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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bengali Chutney Recipes

Chutney is a sweetened or sweet-sour relish in bengali cuisine prepared from the seasonal fruits available and is a must after a spicy meal. Normally, chutney is served towards the end of the main meal and before the dessert. It provides a touch of freshness to your tongue which helps you get ready to enjoy your after-meal dessert fully. Bengali chutney is totally different from South Indian Chutneys, as it is mainly prepared out of tart products like tomatoes, pineapple, apple, green mango, plum, berries with dry fruits in it seasoned with Panch phoron or mustard seed mainly.

Tomato & Green mango chutney

Ingredients :
Tomato(medium) : 2
Green Mango : 1
Sugar : 1/3 cup
Dry red chilli : 1 (broken into 2)
Panch phoron : 1 tsp.(mixture of cumin, black cumin, fenugreek, mustard & fennel seed-mix all in similar quantity)
Oil : 1 tblsp.
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Salt : a pinch

Method :
  • Cut tomatoes in medium size chunks. Cut green mangoes around the seed and take out the flesh, then cut in cubes.
  • Heat oil in a pan, season with dey red chilli and panch phoron, when seeds and chillies turn dark brown and you get the aroma, throw all cubed tomatoes and green mangoes. Add little salt and turmeric. stir together for a minute or two.
  • Add about 1 cup of water now and add sugar as per your taste, like if you want your chutney to be little soury, then add less sugar. This chutney is kind of sweet-sour, so add sugar according to it. SO don't add whole sugar at a time, first add, mix, then taste, if needed, add more.
  • When water almost evaporated and tomatoes/mangoes are soft and pulpy, your chutney is done. The flowness of chutney is also upto you, if you want thin chutney, then keep more gravy.
  • Your chutney is ready to serve, don't serve it hot, serve in room temperature.or warm. You can also keep it refrigerator for 1/2 an hour before serving. Taste great also that way.

Anarasher Chutney (Pineapple Chutney)

Chutney provides the refreshing touch to your tongue after a spicy meal and make it ready to anticipate the taste of dessert/sweet dishes fully. Bengali chutneys are always made form seasonal fresh fruits like Mango, Pineapple, Apple or tomatoes with lots of dry fruits in it. Pineapple or anarasher chatni is little sweet, little spicy and little sour, just a perfect blend and fits any lunch and dinner menu. Once you try it, you will fall in love with it, I am sure..........

Ingredients :
Pineapple(canned or fresh) : 1 cup(cubed in small pieces)
Dry red chilli : 1
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp.
Sugar : about 1/4 cup(adjust to fit your taste)
Ginger juice : 1 tsp.
Raisin/sultanas : a fistful
Dry roasted cumin seeds powder : 1 tsp. (1/2 tsp. cumin seeds dry roast & grind to a fine powder)
Salt : a pinch
Oil(preferably Mustard oil) : 1 tblsp.

Method :
  • Cut pineapple in small pieces and crush them a bit with back of a spatula. I used fresh one, but canned pineapple works also good. In that case, drain the solution and wash them well.
  • Heat oil in a pan, temper with dry red chilli and mustard seeds. When red chilli turns dark and seeds start to splutter, add pineapple. Add salt and a pinch of turmeric. Saute a little, then add about 2/3 cup of water to cook the pineapple, if you're using fresh one. For canned pineapple, add 1/2 of the mentioned water. Add the rainsins now.
  • When it is half cooked, add sugar and wait until all water evaporates and it is cooked well. Adjust the sweetness level according to your taste. It is a sweet and sour chutney, so it will have the sourness of pineapple and a little sweet at the same time. Mash the fruit pieces as much as possible.
  • Lastly add the ginger juice and mix well. Take it off the heat. Before serving, sprinkle roasted cumin seed powder over it.

Tomato-Apple chutney :
It's a sweet and sour chutney..goes well with anything..even bengalis specially me, love to have this chutney with white rice itself.
Ingredients :
Tomato : 3 (medium)
Apple : 1and 1/2 (grated)
Panch Phoron : 1 tsp. ( is a mixture of similar amount of fennel, cumin, black cumin, mustard & fenugreek seeds)
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp.
Chilli powder : 1/2 tsp.
Salt : 1/2 tsp.
Oil : 1 tblsp.
Tamarind juice : 2 tblsp.(soak 1 medium size ball of tamarind in little water and take out the seeds and squeeze out the juice)

Method :
  • Grate apple finely and cut the tomatoes in small pieces.
  • In a pan, heat oil, add panch phoron, let it brown, then add apple and tomatoes. Stir for 2-3 minutes adding little salt, turmeric and chilli powder.
  • Then add about 2 cups of water and let it boil. When it starts boiling, add sugar and add dry fruits. Let it cook in medium flame.
  • As sugar will boil, the chutney will get thicker. When all the water absorbs and chutney will take a semi-thick consistency, add tamarind juice and mix well with chutney.
  • Add tamarind juice little at a time, checking the taste as it will be sweet as well as little sour. Mix well and serve at room temperature or cold.

    Chaltar Ambol (Sweet & Sour Elephant Apple Chutney)

    Chalta, as known in Bengali, or Outenga in Assamese, is known as Elephant Apple or Wood apple universally(Dillenia Indica as scientifically) is native to Southeastern Asia, from India, Bangladesh and Sri lanka, east to southwestern China and Vietnam, and south through Thailand to Malaysia and Indonesia.
    In India, chalta is found in forests along the base of Himalayas from Nepal to Meghalaya.  It is also found in dry hilly regions of Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh in north and Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in south India.  It bears green fruits which resemble large apples. Hence, it got its name, "elephant apple". It is a tropical acidic fruit, is eaten both ripe and unripe. It is common in chutneys and other pickled dishes. The fruit comes into season in the fall months, depending on the region, with maturity in October and November in Malaya and a longer harvesting period, October through March, in India.
         The fruit : The fruit of the elephant apple tree is enclosed in a hard husk, which must be cracked to get at the fruit. This can be accomplished by hurling the fruit at a hard surface or by using a hammer to crack the husk open. The elephant apple itself is very fleshy, with Astringent and resinous notes. It also has a strong smell, along with numerous small seeds.

    Image source :

    Image Source :

    The recipe I want to share today of this fruit, is called Chaltar Ambol, is from Bengal or more precisely from Bengali cuisine. This is basically a sweet and sour Chutney, but little different from typical chutney. Chutney can be both sweet and sour, but Ambol is always a sour dish, served at the end of the meal to provide the refreshing touch of tartness to make the tongue anticipate the sweet dishes which is served just after Ambol or chutney. Ambol, is a cooking style of Bengal, where a sour dish is made either with some fruit or vegetable or even with small fish, the sourness is being produced by adding Tamarind pulp. But in this dish, as chalta, itself is an acidic soury fruit, jaggery is used to make it little sweet.

    How to cut this fruit : The fruit flesh comes into layers and its outer covering is very hard. You have to be careful while cutting, as inside pulp is very slippery because of the gum. After you cut through the middle by a sharp knife, discard the central or the most inside seeded part. Then seperate layers and cut into thin lengthwise pieces.
    For this recipe, we need not too ripe or not too young fruit, a yellow greenish elephant apple.

    Ingredients :
    Chalta(elephant fruit) : 2
    Sugar Cane jaggery(akher gur) : 250 - 300 gms.(or use accrd. to your taste)
    Dry red chilli : 1
    Panch Phoron : 2 tsp.(is a mixture of cumin seed, black cumin seed, mustard seed, fennel seed and fenugreek seed-mix each in equal quantity--No. 5 in the image)
    Turmeric powder : a pinch
    Oil : 2 tblsp.
    Salt : a pinch
    Flour(APF/Atta) : 1 tblsp. (optional, but recommended)

    Method :
    • After cutting the fruit into thin slices, pressure cook it for 10 minutes with a pinch of turmeric. Take out and discard the water.
    • Heat 1 tblsp. oil in a pan, add whole dry red chilli and 1 tsp. of panch phoron. When seeds turn light brown and you get the aroma of fried seeds, throw the elephant apple or chalta pieces. Add little salt and stir for 2 minutes. Then add about 1 cup of water. Cook with covered lid for 7-8 minutes. 
    • Add the jaggery. Do not add jaggery all at a time, add little by little, let it melt, taste and if needed add some more. It will be a little sweet, more sour kind of taste. How much jaggery is needed depends on the sourness of the fruit. The consistency is kind of liquidy(you can see in the image). If you think, yours is too liquidy, mix 1 tblsp.of flour with 2 tblsp. of water and add into it. This will thicken the gravy and add some taste,too.
    • When you get the right consistency, pour into a serving dish. If a small pan, heat 1 tblsp. of oil, add rest of the panch phoron, when it splutters, pour this with oil into your serving dish over the ambol. This will add a fresh tempering flavour to the dish.
    • Chaltar Ambol is ready to serve. Serve in room temperature. Leftover can be kept in refrigerator and consume cold. It tastes even better.

    Green Mango Chutney

    Mango, a such fruit which is loved by everyone, 

    I think and it is my favorite fruit. In summer, people of India, cannot think of any other fruit than Mango. Mango is rich in Fiber and Carbohydrates and it has also antioxidants. According to Wiki, even Green Mango has lots of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, Folate, Thiamin, Vitamin A, Iron, potassium, magnesium etc.

    Ingredients :
    Green Mango: 2 medium
    Mustard seed : 1 tsp.
    Turmeric : 1 tsp.
    Red chilli powder : 1 tsp.
    Sugar : 4 tbsp.
    Cumin seed : 1tsp. (roasted)

    Method :
    • In hot oil, add mustard seeds and wait them to splutter. Then add mango pieces, salt and turmeric. Stir well for few minutes and pour water to cook.  
    • When the mangoes are half cooked, add sugar according to your taste as mango chutney should be little sweet and little sour. 
    • Mix the sugar well and in slow heat, let it cook for some more time until the mangoes are just done, not overcooked.
    • Roast cumin seeds until light brown and grind them into powder. Remove chutney from heat and garnish roasted cumin seed powder over mango chutney.
    • Your delicious Mango chutney is ready. Serve in room temperature.

    So far, I have only posted these 5 Chutney recipes which I make quite often, in future I'll post some more...if anyone want to know any specific chutney recipe, write in comment section, I'll try to post.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 / by / 12 Comments


    1. Omg, mouthwatering here, wat a droolworthy and fingerlicking array of tempting chutneys.

    2. Kudos to you Indrani for posting so many tasty and tangy chutney recipe. Simply wonderful post.

      Hamaree Rasoi

    3. What a great collection, loved each n every of them, especially the green mango chutney :D
      Very well explained n well written post Indrani!

    4. Thank You all, feels nice to see that you all like them

    5. Nice array of chutneys! All of them tickle the taste buds so well!

    6. That's one fantastic post of chuneys, using panch pooran is mew to me now i wanna give that a try....,

    7. Online Bengali Book Shop, Largest online store of Bangla Boi : - Poetry Stories / Novel Travel Comics Biography Detective / Thriller Astrology / Bastu Cook Book Free E-Books Children Books Drama Humor Beauty Therapy Game,Sports Medicine and therapy Birds Horror Story Little Magazine Motivational Religion.

    8. You have huge good collection of Chutney recipes. These all chutney recipes are very excellent and easy to cook at home. Thanks for the recipes.

    9. hi Indrani, any ideas to a simple apricot chutney bengali style?

    10. Hi Soma,
      I havn't made it personally, but I feel if you want to make it bengali way, make the same way as we make
      Anarasher Chatni or Pineapple chutney. Or I can give you a link, I think this will more taste like bengali chutney, it sounds really great

      Try it and let me know


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