Chetney Sauce

Bengal Receipt



  • Stoned raisins, 4 oz.
  • grabs, or other acid fruit, ½ lb.
  • coarse sugar, 4 oz.
  • powdered ginger, 2 oz.
  • salt, 2 oz.
  • cayenne pepper, 2 oz.
  • garlic, 1 oz.
  • vinegar, enough to dilute it properly.


Stone four ounces of good raisins, and chop them small, with half a pound of crabs, sour apples, unripe bullaces,* or of any other hard acid fruit. Take four ounces of coarse brown sugar, two of powdered ginger, and the same quantity of salt and cayenne pepper; grind these ingredients separately in a mortar, as fine as possible; then pound the fruits well, and mix the spices with them, one by one; beat them together until they are perfectly blended, and add gradually as much vinegar as will make the sauce of the consistence of thick cream. Put it into bottles with an ounce of garlic, divided into cloves, and cork it tightly.

Obs.—This favourite oriental sauce is compounded in a great variety of ways; but some kind of acid fruit is essential to it. The mango is used in India; here gooseberries, while still hard and green, are sometimes used for it; and ripe red chilies and tomatas are mixed with the other ingredients. The sauce keeps better if it be exposed to a gentle degree of heat for a week or two, either by the side of the fire, or in a full southern aspect in the sun: the heat of a very slow oven, in which it might be left for a night, would propably have a still better effect. In this case it must be put into a jar or bottles, and well secured from the air. Half a pound of gooseberries, or of these and tamarinds from the shell, and green apples mixed, and the same weight of salt, stoned raisins, brown sugar, powdered ginger, chilies, and garlic, with a pint and a half of vinegar, and the juice of three large lemons, will make another genuine Bengal chetney.

* Hard acid fruit in a crude state is, we think, an ingredient not much to b recommended; and it is always better to deviate a little from “an approve receipt” than to endanger health by the use of ingredients of a questionable character. Gooseberries or tomatas, after being subjected to a moderate degree of heat, might be eaten with far less hazard.