Meethi Khatai- Kachche Aam ki Launji – Raw Mango Launji – Two Versions


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:

Ingredients –

  • 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

Steps : 

  1. 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)
  2. Take a heavy bottom pot and put it on low flame. Add oil and when it gets warm put mustard seeds in it.
  3. 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.
  4. Take the pot off the stove so that the spices don’t burn. They should just get slightly roasted and give a nice aroma.
  5. Add the raw mango pieces, salt and turmeric powder. Stir well.
  6. Now add water to the mix. Add 1 1/2 cup first. The pieces should be immersed in the water.
  7. Stir well and let it cook covered on low heat.
  8. 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.
  9. Now add the jaggery to it and mix well. Keep the heat to medium low.
  10. 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.
  11. Bring it to boil and turn off the heat. Let it sit for ten minutes on the counter.
  12. 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.
  13. The dish should have a slightly sour sweet taste perfectly balanced. Too much sourness or sweetness will kill the flavours.
  14. Your Meethi Khatai is ready to serve.
  15. 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.
 
The other version is slightly thicker and uses some other spices too which are mostly the mango pickle spices.

Pickle spice mix

Fennel seeds/ saunf – 2 tablespoon

Nigella seeds / Kalonji – 1/4 teaspoon

Mustard Seeds / Methi Dana – 1 teaspoon

This one tastes completely different from the one above but both these launjis stay for at least a month without refrigeration.
 
The steps to make this launji are same as above. Just add the whole spices when the oil warms up. When the spices begin to crackle  add, red chili,turmeric, salt , mango pieces and a little water. Follow the instructions given above to make a delicious tangy sweet launji. Unlike the first version I do not keep too much liquid in this one. This is more like a pickle.
 

Do try both these recipes and enjoy the goodness of the mangoes till it is in the season.

My Tip: Always choose unblemished raw mangoes. Taste for sourness and adjust the sweetness accordingly. Traditionally it is made a little thin but you can keep the consistency according to your taste.
Do not use mangoes meant for Pickles as their skin is hard and they are too sour.
Eat the meethi khatai a little warm or at room temperature. The other version with pickle spices should be eaten at room temperature. 
You can use sugar but the taste won’t be the same. Do adjust the ingredients as per your taste and the amount you make.
You can peel the mangoes id desired. I like t suck and chew on the flavorful skin so keep it. You can dice them in long thin slices too.
Do try making this delicious tangy sweet relish. If cooked properly this stays for about 6 months in the refrigerator and for about 2 months at room temperature. I make this in small quantity throughout the season and then make two batches for the coming months at the end of the mango season.
I have some more recipes with raw mango. do look for them through the search option.
If you make any of these recipes do let me know your experience.
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Raw Mango Poha (Flattened Rice Flakes) – Two Versions And A Bonus Recipe


The good news is that poha is gluten-free and it is full of nutrition. I did not know that it is also a good pre biotic and probiotic food. Sangeeta Khanna is a Delhi based food and nutrition consultant and a very versatile food blogger (No, not the fashionable sorts). Her blog is informative as well as a treasure chest of easy to make healthy recipes. It is from her posts I came to know about the probiotic qualities of poha (flattened rice flakes).  The microbial flora, generated after parboiling and fermentation in the process of making flattened rice, provides superior food value as well as partially digested proteins and carbohydrates. (Thank you for this valuable information dear Sangeeta. )

Poha has been a part of our daily meals since childhood and we make various versions of it from matar poha, kanda poha (onion poha), batata poha (with potatoes), dadpa poha, poha with mixed veggies, dahi poha or tak poha (with buttermilk), doodh poha (with milk)  or the healthy toasted chivda mixture with peanuts, curry leaves, roasted gram etc as a snack but today I will share two very different recipes with raw mango. I used a raw mango which was in a hurry to ripen and had a very delightful flavour and sweet-sour taste. I love mangoes in any form and use it raw as well as cooked in variety of dishes. Green raw mango is full of B vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin C  which is highly beneficial in strengthening the immunity system of the body. It of course has great taste and many curative properties too. It is also a good source of calcium, potassium and dietary fiber. You can make a  variety of pickles, aam panna (drink), chutney (with mint and coriander or coconut), salsa, or toss it in salads, rice, poha, daal (amti) as a souring agent and for flavour. Many local indian cuisines use raw mango in food preparations. Manhi from Himachal Pradesh is one such side dish.

What you can do with ripe mangoes, apart from eating them with total passionate devotion, is mind-blowing.

 Kairi Poha or Raw Mango poha ( version 1 ) 

 

You will need :

Poha (Flattened/beaten rice) – 100 gms

Raw mango/ kairi/ ambiya – 1 small  diced in small cubes ( I used the one which was firm, green but slightly ripeing. It had a slight sweetness to the basic sour flavour)

Red onion – 1/4 cup (optional)

Asafoetida (Hing) – 1 pinch

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Dry Urad daal- 1/2 teaspoon

Dry chana daal – 1/4 teaspoon

Fresh Curry leaves – 4-5

Whole red chili – 1 small

Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

 

Fresh coriander leaves – For garnish

Grated coconut (fresh) – For garnish (optional)

Oil – 1 tablespoon ( I used Olive Oil)

Lemon – To squeeze the juice as garnish if desired

 

Method –  

Take clean poha in a sieve or colander and wash it under running filtered water. Gently puff it a few times. Set it aside. fluff it wit ha fork or fingers to keep them from sticking together.

Heat the oil in pan. Keep the flame on low.

Add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal. When the seeds begin to splutter add curry leaves, red chili  and finely chopped onion (optional) If not adding onion then add raw mango and poha and stir. If adding onions, let them become translucent before adding raw mango pieces and poha.

Add salt, turmeric powder and stir well. ( You can use little red chili powder and chopped green chilies too. It all depends on what flavour you prefer. )

Keep it covered for five minutes and remove the lid. Stir gently and add chopped fresh coriander leaves. Mix.

Take it out in a serving bowl, top up with some fresh coconut if you like it and squeeze some lemon juice if required. Eat when its hot and fragrant.

Mango Poha  ( Version 2 ) – A summer Salad

This recipe was originally posted at Healthfood Desi videshi by Sangeeta Khanna) . She used ripe mango while I just changed it to the sightly ripe raw mango.

This one is a delicious salad and can be assembled in a jiffy. I loved the taste of the rawness of the mango in this. Perfect cooling meal for summer days and for days when either you don’t want to churn up a full meal or want to give your tummy a small break from all the spicy meals you have devoured. The poha as I said earlier, is gut friendly and often helps it to calm down.

Ingredients – 1 cup poha

Raw mango (slightly ripening) –  1/2 cup cut into small cubes

Red onion – 1 small, chopped roughly

Fresh coriander greens – 4 tablespoon

Red chili powder – A pinch or (finely chopped fresh green chilli as i used)

Raisins – 8-10 ( I didn’t put peanuts)

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of lime juice

The idea is to balance the heat from chillies, the sweetness and sour flavour from mangoes and the hotness of red onions, as Sangeeta mentioned in her recipe. Adding raisins replaced the use of sugar for me.

Method –

Take clean poha in a colander or sieve and wash it properly under filtered water. Keep aside to drain.

If using the thick variety or the brown one you will need to keep it for a longer duration.  Fluff it up a bit to keep the flakes separate.

Meanwhile chop onions and put them in the mixing bowl. Dice mango into small cubes, cut coriander greens and green chilli and add to the onions.

Now, add the soaked poha, salt, pepper, raisins and mix well. Taste a little to adjust the flavours.

This recipe is no fuss, no cooking required  kind and is delicious to say the least. The fresh flavours of all the ingredients make it a really winner.

Serve it at room temperature and immediately after preparing. The cold pieces of sweet sour mangoes taste divine with mushy raisins and smooth poha.

Do try. It can’t get easier than this and the sinful taste of raw mango drizzled with just the right amount of red chili or cayenne pepper is simply divine.

Bonus Recipe 😀

As an added bonus I am having Dahi poha (Curd Poha) too. Blame it on the weather and Delhi belly. Here is a quick recipe for that too.

1/2 cup flattened rice or poha

1 cup beaten curd (preferably homemade)

salt – to taste

mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

curry leaves – 5-6

Whole red chili or fresh green chili broken in two pieces  – 1 medium

Oil – 1 teaspoon

Freshly grated ginger 1/2 inch

 

Prepare poha like you did for previous two recipes. Take fresh curd in a large big bowl and beat it with a little salt (to taste). No lumps should stay. If it’s too thick you can add a little water, tak(buttermilk) or cold milk) to make it just the right consistency.

The poha soaks up the curd so keep the proportions in mind. Curd should be double the amount of soaked poha.

Now add the soaked and drained poha to it and mix well. Add freshly grated ginger.

In a small cast iron/iron skillet heat some oil and add mustard and fenugreek seeds. When they sputter, turn off the heat , add curry leaves and red/green chilli. immediately pour the tempering on the curd rice and cover so that the flavours seep into the preparation. Keep for 5 minutes , open and stir well.

You can keep it in fridge for it to chill or use chilled curd to make it. It tastes best when cold.

This is a perfect comfort food.

Make Flattened/beaten rice flakes a part of your daily food. Explore the possibilities of making it more exotic and flavourful. Do share your experiences with us.