This mango chunda or aam ka chunda is a combination of pickle and chutney. Made with semi-ripe mangoes it's also wonderfully sweet and spicy with aromatic warm spices.
There are many names and many variations to this mango dish from aam ka murabba, to chunda. Some call it a pickle while others say it is a chutney. In many parts of India, this is also made with other fruits like plums, gooseberry, apples, apricots, and cherries.
Is there a difference between murabba and chunda?
Yes! Both are stored like a preservative or jam. While you can make them on the stove way back in the old day, they were fermented in sugar in glass jars in open sunlight.
- A murabba is made without spices and often eaten as a dessert or served over a dessert. It is sweetened with jaggery with a touch of cardamom and cloves. In fact, it is often made with saffron (kesar) for that wonderful rich color.
- Chunda is made with spices such as cumin and chili powder as well as whole garam masala spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, star anise etc.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Mangoes - I like to use semi-ripe mangoes (more yellow rather than raw green). This enhances the sweetness of the chunda and the texture also becomes very soft to almost dissolved. Of course, you can use raw mangoes too. In fact, the more raw the mangoes, the more grainy the texture of the chunda will be.
- Whole spices - I like using whole spices instead of garam masala powder. These add a nice warm flavor but less heat.
- Sweetness - I like my chunda sweet so I used a generous amount of jaggery and sugar.
- Spicy - I like a good balance of sweet and spicy so I use chili powder. You can of course use less or add more per your taste.
Tips for Success
- All excess moisture must be drained off from the mangoes Sun-dry or oven-dry the mango pieces so the excess moisture is dried out.
- Use sterilized jars - that have been washed, dried as well as sun-dried or oven-dried
- Use sealable jars that will prevent any air from getting into the jars.
- Make sure there is enough oil in the bottle on the top to prevent mold formation.
- You can also divide the above recipe and make a smaller batch and store it in the fridge. That way you can omit the sun-dry or oven-drying process completely.
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Makes 4 x 250 grams bottles
- 500 grams (3 cups) Sem-ripe mangoes grated
- 1½ teaspoon Salt
- 100 grams (½ cup) Jaggery
- 150 grams (¾ cups) Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Cumin powder roasted
- 1 teaspoon Chili powder Kashmiri
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 2 Green Cardamom pods elichi
- 3 inch Cinnamon stick dalchini
- 4 Whole cloves lavang
- 1 Star anise
- 1 Bay leaf
- Mangoes - Wash, and peel the mangoes. Then grate them using the thick side of the grater. Pro tip - the grated mangoes can be macerated with jaggery and sugar in the fridge for up to 24 hours.500 grams Sem-ripe mangoes
- Combine - In a large heavy-bottom pot or skillet add all the chunda ingredients. Cook on medium heat until the sugar and jaggery have completely dissolved.1½ teaspoon Salt, 100 grams Jaggery, 150 grams Sugar, ½ teaspoon Cumin powder, 1 teaspoon Chili powder, ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder, 2 Green Cardamom pods, 3 inch Cinnamon stick, 4 Whole cloves, 1 Star anise, 1 Bay leaf
- Boil - Once all the sugar and jaggery have dissolved turn to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for two full minutes, and then, reduce the heat to medium-low
- Simmer - Continue to simmer on low heat stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened similar to a jam.
- Cool - Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool for a few minutes before you transfer it to sterilized jars. Pro tip- at this point, it is best to remove the whole spices as they tend to continue to add heat to the chunda hot.
- Storage - The sealed jars will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months. Once opened the jar should be used within 4 weeks. Pro tip - Alternatively, this chunda can be canned in sterilized jars using the canning process. The canned jars will keep for up to 12 months.
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