Garlic chutney is an Indian condiment made with red chilies & garlic as the main ingredients. It’s spicy, hot, flavor packed & can be made in a jiffy. This garlic chutney goes well with most snacks & Indian breakfasts. It is also used in many chaats like bhel puri, street style ragda pattice or sev puri. I usually make this to go with the pakoras, dhokla, sandwiches and parathas. We also love to spread it while making crisp dosas.
Making this is super easy! Soak the red chilies in hot water to soften. Then blend them with garlic, cumin seeds, lemon juice, salt, sweetener & little water. This is the same chutney I use for my bhel puri and other chaats.
The basic red chutney needs no cooking and keeps good for about 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator. Sometimes I also temper this with little oil for a longer shelf life (about 3 to 4 weeks).
Tips to make garlic chutney
- Choose red chilies (or red chilli powder) that are low in heat like Kashmiri or Byadgi. Very hot red chilies do not go well for this chutney.
- Avoid using garlic cloves that have begun to sprout as they make the chutney bitter.
- Do not skip lemon juice/ vinegar in the recipe as it helps to reduce the pungent taste & flavor of garlic.
- Use clean water or boiled and cooled water for longer shelf life.
- You can substitute red chilies with low heat red chilli powder like Kashmiri or Byadgi.
- Substitute sugar with jaggery.
- Substitute lemon juice with vinegar. I prefer vinegar as it helps in longer shelf life. You won’t smell the vinegar in the chutney.
How to make
1. You can skip this step and use Kashmiri red chilli powder. Please use gloves if you cannot tolerate the heat of the chilies. Remove the stalks of the red chilies and break them to 2 parts. Deseed as much as you can. Add them to a bowl. Next pour hot water and let them soften for a while. Once they soak, remove the chilies from the water leaving the seeds that settle down.
2. To a grinder jar, add sugar, salt, cumin seeds and garlic cloves. Do not use garlic cloves that have begun to sprout as they taste bitter. To check, you can trim off one end of the garlic cloves and take a look.
3. Add lemon juice or vinegar and the red chilies. I drained off the water as my red chilies were too hot and pungent. Add little fresh water & blend.
4. Scrape off the sides. Keep adding more water as needed & blend to a smooth yet thick chutney. The taste of this garlic chutney has to be well balanced – slightly hot, pungent, slightly sweet & tangy. Taste test at this stage and add more salt, sugar or vinegar.
5. Transfer it to a clean glass container and refrigerate. This can be used for chaats and snacks.
6. I made this for a chaat so I did not temper. If you want to temper this, heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a pan. Add a pinch of mustard seeds & 3 to 4 curry leaves. Next when the leaves turn crisp, add little hing. Pour the chutney and cook for just 1 minute on a low heat.
Cooking longer can make the chutney bitter. To serve the tempered chutney, I usually add a few tablespoons of hot water to bring it to consistency.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 25 dried red chilies (or 2½ tablespoons kashmiri chilli powder)
- 10 medium garlic cloves (refer notes)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (or cumin powder)
- ⅓ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1½ to 2 tablespoons sugar (or jaggery, adjust to taste)
- 1 to 1½ tablespoon lemon juice (or apple vinegar, adjust to taste)
Optional for tempering
- 1½ tablespoon oil
- 1 pinch mustard seeds
- 1 pinch hing (skip to make gluten-free)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- Optional – Skip this step if you prefer to use red chilli powder. Break red chilies to 2 parts each and deseed them. Remove the stalks. Add them to a bowl and pour hot water. Once they soften, remove them from water and add to a grinder/ blender jar.
- Add garlic, salt, sugar, vinegar, cumin seeds and 3 to 4 tablespoons water to the same blender jar.
- Blend all of them until smooth and thick adding more water as needed. It should have a sauce like consistency.
- Taste test and add more sugar, salt or vinegar to suit your taste. It should be well balanced in flavors and taste slightly hot, spicy, tangy and mildly sweet.
- Garlic chutney is ready to serve with snacks, breakfasts and chaats.
- If you prefer to temper, heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and curry leaves.
- When the leaves turn crisp, add hing and lower the heat completely. Pour the garlic chutney.
- Stir and cook just for a minute. Avoid over cooking to prevent bitter tones. Set aside to cool and transfer to a clean dry glass jar. Refrigerate and use within 3 to 4 weeks.
- Use low heat red chilies such as Kashmiri or Byadgi.
- Avoid using garlic that has begun to sprout.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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