Growing up in Pakistan, I didn’t always have a luxury of a million bottles of condiments available to spice up lunches of french fries, sandwiches, or pasta—not for lack of availability in shops, but rather because my mother preferred fresh sauces. She loved to experiment and incorporate many traditional chutneys into our snacks.
Unlike store-bought chutneys, and those served as dipping sauces alongside Indian or Pakistani takeaway on a Friday night, homemade chutney has the potential to be a magical combination of vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices, and chiles, and can be savory or sweet. They also have the versatility to be used as a marinade or curry base, or simply swept across a sandwich, used as a salad dressing, or stirred into yogurt, making them the ideal wingman for your lunch. Almost any basic packed lunch can benefit from their South Asian kick. Here are five variations of chutneys to spice up your lunch:
Move aside, Dijon. Chutney may be the perfect match for your pastrami sandwich.
Tomato and Curry Leaf Chutney: An alternative to an old-fashioned tomato sauce, this spicy aromatic combination of ripe tomatoes, infused with curry leaves and traditional South Asian pickle spices, works as a delicious dressing for fresh tomato and cucumber salads—or even as a ketchup alternative.