, some form of chutney pickle is invariably on the table. And since the 1940s, bottled chutneys have proliferated both there and around the world.
Comments from Readers
As a former Islander, I thoroughtly enjoyed the video. I live in California--where can I buy mango chutney? Can I order it from somewhere in Hawaii????