Monday, May 23, 2016

Green Mango Chutney


This recipe is almost similar to the one in my last post. But when it's the season of green mangoes, one doesn't look for too many options. Chutney or pickle...these are the first things that come to mind.:)
I just got back from a short trip to Haflong. My last visit there about a month ago was  to vote for the MLA (Member of Legislature) elections. My brother-in-law had contested and this time the results were declared. He won by more than 8000 votes. The oath-taking ceremony is tomorrow.
Due to incessant rain the damage to property in our town and in adjoining areas has been immense.  My hometown is on hilly terrain and landslides have been bad this year. We can only hope that the rain stops.
Fallen tree on the roadside, muddy river and more rain-bearing clouds
But otherwise, taking the road to Haflong has always pleasant. The landscape changes drastically once the first rains come. From November to March, much of the landscape is dry but for the rest of the year, the never-ending green is beautiful!

Every house has a mango tree or two. And at my mother's the tree that has borne fruits ever since I was a child is still going strong. My nephew plucked a bunch of mangoes that I brought back with me. Back home it's the garden-of-plenty as there were many other vegetables and leafy greens that went into a fish stew for my first meal at my mother's.

My nephew holds the greens ( from the brassica family) that we had just picked. In the background are areca nut trees. The small bushes on both sides are a variety of edible clerodendrum, the East Indian Glory Bower. And now to the recipe. Like most of my recipes, this one also does not follow exact measurements. I used 4 green mangoes and the other ingredients were added according to that quantity.

Ingredients:
4 green mangoes
2 dried red chillies broken into bits
3 Indian bay leaves/tejpatta, twisted and torn into halves
Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Cumin powder
Coriander powder
Ginger powder
Red chilli powder
About 2 cups jaggery, grated
2 tbs mustard oil
3-4 tsp lemon juice
Panch puran also written as panch phoron ( a mix of 5 spices mostly used in our region which includes an equal mix of cumin, mustard, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds).
Cumin and coriander seeds used in this recipe were toasted and ground earlier. 

Method: 
Wash the mangoes and peel them. We use mangoes with seeds that are very tender. Dice the flesh and discard the white seeds.
Heat the mustard oil in a pan. As soon as it comes to smoking point, add the panch puran, the bay leaves and the red chillies.
Add the diced mangoes and cook for a couple of minutes.
Now add the rest of the spices and sprinkle a bit of water so that the powdered spices do not burn.
Cook till the mango pieces wilt and turn soft. There is no need to add any water.
Add the grated jaggery. As the jaggery cooks it will look as if there is too much liquid in the dish but it will soon thicken.
When the consistency becomes like a thick sauce, squeeze in the lemon juice, give it a good mix and remove from the flame. 
Once the mixture cools down, transfer the chutney to clean jars.
Mangoes on my tree
This chutney need not be refrigerated. It will last for a couple of weeks.
I like it best as an accompaniment to our flatbreads. With pooris, it's simply delicious! 
Fresh ginger can also be used. There was some ginger powder left in my pantry and I finished it off by adding it to this chutney. Adding another acidic element like lemon juice or even amchoor (dried mango powder) adds more zing to the taste. And if you like it sweeter, you can add more jaggery.
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