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.


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


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

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves 4-5

Stuffed Brinjal / Eggplant or Bharlile Vaingan

This is a quick recipe and goes well with rice and roti. I am posting two versions of this recipe. My mother prepares this recipe in the traditional way and stuffs the eggplants with onion and coconut masala. This was one of my favourite dishes. Whenever my mom used to make this, I would tell my mother to save some sabzi and give it to me in my school tiffin with roti. The masala flavor would get absorbed thoroughly by the eggplant and I always felt that it tasted better the next day.
But as my husband does not like the onion and coconut masala combination, I prepare it the way it is made at his home i.e. with the dry masala stuffing without onion and coconut. Both the versions are spicy and tangy and go well with roti and sabzi. I am sending this recipe to
Think Spice-Think Coriander Seeds organized by Priya.

Version A:


Small purple eggplants/brinjals (around 12-15)
1/2 cup chopped onions (preferably red onion)
1/2 cup grated coconut
small lemon size ball of tamarind skin or 1/2 teaspoon tamarind extract
4-5 red chillies
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon heeng
salt as per taste
1/2 spoon sugar
4 teaspoon oil


Roast red chilli, coriander seeds and coconut. Add 2 teaspoon oil in a pan and fry the onion till brown. Grind the fried onion with the roasted coriander seeds, coconut, red chili and tamarind very finely. Make 2 diagonal cuts on bottom side of the eggplants. Stuff the masala into the cuts in the eggplants. Add the remaining oil in a wide bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the heeng and the stuffed eggplants. Cover and cook till the eggplants are soft and cooked on all sides. Serve hot.

Version B


Small purple eggplants/brinjals (around 12-15)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon til (sesame seeds)ground
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds (whole)
3 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 spoon amchur powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon heeng (
4 teaspoon oil
salt as per taste


Cut the green tops off the eggplants and make 2 diagonal cuts on the top of the eggplants. Mix all the dry powders in a bowl.

Stuff this powder into the eggplants. In a wide bottomed pan add oil and mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds splutter, add heeng and the stuffed eggplants.

Cook covered till the eggplants are soft and tender and cooked well on all sides. Serve hot.

Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 2-3