Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mango Season and Chire-Doi-Aam

aka Beaten Rice(Poha) mixed with Yogurt, sweet mangoes, bananas and jaggery


Dear Mango, Do you Love me as much as I do thee
Do you look forward to summer,to be in your element or are you just sick and bored with all the hype
And what about all the competition, the Langda, the Himsagar, the Hapoos, running the rat race, do you really want to be there
Do you want to be the chosen one to be sent overseas or you would rather get your guts sucked out by the little boy on the dusty road
Do we even care what you think, no wonder you are sour at times but then your sunny soul takes over and you spread your warm yellow sweetness
But Mango, we really love thee.

I am not sure if the above is a food art that deserves to go to Indira for her Mango Manthram, but I will send it over and see.

Talking of mangoes, I love the hot, sweltering, Indian Summer. I am not sure I loved it as much when I actually survived it. But now when my Ma cribs about the temps soaring to the 40’s and it being extremely hot and unbearable, I sympathize with her audibly but secretly I am pining for that heat, for the relief that the whirring fan would bring after a prolonged power cut, the coolness of the watermelon sherbet that waited for me when I reached home after a sweaty bus journey, the cool feel of the marble floor soon after it had been freshly mopped.There is pure pleasure in seeking out comfort instead of it being served on a platter.


Now every summer my Ma would do this particular Puja called “Jai Mangalbar” each Tuesday of some summer month. I do not remember the details, it was kind of a fast or actually a vrata followed by a katha/story and Puja for the Goddess Mangalchandi who I am sure is one of the many embodiments of Durga. Only that it was not fast in the real sense, you went without breakfast in the morning and then at lunch instead of the usual, rice-daal and fish curry you had a special delicious spread taking full advantage of the summer bounty a la Mangoes. So lunch was “Chire Doi Aam” which means beaten rice or poha mixed with yogurt, sweet ripe mangoes, bananas and the whole thing sweetened with sondesh. This was also called “Falar”(Falahar or fruit diet) for some unknown reason as it was not strictly fruits that you ate.

This simple dish was so delicious that after having the Prasad for a a week or two, I decided to go the whole nine yards and jumped into the “Jai Mangalbar” bandwagon. It was summer hols anyway and I woke up late, so skipping breakfast wasn’t a big deal. A quick bath and a few mantras and rituals later I would join my Ma for this special lunch sitting on the cool floor of the Puja Room.

The strange thing is this concoction of Chire, Doi and Aam could be normally had at any day of the week without the “holy” tag and was often offered to me as an evening snack or breakfast during the summer. But there was some kind of a special feel about having it on those particular summer Tuesdays, sitting on the Puja room floor with my Ma & Grandma, the heady smell of the incense and flowers making the dish ethereal.

When I got the first ripe mangoes of this season, I was craving this simple dish. I had it for breakfast sitting on the dining table on a regular weekday, not exactly the same effect that the mantra, the katha , the incense and the Langda would induce in this simple dish but it was a joy none the less.

Chire Doi Aam

Soak 1 cup of beaten rice(raw poha) for a minute or so in water. The poha I get here gets soft very quickly and needs minimal soaking, you might need to soak yours longer till it is soft but not mushy. Drain the water completely and transfer to a bowl. Add about ½ cup of plain yogurt. Peel and add the flesh of one ripe, sweet mango. Add half a banana chopped. I added about 1 tbsp of jaggery instead of sondesh to sweeten it. You can add other forms of sweetener too. Mix well, umm... your fingers being the best mode as you can lick off them too. Eat immediately.

This healthy and ideal summery breakfast is my entry for May Mango Madness (WBB #22) hosted by Escapades. I just came across the Beautiful Bones event by Susan at Food Blogga, my Mom suffers from osteoporosis and I might be at risk too though I haven't got tested yet and so I thought this would be a easy simple brekfast that gives you your calcium from yogurt and bananas. Also vitamin B-12 and vitamin K may reduce fracture risk by increasing bone mineral density as well as the improvement of bone microarchitecture and mangoes provide a good source of both.

Trivia: Chandi is one of the most popular folk deities in Bengal, and a number of poems and literary compositions in Bengali called Chandi Mangala Kavyas were written from 13th century to early 19th century. These had the effect of merging the local folk and tribal goddesses with mainstream Hinduism. (The Wiki)
Personally I feel these folk cum religious rituals played a more social than religious part. In an era when the women were deprived of simple pleasures and denied good food, if you notice most of these rituals practiced by women folk of the house had good food as an important part of the process, thus giving the women an excuse to savor the nicer things which they were normally deprived of.


  1. finally bongmom blessed me with her visit;) seriuosly i love ur ways... theres something about the way you write..
    and yeah iam from jsr... where were u in bihar... iam also 3/4th bihari n 1/4 tamil.. :) and me n my bro joke that we r hybrids but our kids would b hundred % biharis... now i dont know how my kids wud b .. bihari+tamil+PUNJU... scary:)
    i have had d chire doi aam...i love it... i have had many bong frens thruout my life.. so love bong food... do u make that patasha wala kheer?
    sorry for d long comment...

  2. that is one creative entry for mango manthram

  3. wow wow, what lovely culinary creation with mango and i love the poem too... Always you rock with ur style Sandeepa! It is absolutely worth to go to the event!
    The poha and mango and another unusual combo but delish!

  4. Hi, couldn't see the pix. I went home this week to see my newborn niece and the heat hit me hard with the realisation that I'd forgotten just how hot it could get there in the summer - temps are 45, 46!
    Since you mentioned Durga, I must tell you that the trip home was full of her mention as that's whom they want to name the niece after! They've not settled on anything yet.

  5. aha! chire diye aam , khob bhalo lage khete ....Ki moja ..
    Loved the mango art and poem also ..
    hugs and smiles

  6. sandy, beautiful post man...very relaxing to read your write up!..I feel nostalgic reading that part abt mopped marble floor!..these days we dont' seem to have time for anything...

    I loved that poem on mango and of course your art is wonderful..

    never heard abt this dish with poha with mango and bongs really rock!..:)..Amma was just telling me the other day on how she is missing the fruits and calcatta...:)

    and my daughter is now going to 3rd std!

  7. beautiful art piece. Mr. Mango is looking good. Lovely poem.

  8. everything looks good,..thnks for sharing,..recipe looks good,..

  9. Sandeepa thata vey artisric and nice write up tooo

  10. Sandeepa, the heat I did not even notice it when I was surviving it. I take heat to the cold any day.
    Chire-Doi-Aam love the name. Bengali is sure a lyrical language.

    The art looks lovely, a little help from lil S perhaps :)

  11. Nice Mango face there!:)

    Poha upma with mango, they make it in the south too but I have never tasted it. Looks good.

    Is your child off school now? 11th is last day here. After that i have to cook lunch and dinner too,They used to eat lunch in school! More work for me!

    I made your Phulka Luchi ar alur dom, excellent combo, Luchis were so soft and alu dum was tasty! Will link this Wednesday at FH, thank you. Sandeepa!:)

  12. Thank you for the lovely story and recipe, Sandeepa. Any food that evokes feelings of love for your Ma is high on my list. Stay cool!


  13. this post was a real treat...picture is kewl :P who made it? reading ur posts is like sitting with a nice book that takes me to an unknown land and ppl whose life unfolds in various colours, ofcourse with a dash of nostalgia....u shd take up writing seriously :)


  14. Hi...
    That was a lovely mango face. Great job.

    Poha uppma's new name sounds so good. Never heard it before. Poha with sweet mango ,nice combo. Great recipe. Loved it. Have to try once...

  15. can totally relate getting into the prayer session basically for the prashad ;)...and btw. loved the mango art that lil S did :D....arree..mar matth :P

  16. that mango art is so beautiful. and this dish is something i'd love to try, but using mango pulp, ''cos that's all the good rips mango we get.

  17. Loved this piece, Sandeepa.
    Reminds me of a Nida Fazli couplet:

    Acchi sangat dekh kar
    sangi badley roop,
    Jaisey mil kar aam sey
    Meethi ho gayee dhoop.

  18. hahahahaha the 1st photo simply made me laugh...really cute art:)..the poha dish looks delcicious.

  19. adorable looking Mr. Mango Head (aka known as Mr. Potato Head's cousin along for a summer visit!).


  20. I love that mango man :). Very interesting recipe.

  21. Love the poem and love the art even more! U always rock.

  22. Mr Mango to darun mojar. I especially like his hair and expression. And sweet poem there.

    I love that you reminded me of chire am doi...jai ekhon aam kine aani.

    You are so right about "There is pure pleasure in seeking out comfort instead of it being served on a platter". e.g. I still yearn for that feeling when I drank water out of metallic glasses in a hot day. Water is no more so heavenly anymore. And the feel of cool floor and aar dupure thanda jole snan...I know what you are talking about. You are a wizard of words...I will say it again!

  23. the name by itself sounds like poetry - this sound fantastic given the heat in chennai right now. thanks for sharing such a happy recipe.

  24. Hi, I found this blog from Aayi's recipes and must say I am impressed. Quite a few food blogs I have explored in the past few days and all of them are equally good. Hats off to you guys for being this creative and innovative with food, n for keeping the tradition alive at the same time.
    Dudh bhaath with aam/kola, and doi, cheede and aam used to be my favorites...haven't savored them in years!! Thanks for bringing back the memories...:)


  25. Loved reading your post and the mango face is real funny.:) Thank you Sandeepa for this soulful contribution to mango manthram event.

  26. Swati
    Come on I did stop by before, didn't I ? Sorry dear but my blog hops have been very erratic lately. And don't worry the kids will be pukka Indian

    Rachel, Cham
    Now don't make fun of me :)

    Chennai itself is hot , where did you venture ? And congrats on the niece. Durga has so many wonderful names, some I had no clue of. Even my daughter's name is one of Durga's but I had decided on it becuase I had loved how it sounded on my tongue, later I came to know that it was one of Durga's 108 names.

    But mangoes here are not as good as the ones you are enjoying :)

    Eeven now if I am in India during pre-summer or summer I tend to roll on the floor especially in the afternoons, it is so much better

    Uma, Notyet, Smn
    Thanks dear

    If you have had Curd Rice with mangoes and sweetened it with jaggery you can imagine how this would taste.

    This is not like Upma as it is not cooked at all, everything is in raw natural form.
    School here is till end of June but she is not going to summer camp after that, my parents are coming :)
    You like the Luchi-Alur dom, now me want some too

    Thanks for the event

    I stole the googly eyes from S's craft box, I bet her art form would have been better ;-)
    And the feeling is mutual, when I read your stories about Kerala, an unknown land opens up

    Hey this is not cooked at all so is not like upma which needs to be cooked right ?

    Yeah as I told Shn, S would have come up with something better maybe ;-) Anyway I have labelled her "Ms. Know All" as whatever I try to tell her, she insists she already knows.

    I ddin't have Indian Mangoes, I used Mexican ones, surely you get those whichever wilderness you reside in ;-)
    Mango Pulp, have only used for dessert, wouldn't be as fleshy...

    That was such a beautiful couplet

    Ranji, Arundathi, Shilpa, Shankari
    You girls are making too much fun of me

    Ami nije koto din por chire-doi-aam khelam je ki bolbo :D And did you ever see a surahi or "kunjo", the earthen pots to keep water cool at home ?
    It was blissful to touch them and drink water from them or maybe I am just thinking it was...who knows...

    This is definitely a very cooling breakfast


    Thanks for accepting :)

  27. Thank you for visitng my blog and leaving encouraging words.
    Chire-Doi-Aam reminded me of the cool breakfasts of summer vacations when we visited our Thamma...doodh-muri aam,doodh-muri-kola,narkel-doodh-muri ... :-)

  28. Kunjor jol oti mishto,
    na peye tai bhari dukkho.

    Eki...kobita berochche je...tomar influence I tell you!

  29. Sandeepa - tumi ki bhishon homesick - oof to miss powercuts and temp in the 40s you have to be :)
    Tomaar comfort food ta ami khai na but its so so popular with most of my family . AG has it with muri but at home Ma used chire like you .

  30. Eve's Lungs
    Eikhane actual summer hoy hardly 3 months, tar upor ei bare spring eo thanda thakchilo, kobe je gorom porbe ei bhebe bhebe, power cut, 40's e temp shob kichui byapok anonder mone hochilo :)

    Recently khanik gorom hoyeche, janla khule, pakha chaliye rakhchi, raat obdi baire boshe thaka jache, grill kora jache backyard e...ekhon anek better :)

    Tobe amra equator er nikotborti lok-jon, gorom na porle ki mone anondo ashe

  31. Mystic
    Heavvy kobita namiyecho :D

  32. That is one cute mango... :) Very creative Sandeepa... And you are not seriously wishing for 40 degree weather are you? I'd rather sit in front of the fire under a blanket than under the fan... :)

  33. Oh btw, I watched Indiana jones last week too, and loved it... You are right, 100 times better entertainment :)

  34. What a beautiful post! I loved reading about the rituals behind the dish, and your memories. Thanks for sharing. Now I'm off looking for this 'beaten rice'!

  35. Poha with mango & bananas must be delicious! And we call it phalahar too, though there is no phal involved in most dishes! :)

  36. I'll send you some sunshine :) The mango is cute.... The poha is something I'd try... we make something close we have as a snack.

  37. Sounds like heaven, Sandeepa. I'd have to leave out the bananas, but will surely try this! :)

  38. yeah sweltering sumer just about now sounds so nice!!your narration makes this dish special..can't treat it just as a snack.

  39. So glad to get my net connection back! I was missing my fave posts for four whole days! That looks lip smacking..I mean look at the lovely ingredients. We make sweet poha with jaggery but never with fruits...Got to try this...maybe I could ask H to make it on her own for her evening snack today:) Oh..that first one reminds me of Oswald:)-Cute!

  40. Very creative and cute looking mango.

  41. Hi sandeepa
    The first pic is so creative.good one.

  42. Hi Sandeepa,

    I chanced upon visiting your blog looking out for some recipes. But I do visit nowadays whenver I get time to. You really write well.....too many memories came flooding back....Ma/ Grandma and the thanda mejhe!

    Thanks for all the memories!

  43. Hi Sandeepa, I liked what you wrote about mangoes. Saw it at Mahanandi. A really nice event - this combo of art and cuisine :).

  44. Sandeepa that guys cute and your recipe really a cooler.

  45. For some strange reason I have never enjoyed the Bengali-style Chire-Doi. Prefer Chire done spicy mostly. But mango season is always fun; the rains are finally here, so it's on the verge of ending!

  46. Very interesting.. This looks yummy. I have to try it. BTW, I have tagged you on a Meme. Check out my blog for more info :)


  47. AWE!!! That mango creation looks so cute!! :)

  48. Hey Sandeepa Mango Creation looks fabulous.

    Check My blog there is surprise for you.

  49. I am a new reader of your blog. Saw this ‘chire-doi-aam’. Once I could not afford a mango in Germany from my meagre student scholarship. was having some chire from India. Joy-mangalbar. Haar manle ki chole? So I added some mixed fruit jam. Sch experiment was not so nice- but better than nothing. :) :)

  50. hmm..sandeepa, this was my breakfast today.. and loved it!perfect for summer and as i ate it, ur words still reverberated in my head.:)

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  52. Lol! I thought this website was about making bongs. I am trying to figure out how to make a bong out of a mango and that is what I thought this was. You should change your name Bong Mom to something that wont be false advertising.

  53. Did you ever think Anon that a "Bong" has more meaning than what you have been searching for.
    "Bong" refers to Bengalis, people from a particular area called West Bengal in India

  54. is very informative. The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading every day.
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  55. a nice blog! apnar jodi "Khoi Chur er Moa " -r recipe jana thake, please share korun na. I'd love to learn the way it should be made. A friend's mom used to make it when we were toddlers - she used to add Michhri, Saunf in it. I have been trying to locate the recipe for a while.

  56. was looking for joys of joi mongalbar and stumbled into you. MIL is visiting and all these traditions started which I did not grow with, my mom had very few rituals in her list. Find it little overwhelming with all the fasting and all also not sure about the expectations from me. any tip on menu fro joi mongolbar will be great...


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