Or should that be relish?
What is the difference between chutney and relish in any case? Until it came to naming the cumquat concoction I created, I hadn’t really paid much thought to the difference between the two.
When coming up with this recipe, all I knew was I wanted to create a spicy condiment to use with savoury meats and dishes. As soon as I spied the mini golden cumquats at my local farmers’ market, I knew I had to have them. But I didn’t want to make marmalade or soak them in a copious amount of brandy.
I made this cumquat ‘condiment’ based on some of my tried and tested recipes. Adding some flavour twists and a good handful of dried barberries, which had been lurking in my fridge for eons.
I knew what I had, a condiment with deep flavour, aromatic richness, Asian spice undertones, citrus flavour, barberry tartness and mild heat. Cutting the cumquats in quarters gave a chunky texture and sustenance. But was it chutney or relish?
On consulting cooking reference books and Mr Google, I came to a conclusion. It seems that the chutney/relish classification is out to debate and the two terms are basically interchangeable. What I did come away with is that a relish tends to be vegetable based and chutney fruit based. Even that isn’t a definite, and relishes can have fruit and chutney can have vegetable components. Both can range from sweet to sour, spicy to savoury. Chutney is generally cooked longer than relish. Origins of the two come into play as well, chutney stems from Indian cuisine and relish from Western.
Call it what you will, what is definite is that this condiment is mighty tasty.
Cumquat (Kumquat) & Barberry Chutney
- 300 grams cumquats/kumquats
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup red onion | finely diced
- 1 ½ tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 star anise
- ½ red chili | long, finely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- ½ cup dried barberries
- Place all ingredients in a medium heavy based pot. Over low heat, stir until sugar dissolves. You may be tempted to add water, don’t.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes on a low simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Remove cinnamon quill and store in a sterilized glass jar in the fridge. Will keep well for many months. Makes around 1 ½ cups of chutney.
My conclusion, what I had created was chutney. Or was it a relish?
G’day Sara, am about to try this recipe. Haven’t had much experience with these tiny gems so a question... do I need to cut them? They look halved in photos and if so do I remove seeds? Just found you so am looking forward to more adventures!!
Firstly I have to apologise that I haven't mentioned anything about the treatment of the cumquats on the actual recipe card and only in the post. I will rectify that one for future visitors.
Yes, I did, and you will need to cut the cumquats. I had cut them in quarters for a chunky result. They will soften when cooking but not shrink and they hold their shape pretty well. If they are large cumquats you may want to cut them smaller.
Don't remove the seeds, simply cut them to the desired size.
I'm glad that you found me! I hope that you enjoy the recipe.
Chutney or relish by the by...it looks amazing!
john | heneedsfood
Yeah, I was always under the impression that a relish was of the veg variety. I it can be whatever you want it to be. I like the chilli kick with your chutney and am imagining it'd be pretty fab with a chunk of sharp cheddar. Or what Helen said!
The Hungry Mum
Chelish! Rutney! Just slather it on a cracker, load up with some cheddar & consume 🙂
So delectable! That appears irresistible.
Who cares what it's called - it looks amazing!! 🙂 Two of my favorite unique fruits - in Persian cuisine we use barberries in quite a few dishes - my favorite being an herbed frittata and a jeweled rice. Delicious!
Call it relish or chutney, it looks and sounds amazingly delicious, Sara! I just love sweet/spicy with my savory food, just never thought of using kumquats. Congrats on your creation!
Is the difference between the two just depending on where they originated? Anyway, what's important is they are both good and yummy, lol!
I thought chutneys were slow cooked, unlike relishes, which sometimes are raw. Also chutney sounds more Indian and relish more Australia. I clearly have no clue 🙂
Helen | Grab Your Fork
I've always tended to think of chutneys are having large chunks of fruit/veg but that's probably just me making correlations with its name. lol. Regardless, this looks delish. I really feel like a ploughman's lunch now!
Oh love the look of this chutney. It looks so tangy and delicious. I love making chutnies too.