Chutney vs Pickle vs Relish vs Dip vs Spread vs Sauces

Chutney vs. PickleIf you want to make your dish flavorful, balanced, and appealing, use Chutney, Pickle, Relish, Dip, Spread, and Sauces. The difference between each category is subtle, and most foodies use the term in a generic sense. 

If the dip represents thick sauces served with chips, crackers, tortillas, or Middle Eastern bread, then dumplings and samosas use chutney as a dip. The smooth texture of the dip is achieved by using cream, cheese, onions, spinach, guacamole, avocados, artichokes, apples, pear, or mango; and if you are stuck with Ketchup for your fries, wedges or nuggets, next time try them with a dip. The flavor can surprise you.

Chutney vs. Pickle

Chutneys and pickle differ in their shelf life; pickles can be stored for a longer duration (6 months- 1 yr) whereas chutneys have smaller shelf life (2 days-2 months) depending on whether it is in dry form or wet. Dry Prawn Chutney, Madras Gun powder, Peanut chutney are dry chutneys whereas tomato chutney, mint cilantro chutney, and coconut chutney are served as a thick sauce. 

Chutneys usually have a tangy taste that explains why it is called ‘Chatna’ (Sanskrit), which means, ‘to lick.’ Vinegar, lemon juice, tamarind pulp gives Chutney its sourness while sugar, honey, jaggery, or dates balance the sweetness quotient. A chutney can be sweet (Mango chutney, date tamarind chutney) or savory (mint cilantro chutney, coconut chutney) and at most times involves cooking. Ginger, garlic, onion, fresh or dried herbs, and spices are also used for making chutney. Pickle also features these spices but additionally use vinegar, excess oil, brine/salt to extend the shelf life. Raw mango, lime, cucumbers, gherkins, dill, gooseberry, carrot, cauliflower, chicken, beef, and prawns can be used for pickling either as whole or as a cut in small pieces. 

Relish vs. Chutney

Relish, mostly served raw, is similar to chutney and pickle, but crunchy and slightly sweet with fewer spices, featuring one or two main ingredients (some regional cuisines add fruits), along with a sauce containing vinegar, little sugar and the less overpowering variety of chilies. To boost the flavor of the relish, pickled vegetables (e.g.: cucumbers) are added in chopped form.

Relish vs. Sauces/Spread

While relish is crunchy, spread and sauces are creamy with a thick texture that gives the recipes its principal flavor. A knife or a spoon is used to apply/smear spreads (jam, butter, jellies, cheese, vegemite, hummus) on bread, crackers, wraps whereas sauces form an integral part of certain cuisines- soy sauce for Chinese, Béchamel sauce for French, and Marinara sauce for Italian dishes. Sauces can be smooth or semi-solid in texture, sweet or savory and can be served hot or cold, unlike relish that is usually served cold.