Chutneys and pickles are, in my opinion, a much-neglected aspect of Indian cooking. That is especially true in so-called Indian restaurants in the UK where you might find a bland mango chutney served with ‘poppadoms’ as a kind of appetiser, or perhaps a bowl of runny mint chutney.
The truth is that Indian condiments have so much more to offer and are an essential component of many authentic dishes. Take this raw mango chutney for example.
Raw mangoes are almost as highly prized as the sweet ripe ones. They have a tanginess that gels so well with all sorts of spicy dishes. They give this chutney a fruity base that is zesty without being overly sour. Overlaid with rich coconut, earthy toasted dal and a handful of spices it sits in a bowl ready and waiting to leap into action and give a lift to savoury snacks like samosas and vadas et al. And if you’re still hungry try a dollop of this chutney in your Bombay sandwich, instead of the regular mint one, next time.
This ‘kairichi chutney’ can work its magic on full blown meals too. It would be right at home in the special place at the top left of a thali alongside the other condiments. It also goes beautifully with idli and dosa.
It may seem like a faff to make your own chutney, when you can buy ready-made, but I guarantee that you won’t find anything quite like this in a jar. In any case it’s nowhere near as hard to make as you might imagine.
This whole chutney comes together in 10-15 minutes. You can prepare a batch and keep it in the fridge for a week. Think of it as a gift for your future self at snack time!
Kairichi Chutney / Raw Mango ChutneyCourse: Main, Snack, AppetiserCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
135g or 1 cup (about 1 medium-sized) raw mango
30g fresh coriander (roughly chopped)
17g or ⅓ cup fresh coconut
2 green chillies
1 tsp roasted chana dal (Bengal gram)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 curry leaves
1 dried red chilli
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste
- Rinse and pat the raw mango dry. Remove the skin using a peeler and then roughly chop the flesh. Discard the stone.
- In a food processor, grind the mango flesh together with the fresh coconut. Then add the coriander, green chillies, roasted chana dal, sugar and salt. Grind again to a smooth paste.
- Heat the oil in a small ladle or mini frying pan to make the tadka/tempering. Start by spluttering the mustard seeds, followed by dried red chilli, curry leaves and asafoetida.
- Pour the tadka/tempering over the ground chutney.
- I’d recommend removing the mango skin using a peeler instead of a knife as it’s less wasteful and removes the hard outer skin without losing too much of the green layer just underneath. This is reputed to be good for health as well as lending a lovely green colour to the chutney.
- Measurements given for the raw mango are net (with the skin and seed removed).
- If you can’t find fresh coconut, you can use desiccated coconut though it does alter the taste and texture of this chutney.
- If you can’t find roasted chana dal, you can roast regular chana in a dry pan until it starts to colour.
- I kept this recipe garlic-free but if you want the added pungency add 2-3 garlic cloves and perhaps a ¼ inch ginger. You can even add split black gram lentil (urad dal) to the tadka/tempering.
- I’d recommend not diluting this chutney with water. To make this chutney easier to grind without adding water, grind the raw mango and coconut first. Then grind again with the chopped coriander, chillies and chana dal all together.
- This chutney keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. You can prolong its shelf life by storing it in an airtight jar and remember to always use a clean dry spoon every time you take it out of the jar.