This popular chutney from Bengali households will spice up your meals
Mango, the ‘king of fruits’, makes you wait an entire year before it gives you its incredible flavour and benefits. You may occasionally be able to enjoy unripened or green mangoes before they become ripe on the trees. Everyone must have a tale of how they have enjoyed unripe mangoes, whether it be by slicing it and dipping it into spiced salt or by cooking it in various ways to make chutney or the well-known aam panna beverage.
Aam’er Tok (pronounced tawk) is a delicacy for the hot Bengal summers when the mangoes are not yet ripe and the afternoon storms keep knocking unripe green mangoes from the trees. During these months, people from Bengal like creating a variety of refreshing green mango delicacies. Aside from the green mango dals, achaars (pickles), and chutneys, they also produce an aam’er tok or ambol, a distinctive transitional dish served after the fish and meat and before the sweets. On really hot days, the ambol or tok can even serve as a dessert to round out the meal.
Chutney in Bengali cuisine is not a pickled chutney or a condiment to be eaten with specific meals. It is, in fact, a separate object. They also serve chutney to Ma Durga at bhog. People from various states often visit West Bengal during Durga puja to have Bhog. The Bhog especially comprises khichuri (also known as khichdi), labra, chutney, papod (papad), and mishti. They serve tomato chutney at most pujas since it is readily accessible all year.
West Bengal is known for its mangoes. They have enough of it. Before the apartment culture invaded the city, every other home had a mango tree. The reason why aamer tok or ambol is a summer staple and is cooked in practically every family throughout the summer.
1. After peeling the mangoes, cut them into 5-cm-long slices.
2. Remove the seed from little mangoes and mangoes in water for thirty minutes to reduce the astringent flavour. Keep aside after straining.
3. Warm 10 gms of mustard oil in a pan. Season with mustard seeds and dried red chilli flakes.
4. Fry the mangoes for 3 minutes over medium heat.
5. Cook for another minute after adding salt before adding 500 gms water.
6. Combine the turmeric and sugar. Because the tartness of mangoes varies greatly, you may need a bit more or less sugar than we’ve suggested.
7. Cook until the mangoes are tender on medium heat. This should just take a few minutes. If you overcook the mangoes, they will crumble and get mushy.
8. Take the pan off the stove. Once cold, keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve cold.
This chutney can be made more watery for consumption during summer, giving you that sweet, sour, and tangy flavour. Simply reduce the amount of water to make a mango jelly chutney. This is the ideal kancha aam for this dish, neither too tiny nor too ripe.