Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Raw Mango in salt and chili powder - a childhood favorite

If you went to school in India you will know immediately what I am talking about. I am not sure about kids these days but back then we either took the town bus (public transportation) or vans and autos which were jam packed. Anyway when school let off we swarmed to the shops outside which were on open carts, or just supported on bicycles selling all kinds of delicacies. Made more delicious by the hundreds of flies swarming over them I bet! The exact reason why most parents forbade them outright.

These things did not cost much and you always had a buck here or there to buy those. Sorry to confess I was never a very obedient child. Moreover as long as I removed all traces of evidence... I think my mom always knew but then she was also a wise woman. Somebody had already informed her before Anthony Robbins came along not to sweat the small stuff I figure.



All that introduction was to talk about these sliced raw mangoes which were in jars soaking in a chili powder and salt solution. I kid you not that stuff was delicious! I would admit it would be almost impossible to recreate that exact taste at home. Fresh sliced mangoes were added everyday perhaps but I doubt the soaking liquid was ever thrown. That is what gave those mangoes or gooseberries that delicious taste.


kili mooku (parrot beak) mango

The mangoes that were used for this were the parrot beak or the kili mooku as it is called in Tamil (Wikipedia tells me they are called Totapuri in the rest of India). The small gooseberries also called star gooseberries or the much bigger amla gooseberries, the pictures of which you can see in this link, is also soaked in the salt, chili powder solution to delicious results.

Well here in the US, we get raw mangoes but the mangoes are neither sour and even when they are raw they are slightly sweet so I have to make some improvisations to get them to taste similar. While I can bet that vinegar was not used by those road side vendors that is the ingredient I turn to, to get the sour taste which is what gives the soaked raw mangoes their taste.




Dice the mangoes and chilies and add to the bottle.
Sprinkle the chili powder and salt on to the diced mangoes, put lid and place near a sunny window.

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Raw Mango in salt and chili powder
Preparation Time:10 minutes
Soaking Time:Couple of hours or Best 2 days or more
Ingredients
  1. 1-2 raw mangoes
  2. 2-3 green chilies cut into rounds and seeds removed (optional)
  3. 2 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  5. 1 tbsp white vinegar

Method
  1. Dice the mangoes (as small or as big as you want). Dice the chilies and shake out the seeds.
  2. Take a clean, dry glass or ceramic jar with lid and add the mangoes and the sliced chilies to the glass jar.
  3. Add in the salt, chili powder and vinegar. Place the lid and shake so the mangoes are well mixed with the salt and chili powder.
  4. Let sit on a sunny window for about 2 days or more for best results.
  5. As the mango soaks it will start to let out water and shrink in size. It is ready at this stage.


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