This was my grandmother’s favourite chutney, and dates from her time in Calcutta.
It is typically Bengali, particularly with the panch phoran, the Bengali five-spice mix. Called am ki chutni, it is a tangy and slightly spicy mango chutney that goes well with any rice or lentil dish.
Because of the way it is made it will only keep for a few days, if refrigerated. These instant chutneys, as they are called, are meant to be made on the day they are to be eaten. All you need to do is allow enough time for them to cool before serving.
Having said that, a little leftover chutney, with a leftover chapati, eaten the next day was a favourite breakfast for the Raj.
- Thoroughly wash the mangoes, then dry them with a clean towel. Peel and chop the mangoes into 1cm pieces.
- Heat the sesame oil in a pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the panch phoran and fry for one minute until sizzling.
- Add the ginger and fry for one minute, stirring continuously.
- Add the chopped mango, chilli powder, garam masala and asafoetida. Mix well, and simmer for two minutes.
- Add the jaggery and salt, mix well and simmer for two minutes, or until mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat, and transfer to a serving bowl. Cover, and allow to cool before serving.
- Indian sesame oil is called gingelly oil, and is not the same as the Chinese variant, being less intense in flavour. A vegetable oil could be used as a substitute.
- The chutney should thicken noticeably as it cools.
- The chutney will only keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
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