Again, I have lost my blogarhythm. It’s the heat. It is just too darn hot to bake or cook. Oh, and I had some food poisoning. I blame the piri piri french fries I had at McDonald’s with my chicken McNuggets. I blame myself. I should not have had deep fried-processed-spicy-ketchupy food at all in this weather, but sometimes one feels weak. And lazy. And the laziness, I feel is induced by the heat, so can I go back to making it the heat’s fault?
Summer. Sultry sticky humid Indian coastal summers. They make your kohl liner smudge and your hair puff out. They give you heat rashes. But they do bring in something wonderful: mangoes. And when it is mango season, I must give you a mango recipe.
I think the mango is quite a sensual fruit. It is the shape, the contours of the fruit, so beautiful and perfect. No bumps, no bruises, just smooth and shiny and soft. And the fruit itself? It’s to die for. Tart, sweet, juicy- so many things all at once. I am NOT trying to be all porn-y and Nigella, but mangoes really are beautiful! In my last post I said I would share the chutney recipe in the next one, so here it is.
Manga chammanthi or mango chutney is the easiest thing to make; all you need are the ingredients and a blender. The closest translation for chammanthi is chutney, but they are not exactly the same- chammanthi is not watery like chutney. It’s actually quite thick, and does not need water. In Kerala, chammanthi is served with rice porridge, idlis, dosas…it’s a great condiment to spruce up a simple meal! You’ll find recipes for raw mango chutney as well, but I used somewhat ripe mangoes. The success of a mango chutney lies in the quality of the mango. You want a variety of mango which is not fibrous. You also want a mango which is firm and not yet fully ripe- perhaps something which looks like it’s got a few days to go before you can really slice it and enjoy it as dessert. The recipe is basically mangoes+ grated coconut + green chilli + pinch of salt. The proportions will vary depending on your taste and your love for coconut!
MANGO CHUTNEY (MANGA CHAMMANTHI)
- 2 medium to large sized mangoes, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup grated coconut
- 1 green chilli (De-seeded if you do not like too much spice. If you do not have green chilli, an alternative would be to use half to one teaspoon of crushed red chilli flakes.) I went overboard and used one green chilli and some crushed red chilli for added colour and kick.
- Pulse the mango pieces and chili in a blender until it reaches a grainy consistency. Not complete mush! You have to be able to see the texture, if that makes sense.
- Add in the grated coconut and a pinch of salt and pulse a bit more, just to loosen things up a bit. If you would like your chammanthi to be more watery, then add some water or pulse for longer.
- You can add a few drops of coconut oil if you wish, but the grated coconut should make it moist enough.
For a little variation, you can scissor in some coriander leaves, or temper with coconut oil and half a teaspoon of mustard seeds, but this works just fine. Like I said, it goes great with everything from idli, dosa, and kozhu katta to rice porridge, but
….WHY DON’T YOU…
*Dab it on a cracker and garnish with a mint leaf to create a spicy summery finger food?
*Make a sandwich with cucumber slices, fresh coriander and mango chutney?
*Make pita pockets with lettuce, tomato, onions, chutney and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt? This little guy is extremely versatile. I have been feeling a little under the weather because of my food poisoning, and have been angsting over creating a better daily schedule. I need to find a balance between baby, household, work and blog. But for now, I am just going to be a procrastinator extraordinaire and eat a mango. It’ll come to me.