The Best Substitutes For Mango Chutney

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Mango chutney is one of those condiments that you should always keep in your kitchen. It goes well with so many foods, whether sweet or savory. Mango chutney gives flavor to so many meals, be they snacks, meat, or even vegetables.

Mango chutney has such a unique flavor – with the sweetness of the mango contrasting and complimenting the tartness and spice. This makes it great to use in so many cooking preparations.

However, what do you do when you run out of mango chutney?

What is the best substitute for mango chutney? The best possible substitute for mango chutney would be either apricot preserve or apricot jam. Other good alternatives include peach jam, marmalade, or melon preserve.

To help you when you’re all out of mango chutney but still want to achieve a similar taste, here are all the best substitutes you could use in its place, and what you might need to add to have the substitutes taste as similar to mango chutney as possible.

The Best Mango Chutney Substitutes

Below are the best substitutes to use in place of mango chutney. They all give dishes a little bit of a different taste than what mango chutney would, but there are ways to adjust the taste to get it as close to the original mango chutney as possible.

If you happen to have some mango juice on you, you can always add a splash to any of these alternatives for a more authentic mango flavor as well.

1. Apricot Jam

Apricot jam is possibly the best substitute for mango chutney. The great thing about using apricot jam is that you have two options. You could either use store-bought apricot jam, or you could try to make it yourself at home.

Apricots and peaches are very similar, and depending on their age, they can be sweet or tart, and both are used to achieve different tasting jams. Tart apricots are often good to use, as their tartness works well with the sugar added in.

The tart and sweetness of apricots are very similar to mangoes, which is why they are the best substitute for mango chutney. The tartness is what makes the chutney so great to use in sweet and savory dishes, and what makes for such a good chutney.

Making the apricot jam at home allows you to tweak it more to your taste, and to be suited towards what you would be using it for in cooking.

Making apricot jam is simple, and you only need a few ingredients. These ingredients include apricots, lemon juice, and white sugar.

These are all added together into a pot, preferably a jam pot, and allow it to come to a boil as the sugar melts. After about half an hour, the apricot jam will be thick enough.

You can then salt or add some more lemon juice to the apricot jam to make it taste more like a chutney, and be more suitable to be used for cooking. You can keep the jam in sterilized mason jars.

Good substitute for:

Apricot jam is a good substitute for mango chutney when making chicken dishes, fish dishes, and sweet desserts. The two are very similar, so they are quite interchangeable.

What you need to add:

Apricot jam might be slightly sweeter than mango chutney at times, so you will need to add in a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to give it a little extra tartness if needed. Some salt might also help to balance the flavors more.

2. Peach Chutney

Using peaches as a replacement for mango chutney gives you two options – you could either use peach chutney or peach marmalade.

Just like with apricot jam – you can make your own peach chutney at home. This gives you the opportunity to add in more or fewer ingredients that you want or want to avoid, to make it more suitable for cooking. 

To make peach chutney at home, you will need some peaches, sugar, white vinegar, ginger, onions, and mustard. If you like some extra flavor, you could add in garlic, raisins, or red chili pepper flakes.

All these ingredients need to be simmered together on medium heat. There really are no hard rules on how to chop your ingredients or how much to add to each, it will be a personal taste.

Once all the ingredients have simmered down together and thickened, you can store them in sterilized mason jars.

Other than peach chutney, you could use peach marmalade. Peach marmalade will not be as sweet as mango chutney, but it has a more bitter taste. However, this can be adjusted with some extra sugar.

Good Substitute For:

Peach chutney is a good substitute for mango chutney when cooking with pork, duck, or serving it alongside cheese. It is also a wonderful condiment on the side of stews, casseroles, and curries, and takes the place of mango chutney well.

What you need to add:

Peach chutney is pretty similar to mango chutney, and there should not be too much of a difference. You could add in a small amount of lemon juice to give a little more sourness or tartness, that mango has.

For peach marmalade, you might have to add in some extra sweetness. This could be sugar, honey, or syrup. This will just help round off the flavors a little more and give that extra balance between sweet and tart that mango chutney has.

3. Fig Jam

Fig jam is not as popular as apricot jam or peach chutney, but it is another good substitute for mango chutney. You can make fig jam at home as well, once again allowing you to make it to your tastes and preferences.

Making fig jam is so simple – you simmer some figs in a saucepan for a few minutes until they soften and release their juices, and then add in lemon juice and sugar to your taste. This needs to be cooked for a little while until it is thick and resembles jam. It can then be stored in sterilized mason jars.

Depending on the age and the type of fig, the jam could taste like sugar or even melons, their ability to taste like many other foods is what makes them a good replacement for mango chutney.

You can also find fig jam ready-made in stores, although it might be a little more expensive as figs are considered to be more of a luxury fruit.

Good Substitute For:

Fig jam, as it is sweet, is a good mango chutney substitute for dishes that need a boost of sweetness. This could be for sauces, gravies, curries, and chicken bakes. It is also a good substitute for desserts and sweet dishes.

What you need to add:

Fig jam is usually quite sweet, and considerably more so than mango chutney. You might have to balance out the sweetness with a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice, or the sweetness might be overwhelming in a savory dish.

4. Cranberries

Cranberries are a popular fruit used in many dishes, both savory and sweet, and they also make a good substitute for mango chutney.

Cranberries are not as sweet as mangoes and give a tarter flavor to dishes when used in a mango chutney’s place. When using cranberries as a substitute for mango chutney, you need to cook them down and add some sugar to them, as well as lemon juice, to give it a sweet flavor.

You can do this at home and leave the mixture to simmer on the stove for some time until it thickens. To give it a more complex flavor, you could add in some red chili, mustard, ginger, garlic, and other herbs and spices.

Good substitute for:

Cranberries work well with red meat dishes which have quite a high salt content. The cranberry sauce seems to even this out without being overly sweet.

What you need to add:

As cranberries are quite tart, you might need to add in some sugar, honey, or syrup to give it some more sweetness.

5. Melon Chutney

Melon chutney is not something most of us are used to, but it actually makes for a wonderful substitute for mango chutney, and you can easily make it at home.

To make melon chutney, you would need melons (such as honeydew or canteloupe), apples, sugar, cinnamon, vinegar, onions, garlic, and red chili.

Cook all of these together until thick and smooth and jar the resulting chutney and use it to make some delicious meals at home.

Melon cooks down really easily, so it will besmoother than mango chutney.

Good substitute for:

Use melon chutney for salty foods such as red meat and bacon, and with cheese on sandwiches and crackers.

What you need to add:

As you can cook the melon chutney from scratch, you can make it to your liking. If anything, you might have to add in some sugar to sweeten it a bit. Some red chili also helps to give the chutney more of a kick.

What Mango Chutney Substitutes Are Best For

There is no rule on what substitutes are best used for what dish. However, there are some general guidelines on what the substitutes should be used for so that you get the best possible results.

For saltier foods, peach, melon, cranberry, apricot or fig jams or chutneys are best. You could always add in some salt, sugar, or lemon juice to even out the flavors if needed.

Mango chutney, and its substitutes, are particularly tasty when used for dishes containing pork, chicken, and duck

When it comes to sweet dishes and desserts, your best bet would be to use apricot jam or fig jam. These have a wonderful sweetness, but still have a complexity of flavor to add to your dish.

If you were planning to use the mango chutney on toast and crackers, or for snacks and cheese, use a marmalade in its place. Too much sweetness isn’t needed, and the bitter taste of the marmalade works well.

If you are looking for the closest substitution possible and want to play it safe, use apricot jam or peach chutney. You can’t go wrong with these two choices!

Related Questions

What Is Mango Chutney? What Does It Taste Like?

Mango chutney is a preserve made from cooking down mangoes with other ingredients, such as apples, red peppers, onions, sugar, raisins, ginger, and sometimes garlic.

All these ingredients are all cooked together for quite some time until it is tender and thick.

Mango chutney is ideal to use in cooking many savory dishes, and is especially good when served with chicken.

The acidity in the mangoes and the vinegar adds to the tangy taste of the chutney, with the sweetness coming from the raisins, sugar, and fresh mango.

A mix of sweet and savory flavors, mango chutney has the perfect balance to use for cooking sweet and savory dishes.

Here is how best to use mango chutney for different dishes:

Meat – Mango chutney can be served with chicken, pork, and lamb. You can thin chutney down to use as a glaze for roast chicken and duck, and it can be used as a thicker glaze for pork and lamb – or to make a delicious gravy.

Sandwiches – Take your sandwiches to the next level by adding some mango chutney to your chicken salad sandwich, or as an extra kick in a grilled cheese.

Cheese – Mango chutney goes great with cheese, thanks to its sweet and tart flavor. It goes particularly well with brie and cream cheese.

Is Mango Chutney the Same as Mango Salsa?

No, mango chutney is very different from mango salsa. Besides having a different flavor and texture, chutney is cooked down with ingredients such as sugar, vinegar, mustard, and ginger until a thick consistency is reached.

Salsa is when fresh ingredients are chopped up and mixed together, usually with tomatoes and herbs to add some extra flavor.

How Long Can I Keep Homemade Mango Chutney for?

Mango chutney can be stored for up to 2 months, thanks to its high acidity.

The chutney will have to be stored in an airtight container and be kept free from any contaminants. It should be kept in the fridge at a low temperature.

For a longer lifespan, you could keep the chutney in the freezer.

Which Vinegar Is Best for Chutney?

When making chutney, an important ingredient to add is vinegar. There are quite a few vinegar options available.

Distilled vinegar is the strongest, and works best as a preservative, and is possibly the best choice to make chutney. Other options include malt vinegar, which gives a tastier finish, or white wine vinegar.

How Can I Lessen the Acidity in Homemade Chutney?

If you have made some chutney at home and it is too acidic, you can neutralize it by adding in some baking soda.

Start with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and add it to the chutney. Mix it together and have a taste to see if it has lessened the acidity. 

If not, add in another ¼ teaspoon and taste again. Add in a small amount at a time and taste as you go.

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