Quick Mango Chunda
by Tarla Dalal
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Mango chunda is a preserve that is common to all Gujarati households. In the rural areas of Gujarat where the farmers get up early to go to work, theplas and mango chunda form their staple diet. This combination is a popular snack option for most Gujaratis even today. Chunda is a judicious combination of grated mangoes and sugar, the quantum of sugar used determined by the sourness of mangoes. Spicy chundas are essentially of two kinds - cumin seeds (jeera) or asafoetida (hing) flavoured. Sweet chundas can be flavoured with only saffron and cardamom or can also have pieces of mixed dry fruits to make a dry fruit chunda. Whatever the flavouring, the basic process of making chunda remains the same. The traditional preparation of chunda is time consuming, the heat of sun being used to dissolve the sugar till the pickle reaches a clear syrupy consistency and the mango shreds are translucent. But I have created an instant version of this very special recipe that tastes superb and is surprisingly easy to prepare. Sugar is added gradually so that it gets nearly dissolved in the juices of the grated mango. The entire process is slow and requires continuos stirring and a lot of patience. After which the prepared chunda is poured into a heated pan and cooked for a very short time till its syrup is clear. This simple recipe will help you stock up a year's supply of mango chunda.
- Combine the grated mangoes, salt and turmeric powder and leave aside for 15 minutes.
- Add the sugar little by little (2 tablespoons at a time) to the mango mixture and stir continuously using a spoon or a whisk till all the sugar is nearly dissolved. The entire process will take about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Heat a pan, add the mango and sugar mixture and go on stirring over a very slow flame till the sugar has dissolved completely and small bubbles appear on the surface of the mixture (approx. 3 to 4 minutes).
- Remove from the flame and let the mixture cool completely.
- Add chilli powder and cumin seeds and store in a sterilised glass jar.
- Store upto 1 year in cool dry place.
- Use Ladwa, a round variety of raw mangoes available at some vegetable vendors or any other raw mango variety if these are not available.
- If overcooked, the chunda mixture will crystallise the following day.
- In that case, take ¼ cup of grated raw mangoes and add the prepared chunda to the mangoes little by little (2 tablespoons at a time).
- Stir continuously using a spoon or a whisk till the entire mixture is dissolved. Repeat step 3 of the above recipe.
- If the mangoes are too sour you, may need to add extra sugar at step 2.
- VARIATIONS :
- KESAR ELAICHI MANGO CHUNDA
- Use 1 teaspoon each of elaichi powder and khus khus and a few strands of saffron.
- Use the above ingredient in place of turmeric (haldi) powder, chilli powder and cumin seeds for the above recipe.
- Add all these ingredients at step 2 while adding sugar to the chunda.
- DRY FRUIT CHUNDA
- Add ½ cup chopped dry fruits (apricots, almonds, cashewnuts and walnuts) to the Kesar Elaichi Mango Chunda, just before bottling the pickle.
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