Fresh fruit chutneys are traditionally part of an ayurvedic meal because they not only add delicious taste but they help add nutrition and improve the digestion. Fruit is highly praised in modern nutrition as well for its vitamin and mineral content, especially vitamins C and A, which makes them natural antioxidants that help protect the body from free radical damage.
According to ayurveda, fruit is one of the most pure foods we can eat. Fruits enhance ojas, the finest by-product of digestion, considered in ayurveda to be that which sustains life itself. Fresh fruit chutneys add flavor to the meal, and help add a number of tastes — sometimes all six tastes that are recommended by ayurveda to be included in every main meal. Spicy chutneys bring balance to mild dishes and sweet chutneys bring balance to spicy dishes.
There are two major types of fruit chutneys — fruit that has been cooked with spices, or fresh fruit that has been mixed in a blender with spices. Whether the chutney is cooked or fresh, it helps to stimulate agni and supports digestion.
Only a teaspoon or two of chutney is needed to enhance a meal. Chutneys can be served in a small bowl or directly on the plate with other foods. They can also be used for dipping with flatbreads or appetizers. Cooked chutneys can be made and stored in the refrigerator for several weeks if preserved properly. Most fruits can be used for making chutneys, including various berries and stoned fruits as well as dried fruits such as dates and raisins. However, melons are generally not used in traditional chutneys.
Try some of the following chutney recipes to add some zing to your next meal.
- Baked Pear Chutney
- Cilantro Chutney
- Cooked Apple Chutney
- Date Chutney
- Fresh Apple Chutney
- Fresh Mango Chutney
- Mint-Cilantro Chutney
- Pomegranate Chutney
- Poppy Seed Chutney
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