There are times when you try so hard that you lose yourself! (Ahm... Ahm...I'm in a philosophical mood today). So, people who just want to check the recipe, please scroll down :) Those who have some time at hand, join me in for a talk! :)
I see so much struggle everywhere - the constant need to prove you are the best, at times, even stepping on others! Can't we all just smile at the fact that we all are born as individuals and we all are unique. We each have our own space and place in this world (of course, hard work and talent matters!). Past one week i did a lot of social media (just checking other people's posts or pages on Facebook and Instagram), and at times i would feel sad/get depressed. There is so much of hatred, pulling other people down attitude and jealousy amongst people that it started affecting me. And i wonder why such posts get highlighted and the one's who are doing their work with genuinity always lies in the bottom. Why can't we all work together towards a better living?
|Love this quote!|
I always feel, competition is good, but it should be healthy. In old good days, or even now when you visit any wholesale market, you will always find similar product-selling shops in one lane. Like for example, there are lanes of spice market, or lanes of stationery shops or lanes of medical shops. Why, then do they not feel competition when two adjoining shops are selling similar items. Why do the owners sit and have a cup of chai together discussing about life and business? Guess, the elders know- that each has their own!!!
My granny always used to tell us, "Appreciate each person for what they are and what they are doing". I have followed that and always wished well for others. At times, i have been cheated or even taken for granted, but those are life-lessons learnt. That wont stop me from wishing well for others!
Well, on days like these when i feel black and white or grey, i want to add some colours to this post! So i decided to write about "Chunda". It's the very last month of getting nice fresh raw mangoes!! Last week i got some to make more of chunda, so it lasts us till the next summer. The earlier one i had made was just of 1/4 kg mangoes (For trial, it's always best to make in small quantities). It turned out so delicious that it was finished in a jiffy!!!
There is "Saakharamba" (sweet mango pickle) that my mom used to make often, but this one here is a little of this and a little of that! You will get flavours of spice, sour and sweet. I have made this the traditional way by keeping the mixture in a glass jar and in sunlight. There is a quick stove top method too, but since i had time at hand, and usually the sun God favours us a lot in Delhi, i thought why not make it the "old-style" way?!!
Chunda is basically a Gujrati pickle and is called as Chundo in the local language. It tastes best with Theplas (you can check the recipe of Methi thepla here ). The same way masala thepla or ajwaiin thepla can be made to have with Chunda. Chunda tastes best even with poori-sabzi, daal-chawal or just with a simple chapati.
Raw mangoes - 1/4 kg
Sugar - Around 2 cups (Add less or more depending on the taste. Adding more of it, will give it a sweeter taste removing all the sourness of the raw mango. But i like it a little sour, so 2 cups was perfect. If you want, you can later on mix powdered sugar if you find it too sour)
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cloves - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick (optional)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp (I roasted the cumin seeds and crushed them in a mortar and pestle)
Wash the mangoes and pat them dry.
Peel the skin and grate them. Add in the salt and turmeric powder and keep it aside for about 3-4 hours.
You will see that the mangoes have left some water. Now add in the sugar little by little till the sugar is dissolved.
Place this mixture in a glass jar or steel vessel and cover it tight with a muslin cloth and keep in the sun everyday for about 7-8 days. You will see that the sugar melts completely and starts to thicken. At the end of the day, bring the vessel inside, stir it with a spoon and store it covered in a cool, dry place. The next day follow the same procedure.
Now, add in the red chilli powder, cloves, cinnamon, salt and the cumin powder. Stir it all well and place in the sun again for a day or two so that the flavours get mixed properly. You can eat it immediately but it tastes best when the flavours are blended in well.
Cinnamon and cloves addition is totally optional, but it does help enhance the taste and aroma too. You can also add it to the mango-sugar mixture instead of adding it later on.
Chunda lasts for about a year if the mangoes chosen are absolutely raw and fresh. Don't buy mangoes that have become little ripe or have yellowish pulp.
Also make sure the glass jar you store it in is dry and sterlized.
Chunda is ready :)) Comes to the rescue when you are bored of doing elaborate cooking :) Just spread it on a bread and eat or make a plain paratha and serve with this chunda :)
Wishing you all a great colourful week ahead. Much smiles :)
Happy Cooking :)