Indian summer means mangoes everywhere. Green mangoes, yellow mangoes, red tipped mangoes, round mangoes, oblong mangoes. Mangoes and more mangoes. Time to eat them now and to preserve them for the coming days.
This khatta meetha achar is a traditional UP preserve called khatmithhi, gudamma (gud is jaggery n the name suggests gud + aam) and paagey aam (meaning mangoes in sugar syrup). Call it by any other name, it is the hot favorite khatta meetha aam much like a gujrati chhunda and is a must do in this season.
For the last two years I am gifting a small jar of this to one of my neighbors as she likes it very much and this time when she asked about the recipe I decided to post it here.
You need raw mangoes for this preserve and if you do not find perfectly raw white flesh mangoes, you can go ahead with the yellowish flesh raw mangoes, it should be sour in taste so that khatta meetha (sweet n sour) taste is done justice with. If the mangoes are very firm and raw it will result in perfectly shaped firm pieces after cooking and if the mangoes are half ripe or slippery while cutting pieces you may end up with a mushy textured preserve.
The good thing is, it does not affect the taste or shelf life of this preserve, so go ahead with making this preserve with whatever type of raw and sour mangoes are available in your part of the world.
It's a step by step procedure and i think it will be easy even for a first timer to make it perfectly.
raw mangoes 2 kilo
sugar 800 gm to 1 kilo ( depending upon if you want more or less syrup)
water 800 ml to 1 L
2 pinches of salt
fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
fennel seeds 2 tsp
red chillies whole 6-8 ( to your taste )
Dry roast the fenugreek, fennel seeds and red chillies in a pan and powder them in the spice grinder. Keep aside.
Peel the raw mangoes with a potato peeler, cut them into 8 pieces and discard the cotyledons, keeping the hard seed coat intact.
Mix with the sugar and water in a stainless steel pan and start cooking.
It can be made thinner (with lesser sugar) to consume within a few days as it keeps in the fridge for a week or so. The preserve is quite sticky and is a common accompaniment of a simple daal chawal lunch during this season.
It is made in Bengali families too and they call it aamer chaatni every family may have their own version but I found one thing very interesting that the sweet chaatni is served in the end of the meal ,just before the dessert in Bengali meals. The chaatni is not eaten along with the meal as it is done in UP families.
Most UP homes will serve this gudamma with every meal during summers. Some people even mix this pickle with daal chawal and eat as a mix which I find repulsive somehow, but it just shows how much people love this khatta meetha aam ka achar. Gudamma or khattmithhi as you may call it.