Updated: Feb 21, 2022
Technically, the title of this recipe is missing a very important descriptor; Kancha or Raw; because according to any Bengali, persons identify
ing with the Kolkata region of India as home, this dish should not be attempted with anything other than raw mangoes.
This dish pretty much sums up Indian summers for me. A Bengali dish that serves as a transition to clear the palate between the non-vegetarian course and dessert.
Like the Shrimp Malai Curry, I did not attempt this dish for a long time because I didn't ever feel like I had raw mangoes that were just right for this dish. Then one day, I bought some mangoes that were just meh in terms of taste. Neither sweet, nor sour. So instead of chucking them, I decided to make this chutney. I was pleasantly surprised. Since then, I have taken advantage of living in California and having fruits and vegetable available year round to make this dish at times other than the summer.
Of course, summer was just one aspect of the dish. The world in which this dish was being made was just as important as the dish for me. Sitting alongside Thamma (paternal grandmother) as she peeled the mangoes, waiting for a couple of raw pieces that I could dunk in salt and chilli. I can taste the tangy, salty, spiciness....(tongue watering) knowing all the time that the mango pieces were just a pit stop before pulling into the station of the main dish, where the most exciting part, the mango pit would be waiting for ME. I’m so grateful for those times and the sweet memories.
The mangoes I used were not totally raw. I haven’t been able to find them but this was a pretty close approximation.
This chutney was served in lieu of a heavy dessert over the summer. This chutney, the original recipe, leans very much towards the sauce being liquid. If you overcook and evaporate too much of the water, the chutney will just be thicker, like a jam. Nothing else. This mango chutney is enjoyed best when it's at room temperature or chilled.
Pair it with some Rice, veggies, daal - you are good to go!
1 peeled and slivered raw mango
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed
1 dry red chilli whole
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
1-1/2 cup water
1-2 tsp sugar (to taste)
salt (to taste)
Start with a smaller sided sauce pan; about 1 quart (4 cups) capacity.
Heat the oil on high.
Add mustard seeds and dry red chilli (and move away quickly while it starts spulttering)
Add the mango pieces and stir.
Add the water. The water in the pot should mostly cover the mangoes. Bring to a boill and reduce heat.
Cook simmering and uncovered for about 30 minutes or till the water level has reduced some and there is a little thickness to the liquid. If you overcook and evaporate too much of the water, the chutney will just be thicker, like a jam. Nothing else.
Turn off the heat, add the sugar, and stir. Removed from heat.
Enjoyed best when it's at room temperature or chilled.
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