A tangy sauce made of dried fruit (usually apricots) and chillies cooked in vinegar; chutney.
Archaic forms: blaatgham, blatcham
Origin: Afrikaans, Malay
It is probable that in late 19th century Afrikaans this word still had two meanings:
1. A. Pannevis’s Afskrif van Lys van Afrikaanse Woorde en Uitdrukkings (1880) defines ‘Bladjang’ as being made of dried chillies and stewed dried apricots in vinegar;
2. H.C.V. Leibbrandt’s Het Kaapsch Hollandsch (1882) lists ‘Balachan’ and ‘Blatchong’, both with the same meaning as the Malay belachan; and the Woordelijst van het Transvaalsch Taaleigen (1890) includes ‘Blatjang’, defined as ‘een zeker gerecht’ (a certain dish).
When you say ‘blatjang’ or ‘chutney’ in South Africa, you really mean ‘Mrs. Ball’s Original Recipe Chutney. It is nonpareil.
The Woodstock, Cape Town factory that first made Mrs. Balls’s chutney, opened in 1917.