For me, summer is synonymous with mangoes…all kinds, any which way.A fruit which fills my heart with joy whether it is in ripe or unripe form.It brings a truck load of childhood memories & recipes relished summer after summer.My grandmother’s recipes are unbeatable when it comes to this tropical fruit.While most of the ripened variety was devoured on its own,her creative side was at its best when she cooked with green mangoes.
In India, we get the best variety of mangoes from May end till July end.My grandmother used to wait for the Pre Monsoon showers.She said that the wind before the rain would bring the unripe fruit from the branches down to the ground and then they will hit the market.All her summer afternoons were spent working with the green mangoes or better known as Kairis, washing them,peeling them, grating few for chutneys, cubing some for relish, chopping few for jam and such.Then there were coolers and beverages followed by an endless list of pickles she used to make.These were the months when she made enough preservs to last thorough the year.She was so fussy & serious about her mango business that the summer vacations ideas were put off or planned to suit her availability.
There were jams for breakfast,chutneys with the meals,mangoes added to curries & lentils and juicy mango slices served as desserts.After having lived such times, summer feels incomplete if I do not make few mango delicacies.This recipe is one of my favorites.Its easy,healthy and tasty at the same time.
The concept of chutney has its roots in India - a saucy paste with grated,minced or whole fruit or vegetable.Any kind of chutney is a mandatory accompaniment to meals in my home.During summers,the usual green chutney is replaced by this green mango recipe that I m sharing in this post.
Aam is Hindi for Mango, Kalaunji is Hindi for Nigella seeds, which for some reason shortens to ‘launji‘. So basically this is a chutney/relish of green mangoes with Nigella seeds and sweetened with jaggery or ‘gur/gud‘. Jaggery is nothing but unrefined sugar from sugarcane or palm tree.The consumption of Jaggery is quite popular in all parts of India especially during winter months because it is supposed to keep the body warm and active.Being unrefined, concentrated form of sugar, jaggery is full of nutrients and is considered very good for health.The best part about Jaggery besides being a iron resource is that unlike sugar,you dont have to worry about calories.Jaggery will never let you gain weight and helps to combat anaemia in women.You can easily get it in Indian stores in powdered or slab form.I recommend buying a brand which is imported from India.Another point to note is that stale/old jaggery is blackish brown in color & is bitter in taste, fresh one is golden-yellow in color & sweet in taste. Some tips there.Another ingredient which gives this chutney a typical tang is use of black salt or kala namak which is a pungent smelling, slightly pinkish rock salt widely used in India street food,beverages and preserves.Again you can get it at indian stores easily.
Having said that, you can eat as much of this chutney as you want without having to think about gaining weight and stuff.I literally snack on it.Its tangy with sour mangoes and the caramalized sugars from jaggery give it a luscious feel and then spices take it to a whole new dimension.I dont like to weigh down the tang of chutneys I make with lots of sugar/jaggery,so you ll need to adjust the quantity in the recipe below.This is a recipe which is bound to leave you licking your fingers and asking for more.Enjoy it with papads, nachos, chips, stuff it inside pita pockets, mix it with your marinades, add it to you salad dressings…in short make it for sure coz it is one ‘to-die-for’ relish!Below goes the recipe:-
Ingredients:- [Makes approx 3.5 cups of chutney]
- 3 cups chopped green mango [from 2 large mangoes,raw & sour]
- 1 tbsp mustard/sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp Nigella seeds[kalaunji]
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds [methi dana]
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp red chilli flakes [adjust to taste]
- 1 tsp black salt/kala namak [substitute with normal salt/adjust to taste]
- 6 tbsp of jaggery
- If using a jaggery slab, with the help of a sharp knife cut it into small pieces.Set aside.
- In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil on medium heat.If using mustard oil- heat it to smoking point to do away the raw smell.
- Once heated, add the Nigella, fenugreek, cumin & fennel seeds to the pot.Wait till they crackle & you smell the aroma.About 30 seconds.
- Next add the turmeric powder and red chilli flakes to the pot.Cook for another 30 seconds.TIP:Whenever adding turmeric powder to hot oil, keep a watch because it burns easily.
- Add the chopped green mangoes to the pot and stir on medium heat to combine well with the other ingredients.Stir for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
- Next, cover the pot with a lid, reduce the heat to low and let the mangoes cook till they are 90% cooked but not mushy.About 15-20 minutes.Again note that this cooking time will depend on how thick you have cut the mangoes.
- Add the jaggery to the pot next and combine gently with mangoes.You will see that as the jaggery will cook, it will release water.Do not worry.Everything is as per plan.
- Cover the pot again and cook on low heat for another 7-10 minutes until the jaggery has completely melted and mangoes are cooked thoroughly. At this point add the black salt and roasted cumin powder and stir well.
- Remove from heat.If you want, you can crush the cooked mangoes slightly using a masher.
- As the chuntey will cool, it will become more and more thick so don’t worry if you feel that its is watery when hot.
- Once the chutney has cooled, transfer to dry, air tight jars and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.