Aam Ki Chutney
I’ve been itching to make a chutney for awhile now, but just haven’t been able to work up the nerve to jump all in. I mean, if you think about it, it is a little intimidating! The point of a chutney, as I see it, is to enhance your food experience. Be it by adding a blast of heat, a pungent kick of spice, a bit of sweetness, or a cooling burst to relieve the spice of your curry a chutney has big shoes to fill. On top of that, it has to taste good!
When I started looking into the types of chutneys it was a bit overwhelming at first. I mean I found garlic, mango, tamarind, onion and every other variety under the sun. As I continued to learn though, it struck me that making a chutney is more of a method than anything else. A chutney can really be made with just about anything as the main ingredient (or even a combination of ingredients!) it’s the technique and the spices that make it what it is.
With this knowledge came a bit of confidence (knowledge is power! haha) So I went out, bought the greenest mangoes I could find (2 wound up fitting in a pint jar perfectly) and chopped them up. I left my spices whole and toasted them for the maximum kick of flavor, and used a generous chunk of ginger to really get that zingy punch in with the sweetness of the mango and jaggery.
Speaking of jaggery. Real jaggery is unrefined palm sap that has been solidified to a certain extent. You can find it at an Indian grocer typically in a big, somewhat amber colored lump. It has a very unique, almost delicately sweet flavor profile that sets it apart from other sugar. If you can’t find it though use maple syrup or brown sugar, neither taste exactly the same, but they will still get your chutney sweet! Also, if your mangoes are more ripe than not, cut the sugar back to just one tablespoon, or the chutney will be overpoweringly sweet.
Speaking of mangoes. After I finished writing and testing this recipe I found out that the mangoes used for authentic Indian chutneys are not the same variety as what we get here in Minnesota. Oops. So if you’re still planning on making this chutney, please be aware of three things: It’s delicious. It tastes like good Indian food. If you ever go to India and ask for mango chutney, this is not what you’re going to get!
That being said, you won’t be disappointed by this, I promise! It’s the perfect, refreshing, and subtlety sweet note that compliments so many blazing hot currys. It’s also delicious on it’s own, scooped up with a chunk of naan or roti!
- 2 Mangoes, Mostly Green
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 inch Ginger, peeled and minced
- 1/4 tsp Cumin Seed
- 1/4 tsp Fennel Seed
- 1/4 tsp Mustard Seed
- 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seed (Methi)
- 1/4 tsp Nigella Seed
- 2 Tbsp Jaggery, chopped fine
- 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (see note above)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
Skin the mangoes and cut out the seed. Grate the mango pulp on a large holes of a grater. If the mango is too soft for this, finely chop it.
Heat the oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the ginger and cook for about 30 seconds, until it darkens slightly, stirring frequently.
Add the cumin through nigella and cook for another 30 - 60 seconds, until spices are very fragrant. Continue to stir the mixture frequently while it is cooking.
Add the finely shredded or chopped mango and jaggery and stir to combine. Simmer over medium low heat until jaggery is fully dissolved and mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, adjusting salt to taste. Chutney can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. Chutney can be served room temp or out of the fridge.