Condiments are something that can elevate the taste of any dish, you just name it. These are the little blobs of flavour that is a part of every traditional Indian thali, no matter in which state you are. Condiments can spice up every single bite of the food and gives a spicy, tangy, or even sweet twist. Not only do they enhance the flavour, but complement the dish. It brings out a flavour that might be missing in the thali. Most common Indian condiments are different types of chutneys, pickles, and raitas (made from curd). 

Also Read: From Ketchup To Chutney To Sauces Ever Wondered Where Condiments Came From?

There is no denying the fact we Indians are deeply connected with the tradition of using condiments for so many years. Now, apart from lending a great flavour to our daily food, they are also said to have great and effective medicinal qualities. This is because of the spices used to make these condiments. Undoubtedly, they are an essential part of our Indian food culture.  

Whenever I have my food, I always need green chutney or ‘Tadke wala dahi’. I don’t know if it is only me or if everybody does that. With different flavours, textures, and colours, it is hard to judge the condiments by their look but we are thankful for the explosion of flavours it brings. 

Pickles 

Coming to the first and most important condiment of an Indian thali. Packed with spices and oils, pickles are both whole and powdered at times. Pickles from fruits and vegetables commonly known as ‘aachar’ can go with literally anything. Be it from North Indian food to South Indian food, from chole bhature to dosa, from rajma chawal to curd rice, pickles are an essential part and we all know this. Now the versatility of these pickles is not hidden from anyone. You can make pickles from raw mangoes, chilies, lemon, garlic, carrots, tamarind, etc. You name it and we can make an aachar out of it. 

See: 3 Pickle Recipes To Add A Punjabi Touch To Your Fare

Kachumber is not like pickles but is made using chopped vegetables like tomato and onions drenched in salt and lemon juice. One can always add vegetables of their choice. These Kachumbers can add a soulful flavour to your meal and will leave you happy and satisfied. Another condiment made from chilies is famous in South India. ‘Mor Milagai’ is a delicious and crisp chili marinated in curd, dried in sun, and then fried in oil. They are often served along with curd rice.  

Chutneys 

This discussion could not be completed without having the mention of chutneys. Chutneys are a combination of ingredients like spices and herbs put together and grind into a tangy paste. Often made up of green vegetables, vegetables, and even fruits, chutneys are a part of every meal across the state. Be it an Indian thali, or a bowl of chat, having chutney is a must.  

Coming to the types we have chutneys in, green chutney is the ultimate classic and my personal favourite. Made with fresh coriander and mint leaves, its flavour elevates to the next level. This chutney is used with roti, parathas, chaat, or even pakoras. The next is tamarind chutney that we call red chutney. This chutney is sweet and tangy chutney served along with dahi Bhalla, kachori, and chaat.  

Have a look: Bengali Tomato Chutney: No Bengali Spread Is Complete Without This Sweet Chutney, Recipe Inside

Other variants are garlic chutney, pudina-dahi chutney often served with chicken and paneer tikkas, and sweet and spicy tomato chutney that goes best with cheelas and paranthas. Andhra Gongura Pachadi is a tangy and spicy chutney made with gongura leaves and served with steamed rice with a dollop of ghee. These are all with a liquid consistency. Coming to the powdered form, Puli Inji chutney is a famous delight. Made with tamarind and ginger, this chutney complements rice, idli or dosa, or literally anything. Chutney podis are a dry version of chutneys mostly eaten in South India. One can always add ghee, curd, or a little oil to make it a liquid consistency.  

Raita 

Raitas made up of curd are flavourful and spicy condiments that spice up the food. They are cooling and soothing pairings. Normally, raita has whisked curd, cumin powder, salt, and chaat masala. Sometimes, boondi is added into it while sometimes vegetables are added. You can have a variety of raitas. Be it boondi ka raita, gajar ka raita, ghiye ka raita and even bathue ka raita. We also have a pineapple raita. Any ingredient you think that might go well with curd could be used to make raita.  

Indeed, these Indian condiments are the actual stars that we all look forward to in a meal. Let us know which condiment is your favorite.