Thursday, June 15, 2023

Gur Aam | Mango Pickle with Jaggery

Gur Aaam | mango with jaggery

Gur Aam | Kairi ki Launji 

Gur Aam is a sweet, tangy and spicy Mango Chutney or Pickle made with green mangoes,  jaggery and spices like paanchphoron. This recipe makes an instant pickle which is pretty simple and forgiving.

Summer in India is synonymous with two things - heat and summer fruits. However when we were kids, the heat did not bother us as much. Maybe it didn't get this hot or everything feels better in nostalgia? I don't know!

We didn't even have air-conditioning and load-shedding aka power cuts for hours on end was an everyday affair. I was talking to my cousin and we were wondering how in spite all of this we have absolutely no memories of how hot, sweaty and unbearable summer would get. 

In our memory, the Indian summer of our childhood is always a happy place; dripping with sweet juice of mangoes and litchis, spicy and tangy like the jars of mango pickles sunning in the ceramic jars and lazy like the slow whirring ceiling fans which struggled to stir up hot air. Long summer holidays, hot summer evenings on the swing hung from the mango or guava tree, sleeping on the terrace during power cuts, hugging a earthenware kujo which used to keep the water cool and provided that few seconds of cooling relief,  watermelon juice with clinks of that rare delight called ice cubes, black shiny jamuns plucked from the tree and lots and lots of mangoes.

Gur Aaam | mango with jaggery

Mango season started in early summer with green, raw mangoes. The kaal boishakhi in the month of Boishakh usually brought a huge haul of unripe mangoes plucked prematurely from the trees by the storm.  So summer inevitably meant Mango chutneys, Kaancha aam er Ambal , Aam Dal and  jars and jars of sour, tangy, sweet mango pickles. Now pickle making is a test in patience and discipline. So naturally I mostly stay away from it.

This Gur Aam though is an instant pickle for people like me. Mangoes are slow cooked in mustard oil with jaggery and spiced up with paanchforon and dry red chili to make this sweet, spicy, tangy delight. It is a simple recipe with a delicious result. 

Gur Aam - an Instant Mango Pickle

What You Need

Green Mangoes - 3
Jaggery - 3 Cups

Paanchphoron - 1 Tbsp
Dry Red Chili - 2 + 4
Mustard Oil - 3 Tbsp

Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 2 tsp

How I Made It

Wash the green, raw mangoes. Peel the skin in stripes.

Now chop the mango in long slices or in cubes. The green mangoes in India used for this recipe has a soft and small seed. The green mangoes that I get here however have a larger seed, which I keep aside to be later added to mango dal.

Heat mustard oil in a kadhai.

One the oil is hot, add a couple of dry red chilli. I sometimes also add panchphoron at this point. Now add the chopped mangoes, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Sauté the mangoes for 5 minutes. 

Next add a little water and let the mangoes cook until just fork tender. Usually this takes 15 mins or so.

Once the mangoes are tender, add the jaggery. Sugarcane jaggery is what is recommended for this pickle. I like to break/crumble the jaggery before adding it to the mangoes.
Add about 3 to 3.5 Cups of jaggery (broken down in smaller pieces) to the Kadhai.

The jaggery will melt slowly into a thick syrup. Lower the heat and let the mangoes cook in this syrup. I let it cook on low flame for 45 mins to an hour until  the sauce is glistening and thick.

Now dry roast until you start sneezing
1 Tbsp Panchforon
4 Dry Red Chilli

Cool and make  a fine powder.

Sprinkle this spice powder on the Gur Aam in the kadhai. Switch off the heat and leave it for a couple of hours until it cools and thickens more.

Now store in an air-tight container in refrigerator.

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