Kachche aam ki launji is a relish that is popular all over North India and thee are many ways to make it. It is a perfect summer side dish to have with parathas, poories, cheelas etc. I sometimes just take a small bowl of it and eat it without any accompaniment. The sweet and tangy taste of kachi ambiya and jaggery spiced up by red chili and simple spices makes it a perfect summer special. While we drool over the many varieties of ripe mangoes and relish them all through the summer we also savor the raw and slightly ripe raw mangoes to makes chunda, achar, takku, murabbaand various chutnies.
Have you ever eaten slightly sweet raw mango slices dusted with cayenne pepper ? If not then you are missing out on something utterly delicious. Do try it as soon as you get hold of the mangoes.
Here I am sharing two versions of this launji. One is what my mom makes. I remember eating this every summer since my childhood. We called it Meethi Khatai . We don’t peel the mangoes in this one like the Rajasthani launji. I also leave the guthali or the mango pit to suck the sweet tangy juices from it.
Both the recipes are for small quantity. You can adjust the ingredients for a larger amount. These will serve four people.
Here is a simple recipe to make this version of Meethi Khatai or raw mango launji:
- Raw Mangoes – 2 ( about 250 gm cubed)
- Grated or Broken Jaggery – 200 gm
- Fenugreek seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Black peppercorns – 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Whole dry red chili – 1-2
- Asafoetida – 2 pinch
- Salt – to taste
- Water – 2 cups
- Vegetable Oil – 1 tablespoon
Wash, peel and cut the mangoes in 1 inch cubes with a part of the hard shell (guthali) intact. Remove the paper thin layer from the guthali pieces by scraping it with the knife or peeling it from one end to the other. ( you can see it in the first picture)
Take a heavy bottom pot and put it on low flame. Add oil and when it gets warm put mustard seeds in it.
Once the seeds start to crackle, add fenugreek seeds and hing. Adding them at this time brings out a nice flavour. Also add the whole red chilli.
Take the pot off the stove so that the spices don’t burn. They should just get slightly roasted and give a nice aroma.
Add the raw mango pieces, salt and turmeric powder. Stir well.
Now add water to the mix. Add 1 1/2 cup first. The pieces should be immersed in the water.
Stir well and let it cook covered on low heat.
After five minutes check for the tenderness of mango pieces. They should not become mushy but the skin should become slightly soft. Al dente to be precise.
Now add the jaggery to it and mix well. Keep the heat to medium low.
Cook it covered for another ten minutes & check for consistency. It shouldn’t be thick. Add one cup of warm water and stir well. There should be enough liquid in the dish. Once the dish cools it will thicken so keep a good liquid margin.
Bring it to boil and turn off the heat. Let it sit for ten minutes on the counter.
Take a little Meethi khatai in a tasting bowl and check for salt and sweetness. You can add more jaggery, salt or red chilli at this time.
The dish should have a slightly sour sweet taste perfectly balanced. Too much sourness or sweetness will kill the flavours.
Your Meethi Khatai is ready to serve.
Serve this delightful dish with hot chapati, paratha, poori or just spoon it in a bowl to relish it just by itself. The tangy sweetness will tickle your taste buds like nothing else.
Pickle spice mix
Fennel seeds/ saunf – 2 tablespoon
Nigella seeds / Kalonji – 1/4 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds / Methi Dana – 1 teaspoon
Do try both these recipes and enjoy the goodness of the mangoes till it is in the season.