Is it incorrect to use oil when making chutneys. I would like to fry some spices in oil before making a tomato OR mango chtuney
There is nothing wrong with frying your spices in oil, in fact I think you *need* to do so to make a really tasty tomato chutney. Mango chutney, however, and I'm speaking more of the Western version also known as Major Grey's, seems more akin to a relish, in which case I would forgo the oil and simply toast my spices.
I see no reason why spices shouldnt be fried - although I can't recall seeing that process in any of my chutney/pickle recipes.
I often dry fry or toast my spices before using, including in chutneys, but have not done so with oil (for chutneys). However, I do caramelize onions in fat when I make bacon jam, for example, so do not see a problem with it at all.