For the millions of us who live glued to computer keyboards at work and TV at home, food may be more than entertainment. It maybe the only sensual experience left.”
Condiments help us enhance the flavour of our food and draw maximum pleasure out of it. But we don’t want to slave in the kitchen for hours after cooking the meal to prepare the condiments, chutneys and pickles that would go with it.
Luckily, in South Asian cuisine there is a variety of chutneys, uncooked or briefly cooked, that get done in under 10 minutes. Most of them are simply a puree of herbs, garlic, chillies and spices in different proportions with one dominant ingredient. In this Hyderabadi style Kairi ki Chutney, it’s the raw mango that shines through.
Early summer brings the delicious harvest of raw mangoes or kairis. They are used to make pickles, chutneys and cool tangy drinks. They are sold on roadside, sprinkled with a little rock salt and red chilli powder as a lip smacking snack too. What do raw mangoes taste like? For me they taste like school days – sweet and sour, naughty and fun. They remind me of the days when we used to shoot down raw mangoes with slingshots and of being yelled at and chased away by the school gardener.
This very quick chutney is a lifesaver when served with boring meals, adds instant freshness, visual appeal and flavour kick to our plates. I even toss this as a dressing in fruit and chickpea salads and cold pasta preparations.
Coconut balances the sharp tang of raw mangoes. If you want to keep the chutney for more than a couple of days, then cook it for a few minutes in 2 tablespoons mustard or olive oil.
2 raw mangoes
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup coriander leaves and stems, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled
2 green chilli peppers
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt to taste
This Is What You Do:
Add all ingredients to a food processor. Whiz to make a smooth or chunky puree according to your preference.
Keep refrigerated and use within two days.