Preserving is an integral part of all food cultures. There was a time when everything was not available through the year and the only way certain things could be eaten when not in season was by preserving it. Limitations pushed people to explore all possible ways to bottle up their favorite flavors, fruits and vegetables to make it last. The art of preserving always fascinates me. I have been curious about more about different kinds of preservation methods and want to learn at least a few of them myself. I definitely have a lot to learn about it and I think it’ll be my goal for 2013. After all there isn’t a more sustainable way to eat.
Traditionally in our region 2 of the most popularly preserved fruits are Jackfruits and Mangoes. Of course they are well loved by everybody but apart from that They are popular because most people grow or have access to more fruits than they could possibly consume when they are in season. I would like to do a more detailed post on traditional ways of preserving them when they are in season this year.
For now lets stick to mangoes and one of the most common ways of preserving Mangoes is simply storing them in boiled and cooled salt water. If done properly fruits can be stored for several years this way. My moms pantry never really runs out of them and we cook them through the year in many ways.
‘Neeru Mavina kaayi’ or Preserved Green Mangoes are my favorite. For somebody who loves tangy green mangoes there is nothing better than relishing on of these salty tangy mangoes whenever you crave for them, even if it’s mid december! My mom preserves the best quality wild green mangoes every year so that she always has her favorite pantry staples. A few of these mangoes in a jar can save you on those days when you don’t really have any vegetable to cook with. Just half or one mango cooked up into a dry stir-fry, a thick sweet and sour chutney or a watery spicy curry almost like soup can easily replace any of our family favorite vegetable dish. They have a signature sour taste which is very unique and can’t be replaced with anything else.
One of the best ways to cook them is into a ‘Gojji’ or ‘Gojju’, a spicy sour sauce. ‘Neeru Mavina Kayi Gojji’ can be prepared in many ways. Each family has a unique recipe but it’s essentially a very flavorful relish which is served on the side to perk up any meal. Some make it sweet and sour while some like it very spicy.
Todays ‘Neeru maavinaki gojji’ or preserved green mango chutney is made with fresh homemade ‘curd’ or yogurt. It’s simple and requires no cooking. This absolutely mouthwatering chutney will come together in 10 minutes and just requires a very very garlicky tempering or ‘tadka’. Even just the thought of this chutney is enough to have me salivating. It’s perfect to get back your taste buds into life after an illness or for those days when you have had an overdose of sweets. It’s traditionally served with ‘Ganji’ or Rosametta rice for a simple yet fulfilling meal.
If are a vegan or if you are allergic to dairy, simply skip the yogurt in the recipe.
Instead of yogurt, add a little bit of jaggery for a sweet and sour chutney.
Use big green chilies which are not too spicy for a chutney which is full of flavor but not hot. To further reduce the heat, remove the seeds from the chilies.
I can’t imagine this chutney without garlic in it but a lot of people make it with a oil + black mustard seeds + dry red chili tempering also.
You can also use store bought pickled/canned green mangoes or green mangoes in brine and store bought yogurt for this recipe.
If you increase the amount of jaggery or yogurt in the recipe to make it less salty/potent, it makes a very delicious green mango dip! Serve it with chips or raw veggies as a dip, in sandwiches or roles for a unique Indian twist to it.
- 1 preserved whole green mango
- 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of homemade curd or yogurt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1-2 whole green chilies
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 dry red chili
Wash the preserved green mango well. Place it in a bowl and mash it with with your fingers. If the mango in too hard, you can chop the flesh off (including skin) and coarsely puree it in a blender. Now add the yogurt. Preserved green mango will be very salty so you need to taste it and adjust the amount of yogurt depending on how salty you want it. DO NOT add extra salt.
For the tempering, heat the oil in a little pan and add the mustard seeds. When it stats to splutter, add the garlic. Fry till the garlic is slightly golden and add the fresh green chilies. Fry for a couple of minutes and add the dry red chili. Mix everything well, pour it on top of the green mango and yogurt mix and serve.
I have a little request today…
I have been nominated as ‘The Best Vegetarian Food Blogger’ by FriendsEAT.com. A lot of my readers and friends are finding it hard to vote. So I thought i’ll write a little not about ‘How to Vote’
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Click on the following link – http://friendseat.com/
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