Friday, September 6, 2013

Keri no Chhundo

Keri no Chhundo (sweet and sour raw mango relish)
This spicy, sweet and sour raw mango relish is a staple accompaniment with Gujarati food. Traditionally grated raw mango was mixed with ample quantity of sugar and other spices and left in the sum for several days to cook and reach a syrupy consistency. You can also cook this mixture indoors and this will take just a short time. The amount of sugar you add is determined by the tartness of the mangoes used. Spicy chhunda uses several spices (cumin and hing being the most important) to flavor while the sweet version can have cardamom and saffron.   
1 1/2 cups raw green mango
1 - 1 1/2 cups sugar (depending on how tart the mango is)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 whole cloves
4-5 whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick broken
pinch asafoetida (hing)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
salt to taste (I used 1 tsp)
1-1 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  1. Peel the mangoes and grate them using a thick grater. 
  2. In a large pan heat oil and add cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, asafoetida, cumin and fennel seeds. 
  3. Now add the grated mango and salt and mix well. Keep the heat at medium and cook covered for 5-7 minutes. Make sure the mixture holds its texture yet the mangoes get cooked. 
  4. Add sugar and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. At this stage you have to be cautious and stir frequently to avoid any burning. Sugar will melt and slowly thicken as the water evaporates. When it reaches a 'honey' like consistency, turn off the heat. As the mixture cools it will thicken even more. If you overcook then chhunda will crystallize in a couple of days. 
  5. Cool till it is warm to touch. Now add the red chili powder. This will give it a beautiful reddish color. If added during the cooking process it may change color. 
  6. When it completely cools, bottle in airtight glass jars. Keeps good for a month outside and for 6 months in the fridge. 
  7. Enjoy with roti, on sandwiches, wraps, or just as is.

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