Difference Between Chutney and Pickle


Main Difference

The main difference between Chutney and Pickle is that Chutney is a smooth condiment of fruits or vegetable pieces, whereas Pickle is a fermented mixture of whole fruits or vegetables.

Chutney vs. Pickle

Chutney is a thick sauce made from fruits, vegetables, or a mixture of both; on the other hand, pickle is a fermented mixture of fruit or vegetable. Chutney prepares from small pieces of fruit and vegetable no whole product is present in it, while pickle manufacturers from large pieces of fruits and vegetables, the whole product of choice can also be added in it.

Chutney is sweet, sour, or spicy; on the converse, pickle is mostly sour, spicy, and acidic. Chutney prepares from seasonings like zesty liquid, vinegar, salt, and sugar, while pickle prepares from seasonings like brine, salt, turmeric, and vinegar. Chutney enhanced the flavor of main food items and used as an additive; on the converse, pickle extends the shelf life of a seasonal product.


Chutney requires cooking when manufactured, but it is not always compulsory; on the other hand, pickle does not require cooking when it prepares. Chutney serves when it is freshly prepared, and we do not have to wait for its ripening stage; on the contrary, pickle is not used freshly when it is prepared, we have to place our product in vinegar until fermentation occurs. Chutney is smooth in consistency, sometimes it is smashed during preparation, while pickle does not have smooth consistency at all.

Chutney can last up to 1-2 months if proper conditions are available; on the other side, pickle has a shelf life of 1-2 years it is stored for a longer period. Some examples of chutney are apple, coconut, plum, peach, tomato, and mint chutney. Examples of pickles are lemon, mango, carrot, reddish, green chili, and cucumber pickle.


Comparison Chart

A thick sauce made from fruits and vegetable mixed with any tangy liquid is known as chutneyA mixture of fruit or vegetable with added vinegar and salt is known as pickle
Indian subcontinentBC in the Tigris valley
Sugar, added spice, tangy liquid, saltMostly brine, vinegar, and salt
Whole Fruit and Vegetable
No whole fruit or vegetableWhole fruit and vegetable are added
Size of Pieces
Small piecesLarge pieces
Smooth sometimes like a thick sauceNot smooth
A spicy condiment to add flavor can be sweetSour or spicy depending upon ingredients
Mostly cooked during preparationNot cooked
Ripening Stage
Within hours, it can be served freshlyAllowed to stay for a few days before serving
Use to add flavorProlongs shelf life of a seasonal food
Shelf Life
2-3 months1-2 years
Plum chutney, coconut chutney, mango chutneyMango and cucumber pickling

What is Chutney?

The name chutney invents from a Tamil word. Chutney is a thick sauce containing fruit or vegetable pieces with added seasonings. Chutney has a variety of flavors depending upon the ingredients and seasoning, but mostly its taste is spicy. It is a South Asian cuisine used to enhance the flavor of food. Chutney works as an appetizer. It is a commonly used domestic approach to preserve fruits and vegetables, but industries are manufacturing it. The Romans introduced the first preservation method; Indians were next to follow them.

Every region has its famous variety of chutney, which mainly comprises of the local ingredients. There are hundreds of methods to prepare chutney once you came to know basics you can easily prepare yours.

Sometimes cooking is required depending upon the type of fruit or vegetable. We do not prefer ripened fruits and vegetables. Seasoning like a tangy liquid, vinegar, salt, sugar, coriander, and cumin is added to develop a proper flavor. We name chutney based on the fruit present in excess or having a dominant flavor.

The consistency of chutney is mostly smooth, just like a thick sauce. Sometimes fruits or vegetables are even mashed during preparation to attain a viscous appearance. We can use chutney when it is freshly prepared normally, and there is no general instruction to let it stay and wait for its ripening. Chutney can last up to 2-3 months if kept under a favorable environment. Examples of chutney are apple, peach, tomato, mango, and plum chutney. Mint chutney is very famous in Asian countries.

What is Pickle?

When we pickle any food, it results in the change of color, texture, and taste. Pickling is a method used to preserve and extend the shelf life of food. During this process, any particular food is dipped into a brine or vinegar solution, allowed to stand for days so that fermentation may occur. Different countries have their own locally pickled items that are based upon the availability of seasonal food items.

The word pickle comes from Dutch ‘’Pekel,” which means salt and brines an essential component of pickling. The first pickled food item was a cucumber. We can pickle whole fruits and vegetables also, or we can also cut them into large pieces. Cooking is not required for pickling any food item simply raw vegetable or fruit is cut into pieces and dipped into brine or vinegar solution.

Once pickle is prepared, it is allowed to stand for a few days as it is not advised to consume it freshly. When it is ready to serve, we can preserve it for 1-2 years or even more if put under a suitable environment. No refrigerator is required for its storage. It may have spicy taste due to added salt, turmeric, red pepper, and dill seeds.

The easiest way to pickle a food item is to place it in the vinegar solution. Pickle is of acidic nature whether you place it in acid, vinegar, or brine solution. It gives you a crunchy sound when you eat pickled items, probably the recently pickled one. Some common examples of pickles are cucumber, mango, onion, reddish, and garlic pickle.

Key Differences

  1. Chutney is a spicy dressing that is used to enhance the flavor of food items whereas, pickle is a mixture of fruits or vegetables prepared through anaerobic fermentation.
  2. Chutney is having an Indian subcontinent origin, while pickle is originated BC in Tigris valley.
  3. Chutney is made through small pieces of fruit and vegetable; in contrast, pickle is made through large pieces, or sometimes even the whole fruit or vegetable is used.
  4. Chutney is a thick sauce that appears smooth; conversely, pickle is a mixture of ingredients that is not smooth in its appearance.
  5. Chutney is cooked during its preparation; on the flip side, pickle does not require cooking to prepare it.
  6. Chutney is prepared by adding salt, sugar, vinegar, and some tangy liquid, while pickle is prepared by placing the product into the brine, salt, and vinegar solution.
  7. Chutney is sour, spicy, and sweet in taste; on the other hand, pickle is mostly sour in taste due to the acidic nature of vinegar.
  8. Chutney can be consumed when it is freshly prepared, whereas pickle cannot be used immediately after its preparation, but it requires time for its ripening.
  9. Chutney has a shorter shelf life in comparison to pickle; it can be stored up to 1-2 months; in contrast, pickle has a longer shelf life, and we can store it for 1-2 years.
  10. Common examples of chutney are apple, plum, peach, tomato, coconut, mango, and mint chutney; comparatively, common examples of pickle are mango, apple, meat, lemon, and cucumber pickle.


The chutney and pickle both add additional flavor to the main food item. Chutney has smooth consistency made from small pieces of fruits or vegetables having less storage life. Pickle prepares from large pieces or whole food items, having a longer shelf life.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson