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Chundo (Sweet and Sour Mango Chutney)

(recipe, Sona Pai)


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Introduction

This is a great way to turn rock-hard, underripe mangoes into a delicious condiment. When my grandmother visited us in America, in the days before you could find mangoes at any supermarket, she used sour apples as a substitute. The traditional way to make chundo is to cover the mango-and-sugar mixture with cloth and set it outside in the sun for a week, until the sunshine melts the sugar and softens the mango. If you can’t wait that long, try this version for the stovetop. You could also mix all of the ingredients together and let them sit in a warm oven (heat off) overnight.

Ingredients

  1. 1 to 2 unripe mangoes
  2. ¾ to 1 cup sugar
  3. 3 to 4 cinnamon sticks
  4. 6 to 7 cloves
  5. 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
  6. 2 to 3 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)

Steps

  1. Peel and grate the raw mango. Mix it with the sugar and heat in a pot over very low heat until the sugar dissolves and the mango softens. (This could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how underripe your mangoes are.) Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, salt, and cayenne pepper, and mix well.
  2. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit covered on the stove until the mixture cools. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves (or leave them in — just be sure not to eat the cloves or sticks). Store in an airtight container at room temperature, in a cool, dry spot.
  3. Serve as a side condiment with Indian food, or as a spread for bread or crackers.

Note

Sentimental about mangoes? Read about Sona Pai's love affair with the fruit.