Call it a chutney, a relish or a murabba – whatever you may, this lip smacking slightly crunchy and sweet-sour recipe is irresistible. Extremely easy and versatile, the relish with a coarse perky texture and exotic flavor will make you literally lick your fingers clean.
Of course it has many uses, some of which I have listed below. It goes from satisfying a craving sweet tooth after your meal to making an elegant place with the main course in your special menu or even as condiment of the starter … find your own way to enjoy this.
With the approach of September the part of the world is saying goodbye to summer. The stores here have put aside the summer items. The shelves have been emptied to accommodate the scarecrows, pumpkins and fall leaves. Here in Texas the temperature is still soaring above the 90′s and there is no sign of autumn. I have to say I was pretty shocked to see the first squashes and the pumpkins of the season! Part of me does not want to let go of this vibrant summer and fruits and colors. I do not think I am yet ready for the chilly mornings and the leafless trees. Mango season is almost over even in the almost everlasting Texas summer. This is probably the last treasured unripe green mangoes we got. I do not want to admit, but this is one of those end of the summer recipes.
Murabba also murraba or murrabo refers to savory or sweet jam consumed in the Indian Subcontinent. It is traditionally prepared with raw mangoes, sugar, and spices, and resembles a fruit preserve and might easily make you think of orange marmalade. In West Bengal any kind of fruit, vegetables and even some roots are made into murabbas.
Green mango is extensively used in Indian cuisine, esp. during the summer months. Unlike the dripping juicy sweet ripe mangoes, the unripe green mangoes are whitish on the inside and sour. Pick the tight firm mangoes when making a relish. The tart unripe mangoes and the sweetly aromatic small green cardamoms make a darn good combination.
The recipe here is one of A’s favorite and the way his mom makes it. She uses cardamom for the primary flavoring, while I grew up eating the murabba flavored with fennel, cinnamon or clove in my home. As you can see there is not one spice that may be used here. Use what ever you like. I like to use ginger too sometimes.
Aam Murabba/Green Mango Relish
- 2 medium sized raw green (unripe) mangoes, the green skin peeled and the flesh shredded
- 1 cup sugar(or as much needed as the amount will be different if the mango is too sour)
- 12 small green cardamoms (if you want it flavored with cardamom)
- Optional spices to use : crushed red pepper/ roasted cumin/ fennel seeds/nigella /cinnamon /clove or a combination of whatever you want.
Peel the green skin of the raw green mangoes. Shred/grate the flesh of the mangoes and discard the stone.
Place the shredded mango in a cheese cloth and pull the sides of the cheesecloth as you would do to hang cheese or yogurt. Twist and tie the ends at the top.
In a deep pan boil few cups of water (enough for the little pouch of mango to be immersed). Switch off the heat and immerse the pouch of shredded mango in the water for about 7-10 minutes. Remove and let it drain as much as possible. Squeeze out as much water as possible. (This process is to remove the “funny” taste that raw mango can have which can make your throat itch and feel strange and also turn the relish kind or bitter). Remove mango from the cheese cloth.
In a pan combine the drained shredded mango and the sugar at low heat. The sugar will start to dissolve in the remaining water of the mango. Once the sugar dissolves add the pepper or cumin if you are using them and increase the heat. Cook while occasionally stirring till all the sugar and the water has been absorbed. The consistency should be sticky like jam and the mango should still have a light crunch. Switch off the heat.
Make a powder with cardamom seeds, (or whatever spice.. fennel, cumin, cinnamon or clove that you would be using) and add it to the mango. Toss to combine well. Let cool.
Refrigerate in airtight containers. It will stay good for quite a few weeks.
While the murabba/relish is traditionally consumed as a condiment to be had after a meal, it is pretty versatile and works just fine as any regular condiment or relish. Here are some ideas :
- Top savory crackers
- Pairs well with spicy cheese like pepper jack
- accompaniment to fish or chicken/meat
- A tiny sweet spoonful for a quick dessert
More recipe with Raw Green Mango: