Hands up if you love Indian food! We know we certainly do. The incredible flavor combinations and level of comforting melt-in-your-mouth experiences are just something else. Plus, it’s already a pretty plant-based cuisine!
If you want to go beyond the curry-with-rice Indian experience, you definitely need to try this easy sugar-free mango chutney.
It does need some love and time in the kitchen (just like pretty much all Indian food) but the results are so worth it! This really is one addictive condiment.
Not only can you use it as a dip or spread for pretty much everything and anything (more on that later), but you can also transform it into the most delicious fruity mango curry.
Our vegan mango chutney is super fragrant and offers a perfectly balanced blend of tastes: sweet and sour from the mango and vinegar, a mild touch of heat from fresh ginger and spices plus a savory note from the onion.
It works well all year and can definitely help you out when you’re feeling a bit under the weather – the warming Indian spices, ginger, onion and vitamin C from the mango play together wonderfully, giving your immune system a nice boost.
The fact that it’s free from refined sugar only makes things better, transforming this simple appetizer into a nutritional powerhouse.
This mango chutney recipe calls for a handful of Indian spices, so while it’s not overpowering, it definitely has some “bite.”
Does this mean that the chutney is super spicy? Well, that’s hard to say. It does call for onion, ginger and curry – depending on the level of spiciness you’re used to, this could be moderately hot to you.
But generally speaking, we wouldn’t call it spicy. Then again, we love Asian food and can handle quite a bit of heat!
If you feel a bit puzzled about chutney at this point, don’t worry – let’s take a moment to see what exactly chutney is and why it’s so delicious.
What Is Mango Chutney
Mango chutney is a gluten-free spicy or savory condiment with origins in India, where it is used in a large variety of ways.
Chutneys are somewhere between a jam, jelly and relish, and they are made from fruits, vegetables, vinegar, sugar and spices. As they are cooked down to a reduction, chutneys provide a large range of different flavors — the combinations of ingredients are endless!
Traditional chutneys date back to 500 BC, and the word “chutney” in Sanskrit means “to lick” – which says a lot both about how it can be used and how good it is!
Sweet chutneys like mango chutney can be described as a wonderful kind of savory jam (though with a more chunky texture).
They are actually not very hard to make totally sugar-free (I mean, the main ingredient is mango), but when you go for store-bought varieties, you’ll often find astounding amounts of added sugar.
Discover below how we make this addictive and fragrant mango chutney without any refined sugar!
How Many Types of Chutney Are There?
According to Wikipedia, there are around 16 different types of chutneys. Some are spicier than others; there are pickled chutneys, coriander and coconut varieties, peanut, garlic or tomato chutneys.
As we previously stated, there are just so many ways to prepare chutney! We even found one made with unripe chickpeas.
You can find recipes with or without onions, with or without raisins, and don’t even get us started on the different spices!
Why not start with our sugar-free mango chutney to see how you like it and then go from there?
Are Chutneys Vegan?
Most recipes for chutney we’ve come across are fully vegan, yes. But since we’re talking about traditional Indian cuisine, we need to take into account Ayurvedic principles.
Even though Indian dishes are largely vegetarian, they can still be full of dairy products!
This means that on rare occasions, you can find a chutney that’s made using ghee (clarified butter), which would make it vegetarian, but not vegan.
For the overwhelming majority of chutneys, especially those you find in the Western world, you can be pretty confident that they are vegan.
Why This Is the Best Mango Chutney
We’ve tried a couple of different mango chutney recipes in the past before, and after all of that experimentation, we’ve come up with our own variation.
We might not be reinventing the wheel here (you won’t believe how many chutney recipes float around the web!) but we think this is an honest, straightforward and super flavorful mix of some of the chutneys we’ve tried before. This vegan appetizer is…
- Seriously easy to make (10 minutes prep time!)
- Gluten-free, sugar-free, oil-free and vegan
- Sweet, fragrant and slightly spicy
- A wonderful edible gift idea
- Super fruity and flavorful but not overpowering
- Easily customizable in terms of spices & sweetness
How to Make Sugar-Free Chutney
Just because this is an ethnic recipe and probably not your everyday dipping sauce, that doesn’t mean it’s complicated to make.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients (which can also be swapped or omitted, more on that below) as well as a medium pot, you need to sauté your onion and ginger over medium heat for a few minutes.
All that’s left to do is add the rest of the sugar-free chutney ingredients, give it a stir and let everything simmer for around 45 minutes.
If you cannot find fresh (yet slightly unripe!) mangoes at the store, use thawed pieces of frozen mango. Because this chutney needs to be cooked for quite a while, the texture won’t be much different anyway.
We used fresh dates for the sweetness plus some raisins as those are staple ingredients in most chutney recipes.
Don’t fancy raisins? Cool, just go with one more date instead.
It’s actually not too hard to make a sweet condiment using only whole fruits instead of added sugar – no matter if it’s brown, white, raw or syrup, it’s all simple sugar without any fiber or micronutrients.
That’s why we love to go for the “whole package” instead of a refined ingredient.
Main Mango Chutney Ingredients
- Fresh Mango – because, of course! Feel free to sub for frozen mango pieces.
- Red Onion – adding some zing and a savory touch
- Fresh Ginger – pairs beautifully with mango and the other Indian spices!
- Dates – offering natural sweetness from whole foods
- Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Curry – yes, this is some serious spice business here!
Only a few more staple ingredients (like water and salt) and you can get started! Don’t sweat it if you cannot find or don’t like any of the ingredients – as we stated above, chutneys are ridiculously versatile and you pretty much cannot mess up this recipe.
Even if you cannot or don’t want to use mango, which is the main ingredient, you can swap it out for another fruit such as peaches, pears, apricots, apples or nectarines.
How Long Do You Cook the Chutney?
As with most Indian recipes, this is going to be cooked for a long time and it does need a bit of babysitting while doing so. Due to the texture, it can start to stick to your pot, so you need to stir it occasionally.
Our sugar-free chutney is best cooked for around 45 minutes – though if the amazing smell is too tempting, you may try it after 20-30 minutes.
How Many Calories Are in This Mango Chutney?
Since store-bought chutneys as well as many recipes for mango chutney call for heaps of sugar (we’re talking 1 cup of sugar per 2 mangoes!), they will very likely be much higher in calories.
It can be hard to compare the calorie and nutrient content of two different products or recipes due to their suggested serving sizes.
Some varieties (like Sharwood´s Mango Chutney, according to My Fitness Pal) may have up to 50 calories per tablespoon!
Our recipe for sugar-free mango chutney offers 98 calories per serving (not tablespoon) and is as low-calorie as it gets while still tasting fantastic.
The Best Mango Chutney Uses
You may be intrigued by the photos and description of the recipe so far, but you’re probably still wondering, “well, okay, but what do you eat mango chutney with?”
First things first, one of the best mango chutney uses is to just snack it by the spoonful. The next best thing is to spread it on anything and everything – chutney is a great appetizer or dip and takes any dish to the next level.
How to Serve Chutney
Some Tips for Your Perfect Sugar-Free Chutney
Our sugar-free chutney is nice and smooth yet still a bit chunky – if you or your family are a little particular when it comes to the texture of food, you can make this a super smooth chutney by using an immersion blender (or any other blender).
We understand that you might not have 45 minutes to let the chutney cook thoroughly and that it’s tempting to use a shortcut here (which you can totally do!).
But because the aromas and flavors will continue to develop, the cooking time does make a difference, and the chutney actually tastes best after a couple of days.
We personally like to make a larger batch and then keep it in the fridge or freeze it for a couple of months until we want to have some again.
If you’re up for some canning action (totally no-skill required!), you can preserve it for months and months!
More Easy Vegan Condiments
Can we all agree that delicious sauces and dips make everything taste a million times better? That’s our not-so-secret trick to enjoying healthy plant-based food, by the way.
Dipping your raw celery or carrot sticks into some vegan ricotta or mayo will definitely make it go down a lot easier! Try these next:
Have you tried making chutney before, and did you try our sugar-free version? Let us know in the comments below and Pin this recipe! Feel free to tag us on Instagram if you made it; we’d love to see your creations.
- 3 large mango fruits, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 dates, pitted and chopped
- 4 cloves
- 1 tbsp raisins
- ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 4 tbsp water
- Pinch of salt
- Sauté the onion and ginger with some water in a medium pot over medium heat until the onion is translucent.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine and bring to boil.
- Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool before serving.
- Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- For a quicker but slightly different version, you may cook your mango chutney for only 20-30 minutes.
- This recipe works best with firm and slightly unripe mangoes.
- Instead of adding raisins, you can just use one more date. And if you don’t have any dates, use more raisins!
- If you don’t want or have to make this dish completely added sugar-free, adjust the sweetness level to your taste by using any vegan sweetener of your choice and omit the dates.
- The chutney can be frozen for at least 6 months.
- Try swapping out the mango for another fruit for a totally new chutney. For example, you can try peaches, pears, apricots, apples, nectarines and so much more.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: ⅛ recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 22mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 20gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!