Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Raw Green Mango Chutney (Ambuli Chutney)

There is something intriguing about enjoying the season's first produce of Mangoes. Specially my Indian roots remind of the times when mango trees bear flowers during late winter and early spring and leave around a deep redolent wild scent during twilight time. A wait time of few weeks and the trees in every neighborhood bear the most delicious sight one could enjoy - bunches of young raw green mango. If you are lucky and have a kind neighbor, one can also hope for a motley share of season's first Raw Green Mango (Ambuli). Not to forget the riper ones which fetch a sky rocketing price in the local market. And then, finally there is nothing more precious than having the bragging rights to say that you ate the season's first crop of Mangoes which were bought at Rs. 500/- for a dozen.

I got a young green mango and had my heart set out on making some spicy pickle out of it. Just then I remembered my Ma's - Raw Green Mango Chutney also known as Ambuli Chutney, Ambuli implying a raw green mango in Konkani, Tor in Goan Kokani. The one I got was semi-ripe hence my chutney turned yellowish green. The taste was the same - spicy, salty and tangy. If you get a fresh mango which is very young, your chutney will be super tangy with light green hue.

A tiny primer on selecting mangoes for chutney and pickles -
- Do not pick mangoes with reddish green tinge, they are not suitable for pickling. Pick the ones which are plain green.
- The harder the texture of Mango, the better they are suited for pickling and chutney.
- If you are planning on making pickle or chutney, use them soon else they will ripen fast ruining your recipe and plans.
- Do not keep raw green mangoes with rest of the fruits. The gases emanating from rest of the fruits could ripen the young green mango pretty fast.
- If making chutney, peel the mango else your chutney will be bitter.

I am writing this because I learned the hard way round. Considering the expense and labor, its worth to be educated. Thus chutney recipe is fairly simple but a personal favorite of our family. Pairs well with Rotis/ Rice/ Paej.

~ Ambuli Chutney ~
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Processing time: 5 minutes

Raw Green Mango (Tarni Ambuli/ Tor) [peeled, chopped, seed & fiber removed] - 1 cup
Grated coconut (fresh or frozen) - 1 cup
Garlic pods (jumbo) - 3
Green Chillies - 3

Contraption needed - Grinder/ Mixer

Peel the Mango, remove the seed and the tough fiber adhering to the seed. Chop into cubes. Chop the garlic and green chillies. In a mixer, add the grated coconut first and blend to a paste with garlic and green chillies. Add the mangoes later with little water and salt and blend to a chutney like consistency. Adjust salt as per taste.

Note - Refrigerate the chutney and use within 3-4 days. Since coconut is used, the shelf life is limited.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Seasoned Patrode (with Urad Dal and Methi) | Phanna Patrode

Seasoned Patrode with Urad Dal and Methi

Sometimes I get bored of my own cooking. Hence, I like to try different variations of the same base recipe. Recently, I got lucky at Patel's with the fresh stock arrival of Taro leaves, a rare feat indeed! I made Phanna Patrode and the flavor was awesome. The other version of Patrode is Patrode Upkari seasoned with Garlic and Red Chillies, a favorite of the husband.

Patrode Lollo - Patrode Log ready to be steamed

My Ma pairs this seasoned cakes with Paej. The seasoning sticks to the cakes almost creating a crunchy texture. She does it in a cast iron deep dish pan so you get the crust well formed and the seasoning offers yummy surprise of flavors. I cooked them in my iron kadhai and the roll steamed beautifully.

~ Phanna Patrode ~
Preparation time: 30 minutes + 4 hours (soaking time)
Cooking time: 30 minutes (maximum)

Patrode Recipe

For Seasoning -
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Methi (Fenugreek) seeds - 1 tsp
Split Urad Dal - 1 tsp

For Garnish -
Coconut oil

Prepare Patrode as described in the recipe. In a wide mouthed iron pan, heat few spoons of oil and while its hot, season with mustard seeds, methi seeds and split urad dal. Place each sliced cake of Patrode side by side and add a cup of hot water. Cover with a lid and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the cakes over and add 1 or 1/2 cup of hot water and cook with lid on. Once done, scoop each slice and serve hot with Paej. Drizzle coconut oil on each cake before serving.

Note - Add hot water to aid the cooking process.