A Little Bit of Chutney on the Side

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Chutney is a traditional condiment made from fruits and vegetables. It can be in the form of a tomato relish, yogurt, or mint dipping sauce. 

Despite serving the condiment aplenty, San Francisco’s Chutney Restaurant is anything but a side dish. 

How Chutney Started 

It begins with a 21-year-old immigrant. Mohammad Bajwa was a college graduate from Pakistan with a degree in physics and math. He immigrated to America from Pakistan in 1971 with nothing more than a few dollars in his pocket and a desire to make something of himself.

Mohammed took advantage of opportunities around him and worked in corporate America for 20 years. He also worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and dabbled in real estate as a mortgage broker. Still, something was missing. Mohammed wanted to venture out and start his own business. 

Before Chutney, Mohammed opened a few American-style restaurants. When those did not end up working out, he decided to return to his Pakistani roots. 

Chutney opened in 2002. The vision was to provide a cheaper dining experience featuring Indian-Pakistani fusion food for the community and neighborhood. It didn’t take long for the restaurant to find success. And while Mohammed currently resides in Danville, he lived in San Francisco for 25 years and maintains a deep connection with the city. 

Providing Halal Meat to the Community 

One thing Mohammad makes sure to provide for his city is halal meat. A majority of the customers that visit his restaurant are Muslims. With Chutney, Mohammad can provide authentic, halal-friendly cuisine for those in San Francisco who might not have the opportunity to find ethnic food in other parts of the city.

Charity During Ramadan 

In addition to providing halal meat to the community, Mohammed also offers charitable services during Ramadan. 

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. 

Chutney provides free food during Iftar, also known as ftoor, which is the evening meal that Muslims have after daily fasting. 

Ramadan brings the Muslim community together during a religious time, where Muslims fast and reflect. “We provide pakoras, fruit chaat, samosas, and dates for everyone who wants to come break their fast, “ Mohammed said. “But it’s just not limited to Muslims during Ramadan, anyone can come and eat the Iftar food if they wish. We want everyone to be a part of our community during this time.” 

Support Muslim-Owned Businesses 

For many Muslims, going out to eat at restaurants can be a challenge when the restaurants don’t provide halal meat. Supporting Muslim-owned restaurants is necessary because of how important they are to the community. 

Chutney, especially during Ramadan, provides a safe space for Muslims to enjoy Iftar and build a community around them. By supporting Mohammad’s restaurant, you’ll be helping support the Muslim community as well. 

Check out Chutney at their location in San Francisco and support a new community today!

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