This recipe has brought back memories of my Ma. My Ma has left this world many years back. She was such a good cook. In Bengali they used to say, “oor hather ranna-e daroon s(h)aad , means she cooks really tasty food.” She really had some magic in her cooking. She knew so many recipes, varieties and also made innovations. Wish I had learnt them from her; I could have shared so many new recipes. But then, never thought I would be cooking in a kitchen of my own and then blogging and sharing my recipes with others.
Summer days have brought to us the most liked fruit of the year, the mango. It was only after the Dol Jatra, the festival of Holi, that we ate raw mangoes. Ma would offer raw mangoes to the Gods on the day of Dol, and then it would be the cooking of Tak in the kitchen. How we relished the thin flowing gravy of the Tak. Till now I love to mix some Tak-e-r jhol with my bowl of dal and drink it at the end of my lunch.
How can I forget those childhood days when salt mixed with red chilli powder enhanced the taste of the sour green mango that we ate and now just can’t think of biting the sour green mango. Age and time brings about so many changes in life.
Back to my mango Jelly. This recipe is simple but time consuming. But once it’s done and bottled, joy runs through…
For this we need:
Green mangoes: 1 kg
Sugar: 750 gms
1 tsp. red chilli powder
Salt: just enough to balance the taste (about half a tsp.)
Preparation time: Nearly an hour
First peel the mangoes and cut into small cubes. Separate the hard seed. Wash and place the mango pieces in a pressure cooker. Add little water (about a cup) and cook till the first whistle comes. Keep it aside.
Now put the sugar in a big kadhai/wok, add little water so that the sugar melts once it gets the heat of the oven. Check for the first thread of the syrup to come.
In the meantime mash the mango with a ladle against the sides of the cooker to make it into a thick paste.
Now add the contents of the cooker into the sugar syrup.
From now on the hard work starts. Constantly stir and don’t let the sugar burn at the bottom. Go on stirring and mixing and cooking till it becomes soggy. Now add the red chilli powder and salt and go on working till the jelly is ready. The water must have dried up by now. To check if it is done take some of it in a spoon and drop it. If it falls clean off the spoon then it is ready. Don’t over-cook for it will become hard once the jelly cools down. Once it becomes hard it will lose its texture and taste.
Cool and preserve in the jars that has been washed and cleaned and dried earlier. Jars have to be clean and dry to avoid growth of fungus.
This Khatta-Meetha jelly tastes good with parathas, rotis, bread and can be used like a dip with bhajjias. And why not, a spoonful can also be tasted just for a change.