Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kairi chutney/Ambule Gojju / Konkani Raw Mango Chutney



I love both raw and ripe mangoes. During my college days, I and my friends used to buy the masala kairi from a vendor who used to sit outside our college during summer afternoons. He would cut the kairi into pieces and apply salt and secret masala (chili powder and other spices). It was a awesome, tangy snack which I miss here in the US.

In the past when there were no refrigerators, my maternal grandmother, who lived in Mangalore, would preserve raw mangoes in sterilized water. In this manner, the mangoes could be used year round, even when the fresh mangoes were not available. She would boil handful of salt and water in a vessel and then add raw mangoes to the water. When cooled, the mangoes along with the water would be put in a ceramic contained called "bharni". Copper aluminum or iron containers could react with the sour mangoes, hence ceramic jars were used. This jar would be kept in a cool and dark place. When fresh mangoes were not available, my grandmother would take out a raw mango from the jar, peel it and use the flesh to make this chutney. My mother also would store around 15-20 mangoes using the same method when we were in Pune. Another method to store the mangoes is to cut the raw mangoes and put them in a glass bottle with salt and keep them in the fridge. The mangoes keep up to 6-9 months if stored in this manner. Raw Mango contains lot of vitamin A and vitamin C and has low sodium. When we were young, we were given mashed rice mixed with milk and ambule gojju as a side dish.

I don't get good raw mangoes here in the US. The raw mangoes I buy from the Indian store have a sweet taste, and they don't impart the sour taste and flavor of Indian raw mango. I then tried the chutney with the frozen kairi from the Indian store. This imported frozen kairi turned out to be very tasty and had the smell and flavor of the Indian kairi. I don't peel the mango skin while making this chutney. This chutney can be served with both rice and chapatti.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup kairi/raw mango pieces
1/2 cup grated coconut
1-2 garlic pods (optional for people who don't like garlic)
1-2 methi (fenugreek) seeds
one pinch heeng or asafoetida
salt as per taste
1-2 green chili

Method:

Grind all the ingredients into a fine paste. Serve immediately after preparing.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves 4-5

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