I confess, I am a lazy cook!
Like all good Indian wives and mothers, I too love to whip up delicacies for my husband and child.
The reality - Juggling between a demanding job, house and a toddler in his terrible two's, my passion for cooking is limited to something simple and quick that helps me save "me time" yet bring a smile of satisfaction on the faces of my loved ones.
My fondest memories of summers from my childhood are related to mangoes. Since we weren't a typical small nuclear family (we are 4 siblings!), mom would make frequent trips to the wholesale fruit and veggie market (called Mandi in Hindi) and come home with Aam ki peti! (wooden cartons used in wholesale markets, containing anywhere between 5-10kg mangoes). The mangoes would be welcomed with a lavish dip in bucket of water from where they would be carefully picked by each one of us at our own wish.
Mom would also get the most amazing ambi/raw mangoes/kairi. While most would be used for the annual mango pickle ritual, a sizeable lot was saved for the aam panna. Another delightful side dish mom prepared was the ambi/raw mango launji - a raw mango chutney. Mom would make lot of it at one go and we would eat it with our morning paranthas.
I had been craving for mango launji since the time mangoes announced the arrival of summers. But the very thought of standing in front of the gas for long would make me chicken out!
Finally, my mom in law came to my rescue and taught me to prepare instant raw mango launji. At first, I was apprehensive, but believe me, the moment I took a bite of launji with parantha, it tasted just like the raw mango chutney I once ordered from Kitchens Of India.
Sharing the recipe.
Preparation time - 10-15min
Ingredients (for one bowl chutney)
- Raw mango - 1 large, peeled and shredded/diced into mouthful pieces
- Salt - to taste
- Black pepper - to taste
- Water - 2 cup
- Jaggery - 1 cup chopped (you can increase/decrease the quantity to alter the sweetness)
- Desi ghee - 1 tbsp
- Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
- Asafoetida - a pinch
1. Heat ghee in a kadai, add asafoetida and cumin seeds and allow the cumin seeds to crackle.
2. Once the cumin seeds crackle, add the shredded raw mango.
3. Add salt and pepper and mix. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
4. Add 2 cup water. Cover and allow the water to boil
5. When the raw mango becomes tender, Add the chopped jaggery. Cover and cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
6. Check the consistency. Once the chutney thickens to a chutney like consistency and the jaggery gives it a beautiful brown colour, the chutney is ready!
7. Transfer to a bowl and serve chilled with paranthas.
The chutney has a shelf life of 3-4 days when stored in refrigerator. However, it tastes so awesome that you will most likely finish it on the first day itself!
While it is the perfect accompaniment for paranthas, it can also add zing to an otherwise boring meal.
While we used to have many varieties of mangoes in the North - Safeda (tastes best in mango shake), saroli, chausa, langda, dussehri, totapuri, my favourite ones were the langda and the chausa, simply for their sweetness and abundant pulp! I could have anywhere between 3-4 chausa at a time! However, Mumbai boasts of Alphonsos (though I am yet to learn to identify the authentic ones) and Kesar and our palates are slowly getting conditioned to them.
Which is your favourite mango variety? Do you have an interesting mango recipe to share? Do let me know in the comments section.