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Difference between Chutney and Pickle

Pickle and chutney both are made from fruits and vegetables and often look similar. As they share some features, people often confuse chutneys with pickles. Let us see how they differ from each other!


Chutney is a spicy condiment of Indian origin that is generally made from fruits or vegetables mixed with vinegar, spices, sugar and other ingredients, depending on the texture, aroma and flavour required. It is also a way of preserving a seasonal glut of fruits or vegetables.

Chutney has a blend of sweet and savory flavour. Its consistency varies greatly from smooth to chunky or thick. The sourness in a chutney is the result of tangy liquids added to it like lemon juice, vinegar etc. For sweet flavour a certain amount of sugar can be added to the chutney. Chutneys generally do not contain any preservative so cannot be kept fresh for long periods of time and should be consumed soon.


Pickles are basically fruits or vegetables that have been made sour through pickling, a process that preserves or increases the life of fruits or vegetables by anaerobic fermentation or by immersing them in vinegar. Pickling not only increases the life of fruits or vegetables but also imparts new flavor and texture to the fruits and vegetables.

Pickles are mostly prepared from fruits and vegetables in different ways. The most common method involves the use of ingredients like oil, salt, chili powder and other condiments along with the main fruit or vegetable. The fruits or vegetables are left raw in pieces or whole for few days until they are dry. Then spices, herbs etc., are added to vegetables and then after few days they are immersed in vinegar, an acidic liquid and oil for few days or until they are no longer considered raw.

Sweet pickles are prepared by mixing lightly cooked vegetables with sweet vinegar. Fruits and vegetables are usually cut into large pieces or can be used whole to make pickles. You can pickle a lot of fruits, vegetables, fishes etc.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between pickle and chutney are as follows:

Chutney Pickle
It is a spicy condiment of Indian origin made from fruits or vegetables. It is a raw fruit or vegetable that is sun-dried and marinated in brine or flavored oil.
Smaller pieces of fruits and vegetables are used in the preparation of chutneys. Fruits and vegetables are cut into larger pieces in the preparation of pickles.
It has a smoother consistency. It does not have a smooth consistency.
Whole fruits and vegetables cannot be used. Whole fruits or vegetables can be used to make pickles.
The cut fruits or vegetables are not dried in sun instead they are used in the fresh form and often ground to make a paste. The cut vegetables or fruits are dried in the sun before mixing with spices and oil.
It is devoid of any preservative and required to be consumed soon or within 3 to 4 days. It is meant to be preserved for months. It has a longer shelf life than chutneys.
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