Monday, December 04, 2006

Kancha Aamer Ambol ar Chaatni

Aam er Ambol, Green Mango Chutney, Aam er Chaatni

Aam er Ambol | Aam er Chaatni

Aam er Ambol or Aam er Tok -- a subtly sweet, more tangy, light and soupy broth-- is a Bengali dish made with green, unripe mangoes in the peak of summer and usually served as a coolant at the end of a meal or along with the meal. It is a little different from the Bengali Mango Chutney which is also made with green, raw mangoes but is  sweeter and thicker in consistency.

Green Mango Chutney to tickle your taste buds if the name hasn’t already. This recipe was long due considering we have it pretty often but as Chandrika said the pics never got taken. Need I say in not so many words I simply love this Ambol & Chutney.

As I said in an earlier post a traditional Bengali meal usually consists of five to six courses, starting off with something bitter and ending with a sweet dessert. The fifth course served just prior to the dessert is the sweet & sour ambol or chutney.

The chutney (pronounced cha-a-tni in Bengali) in Bengal is not the chutney, sold in jars in the Asian/Indian Aisle of your SuperMarket and hugely popular in the Western World . The Chutney as we have it in a Bengali household is almost always prepared fresh and is eaten as a course of a lunch or a dinner to accent the meal and not as a relish or as a dip. It is the pickle which is preserved for later day use.

Different regions in India specialize in the ingredients they use for their chutneys and Bengal specializes in Chutney made with fruits like raw mango, tomato, pineapple, papaya etc. Also since fish is a part of an everyday Bengali meal, chutney or ambol made with fish specially the head of Hilsa is also pretty popular. My Dida (maternal grandma ) would make this amazing chutney with head of hilsa and tamarind which she called “macher tak” . Another fellow blogger SpiceandCurry talks about ambol made with fish roe fritters here

As I already said I love all sorts of chutneys, tomato chutney and mango chutney being my favorites. I remember when I first started school in one of the hill stations of West Bengal and would be very miserable with the whole school thing, the bright spot of the day would be my Ma or the help at home arriving with my lunch which almost every day would be Rice, Chanar Dalna (Paneer in a light gravy) & Tomato Chutney. The spoonfuls of Tomato Chutney mixed with Rice (ok, that’s not the norm, that’s not how a decent Bengali should eat his chutney) would make my day. Instead of relegating Chutney to a position towards the end of the meal, I almost always start with it.

And my little daughter loves Chutney too. She calls it “Chantinge” and used to love it even a couple of months back, Now she is becoming more opinionated and has taken a fancy to eating ketchup, that too by itself. I sincerely hope she gets hooked on to my dear chutney again.
Difference between Ambol and Chaatni: The ambol is very light and is like a soup, the emphasis is more on the sourness. The chaatni is thick and is usually more sweet.

Aam er Ambol | Aam er Chaatni

What You Need

For Ambol

Raw Mango ~ 1 Green raw Mango, peeled and cut into long strips
Black Mustard Seeds ~ 1/2 tsp for phoron or tempering
Yellow Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp for phoron or tempering
Dry Red Chilli - 2
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Sugar ~ according to taste (1/2 Cup for a sour broth and 1 Cup for sweeter)

For Chaatni

Raw Mango ~ 1 cut into pieces as shown in pic
Mustard Seed ~ 1/2 tsp for phoron or tempering
Dry Red Chillies ~ 2
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Panch Puran ~ dry roasted and ground to a powder 1/2 tsp of the powder

Sugar ~ 1 Cup or more

How I Do It


Wash and roughly peel the raw mangoes. You don’t have to take out the peel very smoothly

Chop them up. Usually they are chopped longitudinally for ambol and cubed for chutney.

Heat Mustard Oil in Kadhai/Frying Pan
Add Black and Yellow Mustard seeds and the Dry Red Chili.

As soon as the mustard seeds start sputtering , add the chopped mangoes
Add Turmeric powder and sauté the mangoes for 3-4 minutes
The mangoes will take on a nice yellow because of the turmeric

Add salt and about 2 Cups of water. Water should be enough to submerge the mangoes.
Mix and cover and cook till mangoes are done.

Add sugar according to your desired level of sweetness or as suggested. Add sugar only when mangoes are almost cooked.
Boil for a couple more minutes and you are done.
The consistency should be like a light soup and the mangoes should be soft


Wash and roughly peel the raw mangoes. You don’t have to take out the peel very smoothly

Chop them up in small pieces as in the pic

Heat Mustard Oil in Kadai/Frying Pan
Add Mustard seeds and Dry Red Chili

As soon as the mustard seeds start sputtering , add the chopped mangoes
Add  Turmeric powder and sauté the mangoes
The mangoes will turn a nice yellow because of the turmeric and will also soften a little.

Add salt and about 1 Cup water. Water should be enough to cook the mangoes. The chaatni should be thick and so add water moderately
Mix and cover and cook till mangoes are done. With the spatula check to see if the mangoes are cooked to softness.

Add sugar according to your desired level of sweetness. About 1 Cup of sugar for 1 Mango. If mangi is not sour enough then add less sugar.
Cook and Reduce the water till you get a thick consistency.
Roast the PaanchPhoron in a skillet and dry grind it. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of this powder on the chaatni.

According to this source unripe green mangoes are beneficial in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders. Eating one or two small tender mangoes in which the seed is not fully formed with salt and honey is found to be very effective medicine for summer diarrhea, dysentery, piles, morning sickness, chronic dyspepsia, indigestion and constipation.
The green mango is valuable in blood disorders because of its high vitamin C content.

I so wanted to send this out to Kalyn yesterday but Blogger misbehaved. So am sending this to WHB for this week hosted by SwankCaterers.
Trivia:The mango is in the same family as poison ivy and contains urushiol, though much less than poison ivy.


  1. I can't wait to make this Sandeepa....... but will have to wait till I start getting raw mangoes in singapore :( So may be by next yr. :) Thanks for sharing such a wonderful chutney. :)

  2. Sandeepa,
    Enjoy your posts and your explanation very much! Thank you :-D

  3. Hi, how is this eaten in Bengal? Not with rice? Your write-up seems to imply that's not "the decent Bengali way." :)

  4. Sandeepa, what a delicious chaatni and also the story. My grandmom used to make a similar chutney too with a mango that roughly translates to 'Parrot Beak' from Tamil.

  5. Sandeepa, looks mouthwatering, literaaly!! My cheeks are hurting:D

    I wish I could get some raw mangoes, so I can try your chutney.

    Good info about family traditions,nise to read.

  6. Rooma,
    We get raw mangoes even in this cold winter, it doesn't seem right as mangoes are associated with summer, but who cares :)

    Thanks for visiting, serves me right :)

    If you are having a traditional Bengali meal where you are being served instead of you serving yourself, you would get Chaatni only towards the very end the second last dish.
    By that time most of your rice will be eaten :) You can keep a little aside and have it if you want but most people I know don't.

    Is that the name of the recipe ?

    Thanks , you should get some in NC or come to NJ. We get it all year round

  7. Very nice!

    I guess with cooking most of vitamin 'c' would be lost.

    I like mine raw and simple, and here is how I make these.

    1. Coriander fresh one bunch of 150 grams + green chillies (to taste, I use around 12-14)+ half onion + 8-10 leaves of mint, salt, a bit of sugar + juice of 1 lemon/lime. Put everything together in a blender & voila!! You can eat it with Pakoras, lunch or dinner or make cutney sandwiches with a slice of cummin-cheese.

    2. Two small & young raw mangoes (so that they do not have the fibres yet), take out the seeds/core, put in a blender with 1 bunch of coriander leaves, green chillies about 6-8, salt to taste, and a bit of sugar & 3-4 spoons of water, put in a blender to a fine paste. Separately, heat 1 tablespoon of oil, a bit of cummin seed, mustard seed, till these are brown, add to the above.

    Both should keep for weeks (in a glass bottle) in a fridge.

  8. yummy chutney, neat explanation with demo.

  9. Sandeepa, realy lovely recipe. Nice raw mangoes are not easy to get in London, one has to travel miles. But when I do next, I am sure to make this recipe...thanks for sharing ~smile~...

  10. dear Sandeepa'
    oh Chaatni , simply yummy ,great one , great info on traditions also .
    with this visit to your lovely recipe (I am craving for it now)'I will be taking a break from blogging .will catch up with you soon..
    hugs and smiles

  11. Hey Sandeepa,your chutney looks delicious.and so sweet of your daughter to call it chantige..I smiled when I read how old is your princess?

    I make a similar version of this chutney whenever I can lay my hands on them.

  12. Aamer Chatni with Posto .. heavenly .. or Tok Daal ...I am just missing all that now!

  13. That is a wonderful entry. I wish I could lay my hands on some Indian mangoes!

  14. ur ambol has a kerala cousin. we call it kadu manga and its the same . we add red chili powder along with turmeric and curry leaves while tempering. i love it with ghee rice!

  15. Nice explanation Sandeepa.

  16. Wow! Green mangoes chaatni is very yummmm ,wish I could just take a spoonful off the computer screen...:)

  17. Hi Sandeepa. Ambol and Chaatni looks yummy. I think i will try Chantinge as it would be thick and SWEET :). You must be loving the way your little one says it. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Yesterday i tried to leave comment but had some problem in publishing i guess.

  18. I ams so happy I found your blog! Weee...and you have so much traditional cooking going on here! Wow! Great going!

    I have only heard about Bengali food and would love to try out your recipes. Thanks a bunch!

  19. Sandeepa:
    We used to have this at every funciton if it was the season i used to so much love it ...reminded me of all that
    Thanks buddy

  20. Very intersting. I had no idea that what is called chutney is quite different in India. I love tamarind and green mango so I think I would like this.

  21. Hi,

    Doi maach is delicious. Wonderful picture. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Aaahaaa Sandeepa !! Tomar Chaatni jibhey jol niye aashchey !!! What a Perfectly Authentic look of the Chatni !! Your Bangali Recepi reminds me of Ma's food !! Ooh I just miss them heavenly !! Keep your wonderful Blog Going. Really good work !! :)

  23. Hi,

    Tried out the chutney today.. and it turned out to be awesome... I am born and broght up in bengal so consider myself bengali from heart.. and miss these misc bengali food since we dont have any bengali resturant in bay area :( .. Thanks again for the post.. Keep up the good work


  24. Hi Sandeepa...discovered your blog today while hunting for a recipe for enchor-er chop. Havnt found yet....but found your wonderful page tho!!

    Aamer Ambal is gonna be my "special dish" next weekend!!

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  27. Hi,
    Mango is good for health.Thanks for posting the recipe of or Chaatni. I like it very much.. I am going to taste try it..

  28. Hello, I have recently moved to Kolkata with my husband. Being a non-Bong I noticed Chaatnis at bengali meals at our friends often. I have been dying to try to make it myself. Thank you for this simple recipe. You have a great blog here, I will surely visit it a lot more often now.

  29. Aha! Raw mangoes are so yummy! I will try this out myself over the weekend, for my entire family, everyone will be all-smiles, then, for sure! :-)
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  31. Dear Sandeepa,

    Thank you for your continued support in answering to my queries - I believe in making dishes the way the original chef thought of it. I also lack experience to make my own judgement. So:

    About the Ambol:

    1. How big is your raw mango? The one I get in South Arica is around 3 inches long and 2 inch at the maximum thickness. Or please suggest the weight of the mango

    2. How much Sugar, Salt and Turmeric do you add? I cannot make it without your help

    3. What oil do you suggest?

    4. How much oil do I use (in spoonfuls please)

    5. How much water do I add (in ml or cups please)

    For the chaat-ney:

    1. How big is your mango? In dimensions or weight please

    2. Which oil? How much?

    3. How much salt?

    4. How much turmeric? One pinch?

    Thank you very much... I have bought the raw mangoes and look forward to your help in cooking them. My wife loves it.



  32. Aseem

    I am sorry but I really do not cook with such precision :) You can use both Mustard Oil or White Oil for making this. The mangoes in your country sounds smaller than what I get here, maybe 1&1/2 -2 cups of chopped mangoes should be fine.
    Turmeric -- 1/4 tsp.
    Check this

  33. Dear Sandeepa,

    I appreciate your point of view - good cooks do not need such detailed notes... which I am not :-(

    I will try my luck - just one detail - how much water and sugar for the ambol? I will try to be a better cook but need this...

    Thank you for your patience...


  34. Check the other link

    It is more precise. For ambol, more water is needed than chaatni. The sugar, please add more to your taste.

  35. I did it! I did it! Thanks a million... My aam chaatni has passed muster with Mandira Di... my bengali neighbour!

    I used 1.5 Cups of sliced raw mango, 1/2 tsp of halid, 1/3 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp roasted radhuni powder...

    What a treat it is!

    Thanks a lot once again.... Now off to making beguni for my khuchuri...

    As the guy with the golden arches says - I am loving it!


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