Garlic chutney is a spicy mixture of seasonings that is used to enhance the flavor of a dish. It can be added to many different foods but is most commonly seen as an accompaniment to Indian or Pakistani cuisine. There are dry and wet versions of garlic chutney, and though they can be made with a number of different ingredients, most contain some sort of chili, coconut, and legumes. When added to a dish, garlic chutney makes the dish spicier, adding the flavor of garlic and the other ingredients.
The term chutney comes from the Hindi language and refers to any sauce or powder that can be served alongside a meal and added to the various dishes. There are many hundreds of types of chutney, which can be made from any combination of different flavors, most of which are selected to complement one another well. Garlic chutney is one of the more common chutney types in East Asian cuisine and is used in many different countries. Its popularity has led to the development of hundreds of variations of this chutney, which may differ from region to region or even household to household.
There are two main types of garlic chutney, wet and dry. Dry garlic chutney is made from minced garlic and a variety of other ingredients, including chili powder or flakes, onion powder, turmeric, peanuts, and coconut flakes. The balance of ingredients in a dry garlic chutney can be adjusted to suit the individual taste of the cook.
A wet chutney is in the form of a paste and is often made from a puree of garlic, tomato, onion, chili, and coconut. Dry chutney will keep its flavor at room temperature for a number of months. Wet chutney, however, must be eaten fresh or kept in a refrigerator for a couple of weeks so that it doesn't spoil.
Once the garlic chutney is prepared, it is served along with a meal in a separate dish. In this way, people can season their own meals with as much or as little chutney as they wish. Adding garlic chutney to a dish will make it spicier. The garlic itself adds spiciness as does the addition of hot peppers or chili powder to the chutney. The use of coconut in the chutney will add sweetness, though this will not cancel out any of the chutney's spicy flavor.