#Foodventures – Sweet and Spicy Mango Chutney
The word chutney got introduced to the Oxford English Dictionary in the early 2000s but much before that, grandmothers knew how to make a meal better. They knew what to do when leftover food had to be given a new taste. The concept of sweet and spicy mango chutneys was introduced to me by my Nani, my maternal grandmother.
Grated raw mango, simmered over a coal furnace for over eight hours with spices like cardamom bark, pepper balls, star anise and coriander seeds, preserved with lemon, salted and then sweetened with jaggery and a rich dose of raisins and grated dates. The perfect Navratan Mango Chutney was a specialty at our place.
Made every summer and consumed over the year until the season came back to life again next year, this chutney’s versatility is undisputed. Try it out with a crispy layered paratha over breakfast, spread it on a bread slice for a quick bite or just use it with dal-chawal, it adds flavor and taste to a meal. As a kid, I have also got a couple of spoonful in a bowl to just eat when I feel the need for an evening snack. The juicy fruit, when cooked in the spices leaves an unforgettable taste in the mouth. As they say today, you just stop licking the spoon.
Watching Vir’s tête–à–tête with the chef on Alubukhara Dahi Tikki , made me think of how our cuisines are mostly polar. We even ask our guests if they would like to have something sweet or sour. We are tuned to think that sweet and spicy don’t go together. But have you tried a jalebi with a paratha? The plain wheat paratha with the sugar laden jalebi is another #Foodventures and the truth is that you wouldn’t you know what you are missing unless you try.
Everyday food is boring and it becomes more monotonous if there is no adventure. Combining flavors that are opposite and extraordinarily different is a fun way to let go of old and chime in the new.
So, what are you waiting for? Put on your white chef hats and don that apron lying in your closet. Bring out the food connoisseur in you. Experiment, try out combinations of sweet and spicy for two reasons. One, to understand food like never before. Getting into both the art and science of experimenting with food. Two, your experiment could get you closer to your food dream when you get a chance to be in a #Foodventures video with either Vikas Khanna or Vir Sanghvi!
Sounds exciting, isn’t it? Go for it readers and get lucky this festive season.