This Sweet Raisin Chutney combines the caramelized notes of roasted onions and garlic with the sweetness of raisins, honey, and the savory depth of balsamic vinegar. The end result is a pleasantly thick, easy to make chutney that’s a harmonious blend of hearty warmth and luscious sweetness. This is sure to be your next favorite spread.
What sets this recipe apart is its ability to transform a handful of simple ingredients into a versatile condiment that is a joy for your taste buds. The roasted elements bring a delightful depth, while the plump raisins add a touch of sweetness and plump texture. It is then beautifully balanced by the honey and balsamic vinegar.
What’s more, this dip is super-simple to pair. Whether topped on crostini, paired with fresh pita, spooned onto tortilla chips, used a dip for veggies, or simply folded into crusty Italian bread, this raisin chutney is a culinary chameleon that’s ready to play the star of any appetizer spread. warm pita or your favorite crackers.
What makes this recipe even more appealing is its simplicity. There are no complicated steps involved. You’re roasting some onions and garlic, then combining them in your food processor with the rest of the ingredients. It really is just that simple.
So, whether you're a seasoned home chef or a newcomer to the kitchen, this Sweet Raisin Chutney has something to offer. Read on for an ingredient checklist, pairing suggestions, tips for getting creative, and a printable recipe card.
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Ingredient Checklist – Everything You’ll Need
There is a wide world of chutney recipes out there, ranging from those traditional to Indian cuisine to the chutneys prepared in the UK and the USA. As such, it should come as no surprise that the phrase ‘chutney’ – even for those served in Indian restaurants across the globe – can mean different things in different places.
Whether you’re a fan of silky smooth chutney, red chutney, luscious mango chutney, hari chutney, tomato chutney, sweet tamarind chutney, spicy green chutney, the mixed fruit chutneys of the UK or the sweet relish-like chutneys of the USA, chances are there’s a chutney to suit your palate. And yes, cilantro mint chutney and plain cilantro chutney are both real things.
The question is – what binds all these various condiments, that have almost nothing in common, together as a single class of recipe? That question itself forces us to ask whether all of these many different types of chutney are indeed actually chutney?
The honest answer to that is it depends on who you ask. Here in the USA, chutney usually resembles a cross between a jam, a relish, and a jelly – and is more often sweet rather than spicy. Store-bought preserved chutneys, whether sold in the USA, the UK, or even India, are sometimes not considered chutney at all because they have so little in common with traditional, homemade chutney of India, which itself is divided across dozens of regional variations.
With that in mind, what we’re preparing here today is very much within the realm of the American understanding of chutney. the ingredient list below whips something that at first glance could likely be mistaken for a relish, but that nevertheless serves as a delicious condiment, and a great side to any appetizer platter.
- Sweet Onion (1) - Roasted:
- Notes: Roast until the skin is slightly charred for a deep, smoky flavor.
- Substitutions: Yellow onions or red onions can be used as an alternative.
- Garlic (1 head) - Roasted:
- Notes: Roast until the skin is golden, then allow them to cool to room temperature before squeezing them from the skin.
- Substitutions: Use more or less garlic based on personal preference.
- Raisins (1 cup):
- Notes: The key ingredient, raisins form the base of the flavor profile, and provide the chutney with a plump, juicy texture.
- Substitutions: Golden raisins can be substituted for a different flavor.
- Honey (1 tbs.):
- Notes: Adjust the quantity based on desired sweetness.
- Substitutions: Maple syrup or agave nectar can be used as alternatives.
- Balsamic Vinegar (1 tbs.):
- Notes: Adds depth and acidity to the chutney.
- Tip: I would stay away from white wine vinegar, as white wine vinegar risks giving the chutney a bitter taste.
- Substitutions: Apple cider vinegar, lime juice, or red wine vinegar can be used.
- Olive Oil (1 tbs.):
- Notes: Choose extra virgin olive oil for richness.
- Tip: Just to reiterate, the olive oil really does matter here as the taste ‘does’ come through, since it is being consumed raw.
- Substitutions: If you ‘must’ replace the olive oil, I would opt for avocado oil, or a ‘very’ flavor neutral oil.
- Salt (1 tsp.):
- Notes: Adjust to taste.
- Substitutions: Use sea salt or kosher salt based on preference.
- Fresh Italian Parsley (2 - 3 tbs.):
- Notes: Adds a fresh, herbal note; adjust quantity based on preference.
- Substitutions: Cilantro or chives can be used. Personally, I would opt for the cilantro.
Serving Suggestions – How to Pair Raisin Chutney
Today’s raisin chutney is a great addition to any appetizer, and can be served chilled or room temperature. If you’re looking for the perfect pairing, read on.
- Fresh Pita Bread:
- Enjoy the sweet raisin chutney with warm, fluffy pita bread, especially with cheese, olives, and cured meat.
- Crostini, or gourmet crackers are an obvious pairing, especially as part of a larger antipasto board.
- Baguette Slices:
- Toasted baguette slices provide a sturdy base that lets the flavors of the chutney shine.
- Naan Bread:
- Pair the chutney with soft and chewy naan bread, especially with a dollop of yogurt.
- Charcuterie Platter:
- Include the chutney as part of a cured meat and cheese platter. The sweetness of the dip would play beautifully with the savoriness of the cured meat.
- Vegetable Sticks:
- Dip colorful vegetable sticks like carrots, cucumber, and bell peppers for a fresh and healthy snack.
- Grilled Chicken Skewers:
- Use the chutney as a flavorful dipping sauce for grilled chicken skewers, adding depth to the savory grilled taste.
- Gourmet Sandwiches:
- Use the chutney as a condiment in gourmet sandwiches to elevate the flavor profile.
- Grilled Halloumi:
- Serve alongside grilled halloumi cheese for a combination of sweet and salty flavors.
Variations – Getting Creative
Think of the original recipe as a starting point for your creativity.
- Red Wine Vinegar Twist:
- Substitute balsamic vinegar with red wine vinegar as a great way to achieve a different acidity profile, adding a slightly sharper and fruity note.
- Spicy Kick with Chilies:
- If you want a spicy kick, consider adding in red chilies, green chilies, or chili flakes. The amount of each is purely a matter of preference.
- Lemon Zest and Juice Freshness:
- Enhance the brightness of the chutney by adding freshly grated lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. This will add a zesty and citrusy element.
- Cilantro Freshness:
- For an herbal touch, mix in finely chopped fresh cilantro.
- Urad Dal Crunch:
- An easy way to change the texture. Consider adding roasted and crushed urad dal for an additional crunchy texture. This is a traditional ingredient in many South Indian chutneys.
- Black Pepper Depth:
- Introduce freshly ground black pepper to elevate the flavor profile with peppery warmth.
- Adjusting Sweetness with Brown Sugar:
- Fine-tune the sweetness by incorporating brown sugar. This gives you control over the level of sweetness to suit your taste.
And that’s our Sweet Raisin Chutney. If you enjoyed today’s post, or have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments below, we always love hearing from you.