Chutneys are popular throughout South Asia . They are made with so many things, starting from coconut, garlic, tomato to various fruits like papaya, grape, pomegranate, mango, dates, raisins and so on. In India, every state or every region has its own way of preparing chutneys. For us its eaten at the end of a full course meal before the dessert. Earlier it was compulsory to make chutneys every day for lunch and dinner to complete a meal. A normal Bengali meal would start with a spinach preparation, pakoras and dal, a vegetable, a fish curry and to end up with a chutney. A kheer dessert for dinner may me. These days life got very fast. With more women venturing out, these elaborate meals are vanishing, at least on weekdays. All chutneys and pakoras and desserts are made at the weekends now.Health is a reason though. But yes I miss those good old days when a bite in the pakoras or picking up the chutney with one finger and placing it on your tongue and licking it would take me into seventh heaven.
Feminists please do not run after me, when it comes to my loved ones, I am a very bad example of feminism. I have never seen our moms or their generation to complain about staying in kitchen or doing other household chores. I still believe small kids at home demands mothers to be with them more than anything else, if of course situation permits. I do not understand finance much, but know it for sure a nanny, however efficient is can never be a substitute for a mom. Career may wait, the formative years of a child will never come back. How many cases of drug abuse and violence among young's was there during our childhood? Drug Rehab Centres offers cure but not prevention. Well there can always be arguments and counter arguments which is healthy.
And this fat, old lady is again off the track. I am taking too much liberty on exercising my right to freedom of speech. Well I had never being articulate. Better start with the most famous and common recipe of chutney in Bengal..... Sweet Green Mango Chutney, given their generally sweet tooth.
Green Mango[unripened] : 2
Sugar : 1/4 cup[adjust according to the amount of sweetness you prefer]
Salt : 4 pinches.
Turmeric Powder : 2 pinches
Black Mustard Seeds : 3 pinches
Dry Red Chilli : 2
Cumin Seeds :1 tsp
Coriander Seeds : 1 tsp
Oil[preferably Mustard] : 1 tbsp
Wash the mangoes very well. Peel and cut half. You may avoid peeling and keep the skin on if you wish. Discard the seed. Cut horizontally and then vertically. That means each half will fetch four pieces. Wash them again taking in a bowl. Add salt and turmeric and mix well. Keep aside for 20 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, dry roast the dry red chillies, cumin and coriander seeds. Coarsely grind them in a grinder. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a wok. Temper with mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the marinated mango pieces. Stir and cover. Turn heat to low.
Give a stir every 2 minutes till the mango pieces are soft and about to melt. Add the sugar, stir and cover. As the sugar melts, add 1 small tea cup water. When the chutney turns into a creamy consistency without melting the pieces totally, its done.
Transfer into a bowl and garnish with the dry roasted ground spices. Later mix well before serving.