The history of mouth smacking Chutneys of India.

India owes a range of chaatnis from Onion chutney, garlic chutney , fudina chutney to bhaang ki chutney

Mangoes are the one of the basic ingredient for pickles and chutneys. Chaatni is the real spice of food in India. But how the chutneys were invented and how they were added to Chaats is itself a spicy subject.

Said to have originated from the Sanskrit word, ‘chaatni’ meaning ‘to lick’, this flavour bomb found in various forms is an integral part of India’s culinary treasure.

One of the popular stories of its origin dates back to the 17th century when Mughal emperor Shah Jahan fell ill. Legend has it that as part of the treatment, the emperor’s hakims had advised him to eat something spicy and full of flavour, yet very easy to digest. This led to the invention of chaat made of healthy ingredients like pulses and lentils, which was made interesting with a drizzle of spicy coriander and mint chutney and sweet and tangy tamarind chutney.

Made fresh, often with raw ingredients like mint, cumin, coriander, flax seeds, garlic, dry ginger, etc, chutney although served in small quantities are packed with micronutrients, that are believed to aid in digestion, as advised by Shah Jahan’s hakims.

However, despite the suggestion in this story, one cannot say that chaat led to the invention of chutney. According to food historian Pushpesh Pant, chutney in its simplest form, which is a coarse paste made by grinding an array of ingredients, could potentially be the oldest form of food prepared by homo sapiens.

“It is reasonable to suggest that the chutney is older than any other recipe known by homo sapiens. It was most likely ‘invented’ by our hunting-gathering ancestors by accident, maybe even before cooking transformed our eating habits. Crushed berries, fruit and leaves, seeds and nuts render whatever we put in our mouth tastier and slowly become a habit or preference,” he added.

A culinary element that adds rasa to a meal, much like pickle, the humble chutney over the years has taken diverse forms, evolving into umami bombs exploding flavours in every corner of the world.

By NewsByts Team

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