The humble Indian meal is incomplete without a myriad of delicious accompaniments. Be it some flavourful raitas or the humble pickle, these pair well with rice, roti and even one-pot meals like biryani or khichdi! Somehow, our homes always have a ready stock of achaars, chutneys and other relishes to enjoy every day. There are also so many different variations and versions, depending upon which part of the country we are in. But have you ever stopped and wondered which of your favourite Indian accompaniments is actually healthier? Is pickle preferred in terms of its health quotient or is chutney a more nutritious alternative? Here’s all you need to know.
What Is The Difference Between Pickle And Chutney?
For the unversed, pickle or achaar refers to preserved vegetables and condiments to make them last longer. They are usually pickled in oil or vinegar, or even simply in salt. Meanwhile, chutney is more of a condiment or a dip that is made by pureeing or blending vegetables, and herbs and adding seasoning or tempering on top of it.
What Are The Benefits Of Chutney?
Believe it or not, the humble chutney has plenty of health benefits to offer. It has excellent fibre content and is also enriched with vitamins and minerals that can boost skin and eye health. Chutney may also help provide protection against diseases and infections. “Chutney is made with fresh vegetables, and herbs like dhania and is undoubtedly a healthy food. It can also serve as an excellent replacement for fatty spreads or dips,” revealed consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta.
Click here to read more benefits of chutney.
What Are The Benefits Of Pickle?
Homemade pickles are touted to be excellent sources of antioxidants and healthy bacteria too. Apart from enhancing the taste and flavour of the dish, pickles are also helpful in easing the digestive processes of our body. “Pickles are fermented and have a lot of healthy bacteria, and thus can be used as a good probiotic,” explains Rupali Datta.
Find out more health benefits of pickles here.
Pickle Or Chutney – Which Is Healthier?
Now, the question arises – which one should we pick from pickle or chutney in terms of their health quotient? Is pickle healthier or would chutney be a more nutritious pick? According to experts, both are healthy in their own way and both have their own advantages and disadvantages. “Everything has its pros and cons. In pickles, there is a lot of oil and salt used for preservation. Meanwhile, chutneys too sometimes have too much salt or sugar to enhance taste and improve the flavour,” said Dutta. Thus, it is always a good idea to take them as a side pairing to the main dish, and not a substitute for it. “You must remember to take them as accompaniment only and control the portion size of the serving. Consume judiciously,” warns Datta.
Further, you can also use some healthy cooking methods and ingredients in the making of pickles and chutneys both. There are several zero-oil pickles that you can make at home.
Click here for a zero-oil pickle recipe.
You can also use fresh, healthy ingredients like curry leaves, mint leaves and more in the making of chutneys. Keep sugar and salt content to a minimum and relish the refreshing taste in its natural form!
Click here for some healthy chutney recipes.