The title might seem lame but this is an ode to a now universal condiment originating from every corner of India. Each part of India has its own specialty be it the coconut chutney of the south, the garlic chutney of the west, the imli chutney of the North and the tomato chaatni of the east. And these are just examples, a tip of the iceberg that is the repertoire of Indian chutneys. Growing up we always had chutney with something – coconut chutney with idli or dosa, dhaniya chutney on a sandwich and imli chutney with chaat. What a surprise then when I discovered that in Bong cuisine you eat chaatni by itself at the end of the meal as a palate cleanser before dessert comes on. That is one of my favorite dishes that my husband cooks. That and a mean yet simple macher jhal. Every time we would throw a party he would make a tomato chutney. It is tempered with panch phoron and red chilies and sweetened with raisins and sugar while the tomatoes add a natural tartness. I can eat bowls of it by itself and let me just say that there have been days when I in fact have done so.
So today finding myself with two and a half raw mangoes I was prepared to make a batch of chutney. I am dying to try a recipe out that I have in my head – tempered with panch phoron and red chilies, the heat of a bit of ginger and the sweetness of jaggery and some dates or apricots. I will let you know how it goes when I do make it because I didn’t get around to it. The son got hungry right after play time and after that there was the matter of this cricket match. The IPL is going on and my team CSK was playing RCB (they won BTW!) so I couldn’t bring myself to cook. But I did cut up the mangoes in anticipation for its time in the pan.
Talking of mangoes, this is the season for them and I have always loved them. This place is famous for Alphonso mangoes but I don’t quite like them. They are sweet but don’t have much flavor. What I do like are the Badami and Totapuri mangoes for example which have this mesmerizing aroma and a slightly tart taste which gives them some character. I have always wanted to cook with mangoes and before I left the US I tried out this smoky mango sauce with chicken. The sauce is great but does not go with chicken. So I am quite kicked about Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal’s list of recipes with mangoes. I am waiting to try all of these out.
As a side note, you know what I miss here in India – chipotle chillies in adobo sauce. Anyone know where I can get some? If I do then I can make some nice burritos and enchiladas! Yumm.