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Relish vs. Chutney: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 29, 2023
Relish is a condiment made primarily from diced vegetables, typically used as a garnish or to enhance flavor, whereas chutney is a sauce in Indian cuisine, made from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and spices, often with a sweet and sour taste.

Key Differences

Relish is typically made from pickled or fermented vegetables like cucumbers or cabbage, often with added spices and seasonings for flavor. Chutney, originating from Indian cuisine, combines fruits or vegetables with spices, vinegar, and sugar, creating a balance of sweet, spicy, and sour flavors.
The texture of relish is usually chunky, with distinct pieces of its vegetable ingredients visible. Chutney, however, can range from a smooth paste to a chunky sauce, with its consistency depending on the preparation and ingredients used.
Relish is often used as a condiment for hot dogs, burgers, and sandwiches, adding a crunchy, tangy flavor. Chutney serves as a versatile accompaniment to Indian dishes like curries and samosas, enhancing their flavors with its complex, spiced taste.
The ingredients in relish are more limited, focusing on a few types of vegetables and simple seasonings. Chutney's ingredients are diverse, often including exotic spices, fruits, and sometimes nuts, providing a wide range of flavors.
In terms of cultural context, relish is more common in Western cuisine, especially American and British. Chutney holds a significant place in Indian cuisine and has been widely embraced in other cuisines for its unique taste.

Comparison Chart

Base Ingredients

Primarily vegetables
Fruits, vegetables, and spices


Chunky with visible pieces
Can be smooth or chunky

Flavor Profile

Tangy and pickled
Sweet, sour, and spicy

Common Use

Condiment for sandwiches, burgers
Accompaniment for Indian dishes

Cultural Origin

Western cuisine
Indian cuisine

Relish and Chutney Definitions


A condiment made from chopped vegetables.
I added cucumber relish to my hot dog.


A condiment that combines sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors.
The cheese platter was served with a fig chutney.


A seasoned sauce used to add flavor to food.
She served the meat with a side of homemade relish.


A versatile sauce used in various cuisines.
I used a spicy chutney as a marinade for chicken.


A pickled or fermented vegetable mixture.
The burger was topped with tangy relish.


A sweet and sour sauce made from fruits and spices.
She made apple chutney for the dinner party.


A garnish used to enhance the taste of food.
I prefer my sandwich with relish and mustard.


A spicy condiment of Indian origin.
Mango chutney pairs well with curry.


A spicy or savory addition to a dish.
He enjoys his eggs with a bit of relish.


A mixture of fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
Tamarind chutney is my favorite accompaniment to samosas.


Hearty enjoyment or appreciation
"pausing with the relish of a man who knows he's about to get off a zinger" (Tad Friend).


A pungent relish made of fruits, spices, and herbs.


Something that lends pleasure or zest
The fact that the opposing team is our longtime rival was an added relish to our victory.


A sweet or savory but usually spicy condiment, originally from eastern India, made from a variety of fruits and/or vegetables, often containing significant amounts of fresh green or dried red chili peppers.
Mango chutney
Lemon chutney


(music genre) A style of Indo-Caribbean music from the West Indies, associated especially with Trinidad and Tobago.


A warm or spicy condiment or pickle made in India, compounded of various vegetable substances, such as chopped fruits or green tomatoes, etc., often cooked with sweets and acids such as sugar and vinegar, with ginger and spices.


Chopped fruits or green tomatoes cooked in vinegar and sugar with ginger and spices


Can chutney be used as a dip?

Yes, chutney is often used as a dip for snacks and appetizers.

Is relish sweet or savory?

Relish can be either, but it's typically tangy and savory.

What dishes is chutney commonly served with?

Chutney is commonly served with Indian dishes like curries and samosas.

How long can relish be stored?

Relish, especially if pickled, can be stored for several months in a refrigerator.

Is relish used in any specific cuisine?

Relish is common in Western cuisine, particularly American and British.

What is the main ingredient in relish?

Relish is primarily made from diced vegetables.

How do you serve chutney?

Chutney is served as a side or condiment with various dishes.

Is relish healthy?

Relish can be healthy, but it depends on the ingredients and preparation.

What are the main spices in chutney?

Common spices in chutney include cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds.

Can relish be sweet?

Yes, some relishes are sweetened, especially fruit-based relishes.

Does chutney contain preservatives?

Commercial chutneys may contain preservatives, but homemade chutney typically does not.

Is chutney always spicy?

Not always; chutney can range from sweet to very spicy depending on the recipe.

Can relish be homemade?

Yes, relish can easily be made at home with vegetables and vinegar.

What is the shelf life of chutney?

Homemade chutney can last several weeks to months when refrigerated.

Is chutney a staple in Indian cuisine?

Yes, chutney is a staple condiment in Indian cuisine.

What makes chutney different from jam?

Chutney is savory and spicy, unlike jam which is sweet and used as a spread.

Can you add relish to hot dishes?

Absolutely, relish can be added to hot dishes for extra flavor.

Can chutney be made with vegetables?

Yes, chutney can be made with both fruits and vegetables.

Can relish be used on sandwiches?

Yes, relish is a popular condiment for sandwiches and burgers.

What is the texture of relish?

Relish typically has a chunky texture with visible vegetable pieces.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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