Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mango Relish...

I know it seems like ages since I  last posted something on my blog. Our move from US to India  and the whole bit about getting things  back on the groove was one of the reason why I went into this hibernating mode. Thanks to my well wishers and friends who mailed or messaged me to inquire my well being and kept my morale up.

Yes, I am back and thanks to my in-laws for  being the trigger to get things moving again by sending those bagful of home grown mangoes. It forced me to think and find some way to preserve them before they are wasted.

Mangoes are the most awaited fruit during summer. There is hardly anybody, who doesn't like this juicy fruit. Moreover the mangoes I get here in India from my in law's orchard are best possible one can get, no pesticides, no artificial ripening agents.  For me nothing compares to how a juicy, sweet mango tastes.

Being seasonal,  summer time  means  waiting for mangoes to hit the market. Luckily this year the crop has been better. Even after having them at breakfast, as dessert after lunch, or making a glass full of chilled mango lassi were not enough to finish them all. So I thought of making a relish from them. This relish can be used in thousands different ways, as a spread for your sandwiches or to dip some crunchy nuggets or as a glaze while grilling meat and seafood.

The ingredients are simple and easily available. Before you start, taste the mangoes first, if they are super sweet like the ones I used, then you do not need to add any sweetening agent. As the souring agent you can use either vinegar or lime juice, as per your choice. I added fresh red chilies to spice up the relish, dry red chilies or red chili flakes are also good. At the end I added a little Indian touch to the relish, adding some roasted and coarsely ground cumin seed.

For a change I used a traditional Bengali mortar pestle (shil-nora) to coarsely ground the rosated cumin seeds. Those who haven't seen a shil-nora, here is an image for you. It's a flat stone(shil) where the things need to grind are kept and small cylindrical stone piece(nora) is used to grind.

Things needed to make the Mango Relish:

  • Sweet mango (cut into small cubes): 2 cups
  • Onion (chopped): 2 tbsp
  • Ginger (julienned): 1 tsp
  • Red chilies: 1
  • Cumin Seeds (roasted and coarsely ground): 1 tsp
  • Vinegar or Lime juice
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Vegetable oil : 1 tbsp

Steps of making the Mango Relish:

1. Wash the mangoes well. Peel and cut them into small cubes. Discard the seed.

2. Roughly chop the onion. Peel the ginger and cut into julienne. Slit the red chili and fine chop. If you need the relish to  be less spicy, discard the seeds of the chili. The one I used were super hot. If you can't get your hands on fresh red chilies, use dry red chilies or chili flakes.

3. In a pan, dry roast the cumin seeds till it releases a nice aroma. Let it cool down and grind the roasted cumin seeds coarsely.

4. In a pan, heat oil. I used vegetable oil as it's neutral in flavor. You can use olive oil or mustard oil if you like to.

5. When the oil is hot, add the ginger and cook for 1 min. Add the chopped onion and cook till a little soft.

6. Add the cubed mangoes, salt and vinegar or lime juice(whichever you are using). The amount of vinegar or lime juice depends on the sweetness of the mango. Adjust by tasting. And of course if you are using lime juice it will also bring a nice fresh flavor to the relish.

7. Cover and cook for 15-20 min. Smash the mangoes with the back of your ladle, add the red chilies. Mix well. Cover and cook for 5-6 min. I did not add any sugar or honey, as the mangoes were very sweet. If you find the mangoes are not that sweet then add sugar or honey to balance the taste.

8. Add the freshly ground cumin seeds, mix well. Switch off the heat. Let the relish cool down. Pour it in a clean dry glass jar with a tight lid, store in the refrigerator.

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  1. Loved the second photograph of mangoes. Thank you for posting a picture of the 'sil-nora'; it looks similar to the northern 'silbatta' but the handheld stone is usually triangular in shape. I loved the ingredients in your relish. What kind of mangoes are these? Thanks!

    1. Thank you Shri. These are' Himsagor', the sweetest and my favorite :)

  2. Hi Chitrangada,
    How are u? So nice to see u open doors and windows of this space again.
    Mango relish looks yummm enjoy home grown mangoes dear.. Mortar and pestle looks so cute and very portable type ours need atleast two people to lift:).