Bengali Kachcha Aamer Mishti Chutney


The one is the down right corner is without sweet for my mother. If you use sugar instead of jaggery the color will be golden yellow.

It is amazing how certain dishes are prepared and relished all across India with slight variations in the spices. This version of launji is slightly different from the one I make North Indian style.  Here is the recipe for Meethi Khathai as called it since childhood.

In this version of kachcha Aamer mishti chutney I have used panch phoron. I keep the mango stones ( guthli) in the dish as I love to suck on the spicy tangy sweet guthli. I also keep a lot of liquid in this. A mandatory side dish in summer when the markets are flooded with raw and ripe mangoes.

You can have a bowlful on its own or pair it with steamed rice, paratha, roti etc. Some people peel the mangoes in this dish but I keep the peel.

One more thing that I do is marinate the raw mango slices with red chili and salt for 10 minutes so that the fruit releases water and softens a little.

It quickens the cooking process too.

Here’s a simple way to make this wonder dish.

Ingredients –

Raw mangoes – 1/2 kg (4 medium size)

Organic Jaggery (grated/powder) – 1/2 cup / as desired ( I prefer the chutney a little sour) Fresh grated ginger – 1/2 tbsp

Water -3-4 cups 9 depends on how much liquid you need)

Whole dry red chilies – 2-3

Black mustard seeds – 2-3 tsp

Panch Phoran – 1 tsp (roasted and pounded cumin, fenugreek, mustard, nigella and fennel seeds)

Salt – to taste

Turmeric powder – 1 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1 tsp

Mustard oil – 2 tbsp

Steps – 

Wash and cut mangoes with skin lengthwise. Keep the stone.

In a wide plate keep the mango slices and stones, sprinkle salt and red chilli powder and rub it in till every piece is coated. Let it rest.

After 10 minutes heat mustard oil in a thick bottom pan.

Add the mustard seeds and dry red chilli as a tempering. Once the seeds crackle, add the marinated mango pieces and the mango stones. Give a good stir.

Saute it for 5-10 minutes n low medium heat and then stir in grated ginger and turmeric.

Add water to your liking, increase heat and bring it to boil. This preparation is a bit thin so I keep one and half cup extra jhol over the amount needed to cover the mango pieces.

Once the liquid starts boiling lower the heat and let the mango cook till soft yet firm. Don’t let it disintegrate.

At this point add the jaggery. You can use Sugar too. Mix well. Test for sweetness, salt and spice threshold. Add if required more. If you add the jaggery/sugar before the mangoes won’t soften so make sure the mango pieces have softened to your satisfaction.

Sprinkle the panch phoran and stir. Turn off the gas and let it cool to room temperature.

Spoon the aam er chutney in a glass bowl or Jar. Always use glass containers for sour dishes.

You can keep this in an airtight container for 5-7 days in the fridge.

Use dry, clean spoons to take out the chutney.

Relish this side dish as a post meal dessert or with steamed rice or luchi.

Note – If you do not have panch phoran you can use bhaja masala or roasted cumin and roasted fennel powder too.

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Sweet And Tangy Tamarind And Dates Chuteny (Saunth) – Recipe


This is one of the most sought after chutneys in India especially in north India. Filled with the goodness of tamarind, jaggery, dates, raisins, dry  gingers etc this sweet and tangy dark chutney is often added to Dahi Vadas, Papdi Chat, gol guppa, bhel-poori, patties, aaloo tikiya, pakodas, boiled Corn on Cob and many other dishes which are an important part of Street food in india. Chaat is incomplete without this lovely sticky chutney and the minty green chutney.

A little gooey like a fruit preserve this can be stored for at least a year. Sounth as it is known in Uttar Pradesh, is spiced with dry ginger or soonth/sonth, hence the name. The sourness of tamarind is balanced by the sweetness of jaggery and the dry ginger adds the much-needed punch to the condiment.

The recipe is simple and easy to make.

Ingredients for the chutney:

Brown Tamarind – 250 Gms ( If using Tamarind paste use same amount)

Fresh Dates – 200 Gms (You can use Chuhara too (dry dates finely chopped ( optional) )

Dry Ginger – 1 Teaspoon

Jaggery – 100 Gms ( adjust according to taste)

Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon

Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

Black pepper corns – 6-8 crushed fine

Black Salt – 2 pinches ( I don’t like it )

Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Garam masala ( home-made) – 2 pinches ( optional)

Raisins – 10-12

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Method – 

Clean and remove extra fiber from the tamarind if not using the paste.  Dip it in 100 ml of hot water and leave for 1/2 an hour ( you can microwave it for 2-3 min also).

Once the tamarind has softened, rub it with hand to extract all the pulp.. You can put it through a plastic sieve to get the maximum pulp. Discard all the fiber and seeds. ( I also put the dates and tamarind straight into 1 and half cup of water along with black peppercorns and place the pot on high heat till it boils and then lower the heat till it is fully cooked. Then turn the heat off and sieve it all to get a thick concoction. Pressing and rubbing with hand or back of spoon helps to extract all the pulp.) Add a little more water to help in the process.

Now, Put the thick mix of dates and tamarind pulp extract in a pot and add half a cup of water ( if needed.) The consistency of the chutney depends on your choice. It shouldn’t be very runny neither should it be very thick (like jam) but some people like it thick to use as a spread.

Add raisins, chuhara ( optional), dry ginger powder, chilli powder, roasted cumin seed powder, black salt and common salt to the liquid and keep boiling it on low flame. Add broken jaggery to the mixture and stir till it dissolves completely.

You may notice some froth forming on the surface. gently remove it with the spoon.

Taste the mixture a bit to adjust whatever you think needs to be added more.

When the mixture reaches the required thickness, turn off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.

Once cool spoon it in air tight jars. You can keep this yummy chutney at least for 5-6 months in the fridge but I make small amount that lasts for 2-4 weeks and then another fresh batch)

When refrigerated the chutney often thickens a bit so when you wish to use some, take the desired amount with a clean dry spoon and add a little water ( as needed) to it before using.

Serve with any snack you like or just lick it off the spoon like I do. 🙂

Today I used it for Masala corn on cob and the recipe will be up soon. What more can one ask for during rainy season than a good roasted masala laden lemon drenched corn on cob or boiled one dipped in this spicy tangy sweet liquid.

Enjoy!

Baggout

Fresh Apricot, Dates and Raisin Chutney Recipe


I love apricots and the markets are flooded with these gorgeous fruit these days. Apart from making them a part of my daily fruit intake I love to make compote, preserve (click for my recipe of apricot preserve) , chutney etc from any seasonal fruit I can find in the market. Apricot chutney is delicious and a perfect condiment with cold meats, grilled meats, parathas, bread, cheese crackers, tacos etc. It sure is a great accompaniment for curries, roasts and in sandwiches.

You can even lick it off the spoon any time of the day for a tangy sweet experience. It is gluten-free, low in calorie and full of flavour plus nutrition. Packed with vitamins , fiber, this iron rich date, raisin, apricot chutney is one thing I always have in the fridge during summer. Ginger and other spices give it a burst of flavor. Overall it is a treat.

To make this lovely chutney you need

Fresh Apricots – 500 gms (washed, pitted and roughly chopped with skin)

Raisins – 1/2 cup

Dates – – 1/4 cup ( roughly chopped)

Red or White Onion – 1 Medium

Garlic – 2-3 pods ( crushed and chopped finely)

Ginger – 1/2 inch (made into juliennes) (can use glace candied ones too 1/4 cup)

Red chilli whole -1 Small

Peppercorns – 5-6 crushed or whole

White vinegar/ apple cider vinegar/ malt vinegar or lemon juice – 1/4 cup or juice of one lemon

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Garam Masala * – 1/4 teaspoon

Olive Oil – 2 tablespoon

Honey – 3 tablespoons

Sugar – 1/2 cup ( as required) ( brown or white. You can add palm jaggery or sugarcane jaggery too)

For the muslin spice infusion bag 

Bay leaf – 1

Peppercorns -8

Mace blade – 1

Cinnamon stick –  small piece

Cloves – 3-4

All spice – 1

All spices slightly roasted and tied in the infusion bag)

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Directions – 

Wash, dry, pit and chop Apricots. Chop dates and keep aside.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, add peppercorns and red chilli. (You can remove the red chilli before spooning it in jar)

Add chopped onion and stir till translucent. Add ginger and garlic. Stir for a minute. Keep this on low flame.

Add chopped apricots, dates and raisins. Stir.

Add the dry powder masalas and salt.

Add sugar and little water (about 1/4 cup)

Add the spice infusion bag.

Bring it to boil and let it cook till the fruit becomes soft.

Keep stirring till the mixture thickens to the desired consistency.

Add honey and vinegar or lime juice. Stir constantly on medium heat so the chutney doesn’t stick to the pan.

You can taste and adjust the sweetness etc as desired.

This chutney takes about an hour to cook. You can use slow cooker also.

Once the chutney reaches its desired consistency put out the heat and let it cool till it reaches room temperature.

Remove the spice infusion bag.

Spoon the yummy chutney in sterilized air tight mason jars and refrigerate. Use of lemon juice or vinegar helps in preservation.

One can keep it for a couple of days or a few weeks in the fridge.

Fruit selection – Always use sweet-smelling fruit. It will definitely taste good.

Tips – You can get creative with this chutney and ad/ remove dry fruits. Add sultanas instead of raisins, add apple shreds or orange rings. It is an artwork in which you get to use the imagination and bring out something delicious.

*Garam Masala – I make it at home with black whole cardamom, clove, peppercorn, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg etc. all roasted slightly and ground to a fine powder)  We use very little of it as there are already whole spices infused in the chutney.

Enjoy !

Recipes – Two Easy Coconut Chutneys


I love coconut in all forms for its nutritive values. The coconut tree is called”Tree of life”  because of its medicinal qualities. Coconut is used  in traditional as well as modern medicines to treat various ailments. Full of fibers, minerals and vitamins which include B, B2, C, niacin and iron it is called “functional food” and either eaten raw or used in various preparations across India and in many parts of the world.

Chutney is a popular condiment  in India and is now served around the world today with all kind of cuisine. Chutneys are made using fruits, spices, herbs and vegetables and compliment the flavor of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. Here we will learn to make two simple yet delicious chutneys using coconut. Each has a distinct flavor.  Ingredients used to make basic coconut chutney include grated coconut, fresh green chilies, ginger, salt, mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies. I have used mint and corriander in one and fenugreek seeds in the other.

Coconut Green Chutney 

Green chutney is made using fresh cilantro (coriander), cumin seeds, fresh green chillies, lemon juice, mint leaves, onions and salt. The vitamin benefits of the fresh mint and lemon juice used to make the green chutney include Vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B6, E, folate and niacin.

To make coconut chutneys first we need to select a fresh mature coconut. Crack it open and remove the water in a glass. Then the next step is to scrape the tender fragrant flesh.

Method of  making Green Chutney :

Ingredients :

Grated Fresh Coconut – 250 grams

I large bunch of Fresh Coriander leaves – cleaned, washed and chopped. (I use tender stalks also as they contain a lot of nutrients)

I large bunch of fresh Mint leaves –  Cleaned, washed and roughly chopped

4-5 green chilies ( number depends on taste and size of the green chilies )

5-6 Garlic pods – crushed

Cumin seeds – I teaspoon

Sugar – I Teaspoon

Salt – according to taste

Juice of one large lime ( according to taste)

To Temper :

Mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Urad dal (white) – 1/4 teaspoon

Curry leaves – A few

Method :

 Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend coarsely until you have a thick paste, adding a little water if necessary.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Take it out in a bowl and add lime juice.

Heat a teaspoon of oil and let he ingredients for tempering splutter. Pour it over the chutney and serve.

You can keep the chutney in the fridge and even freeze it but I prefer to make it fresh every time. I keep the fresh grated coconut in freezer and use it when needed.

 Coconut Fenugreek  Seed Chutney  

This recipe was handed over to me by a relative who perfected it in his kitchen.

 Ingredients: 

1/2 Medium size coconut grated

Raw green mango – medium size

Jaggery – 1/2 cup crushed

Dry Red Chilies – according to taste

Fenugreek (methi) seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Warm water – 1/4 cup

Method : 

Take the grated coconut in a bowl and keep aside.

Peel and slice/ grate  raw mango

pond and break Jaggery in small pieces

In a small seasoning pan take one tablespoon of oil and stir fry red chilies and fenugreek seeds till slightly reddish-brown. Make sure they do not burn or get over roasted.

Coarsely grind these with the salt and keep aside

Place all ingredients in a plate . The heaps of numbers 2,3,4 should be of  equal quantity.

Now, grind all the ingredients in a grinder placing ground fenugreek- chilies, jaggery, mango and coconut in that order.. ( It is always best to use a traditional grinding slab made of stone to bring out the right flavors and consistency but now a days an electric grinder will do. Make use to keep the paste coarse ) .

The order in which ingredients are added to any dish is very important to bring out the right taste.

Add warm water and salt while grinding.

Water is added according to the desired consistency.

Once the chutney is ready , take it out in a ceramic or glass bowl and serve.

          Note : Never use steel or any other metallic utensil for keeping sour things.