The word chutney derives from the Sanskrit word caṭnī, meaning ‘to lick’. Associated with South Asian cuisine, these “condiments” vary greatly in flavor. Some chutney’s are fruit based while others are vegetable based. Some are chunky and some are smooth. The one thing in common with all chutneys? They’re all originally made by grinding fresh ingredients together. Popular chutneys, just as other Indian foods, vary from region to region as so much depends on the local ingredients. Chutneys are a vital combination to most Indian dishes and you’ll find they always pair well with Indian breads like chapati, naan, papadum, paratha and more!
Just like the country itself, Indian food is extremely diverse. While the spices remain constant, you’ll find very different dishes as you travel through the country. South Indian cuisine is considered to be the hottest of all Indian food. Popular dishes in the region include idlis, vadas, dosas and sambaar. Food from North India is characterized by its thick, tasty gravies. The meals are hearty and will often include several dishes — and don’t skip out on their sweets! It’s important to have the right spices on hand when making your favorite Indian recipe, so we’ve rounded up a few to help get you started!
Laddoo (or laddu), is a very popular Indian treat that is commonly made for festivals and celebrations. It can be made with various nuts or spices such as cashews or coconut. Here is an easy take on the sweet treat that thought would be fun to make with your little citizens!
On our travels to India, our team fell in love with a rich meal called Indori Poha, a traditional breakfast dish made out of poha (or flattened rice). It is super tasty and easy to make, and the best part about it is, you can garnish it with nearly anything. On our trip, we enjoyed it with spices and pomegranate seeds!
Ginger (or adrak in Hindi) is grown on farms throughout India. On our trip, we came upon a ginger farm and stopped to take a look. The landscape was very vibrant and green – the leafy green stalks of the ginger are reed-like and can reach up to three feet tall. We saw the farmers harvesting ginger rhizomes (the underground root part of the plant) and piling them up. It was amazing how much was harvested!
My family is a blend of Scottish, Irish, German and Native American. Our Christmas Eve tradition? A Nordic feast featuring Swedish meatballs and lefse at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. While most meatballs are known to sit on top of spaghetti, these meatballs are piled high onto a hearty serving of mashed potatoes. Lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread made of potatoes and flour… best served with copious amounts of butter! For the past 20 years, the table has been set with Spode Christmas china, poinsettias, candles and these two staple dishes.