One of the best things about summer in India is the abundance of mangoes! Walking into a fruit store these days makes me feel like a kid in the candy store – so many varieties of mangoes to choose from! My father tends to go overboard while mango shopping but thanks to my mother, we don’t end up covering every surface at home with the ‘king of fruits’.
The mango crop in Gujarat has been a little unsatisfactory this year, says my father and the newspapers. But that doesn’t seem to have stopped the average Gujarati – and by that, I mean any person living in this Indian state – from indulging their love for mangoes!
Following in the footsteps, breakfasts – and snacks – at the Bhaumick household are all about fresh mangoes. But what we look forward to is lunchtime, when the meal is wrapped up with the lip-smacking kaacha aamer chaatni or Raw Mango Chutney.
The Oxford Dictionary defines chutney as ‘A spicy condiment of Indian origin, made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar.’ And rightly so, except when it comes to Bengali chaatni. The Bengali’s chaatni is a course served before the dessert. Traditionally served with papad, in the modern household that controls its sugar intake, the chaatni is often the savoury dessert.
The kaacha aamer chaatni holds an important place at the Bhaumick household’s lunch table. No summer meal is complete without a healthy serving of this chaatni. Such is the demand that Maa makes enough to fill a bottle or two and these last us only a week!
As is in the case of the Tomato aar Khejur Chaatni, this chaatni is also a breeze. The most important factor here is getting the balance of sweet and sour right and THAT depends entirely on your palate. Maa and I choose to make this chaatni with jaggery for health and taste reasons, you can easily use granulated sugar. Check the notes section at the end of the recipe for some more tips.
Don’t forget to tell me if you are making this chaatni at home! To stay updated on new recipes, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. You could also subscribe and be a part of the mailing list. Until then, happy cooking and eating!
- 200 grams Raw green mango cubed
- 1 tablespoon Mustard oil
- ½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 1 Dried red chilli
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 200 grams Jaggery
- 1 tablespoon Ginger grated
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 cup Water
- ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek seeks
- ¼ teaspoon Fennel seeds
Scrub the mango, peel and cut into cubes. Retain the mango seed; that too can be added to the chaatni.
- Let the seeds splutter. Then add the cubed mangoes to the hot oil and stir well, coating all the mango with oil.
Cook for a few minutes letting the mango cubes take a golden hue.
- Add the salt. Stir and cook for 5 minutes till the mango pieces have started to soften.
- Pour in water and bring to a boil.
- Cover and cook on medium flame for around 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
(Optional) In a small pan, roast the fenugreek and fennel seeds till fragrant. Cool and grind into a powder. Sprinkle the powder on the chaatni.
Serve the chaatni cool or cold, at the end of the meal or before the dessert.
- If you don’t have dried red chilli, stick to chilli powder for the light heat.
- The sweetness of jaggery differs; I recommend you taste the jaggery before using it to gauge the amount needed to maintain the balance of sweet and sour.
- If you want a syrupy chaatni, remove from flame after 5-6 minutes. If you prefer the more thick variety, cook further.