It is not often I find these young green raw Mangoes. Only by chance, glimpsed the last few of these, very sour tasting fruit, in the bottom corner of the Vegetable shelf, in an Asian Greengrocers I frequent. Unfortunately they are not the type for making homemade Indian Mango pickle, for that we would need even younger Mango (note: before the seed shell inside the fruit hardens). As for the Mangoes I found, they are perfect for this recipe.
My Chutney is a fusion between a North Indian Condiment, called, Aam Ka Murabba (sweet Mango preserve), A Gujarati version called Aam Ka Chunda (spicy Mango preserve) and a Great British version of Mango Chutney, which has warming notes. Taking elements from each, I have created this wonderful sweet, spicy and warming Chutney; which will go well with any Roti, Thepla, finger foods and I can assure you, it even goes well on a Cheese board.
There are still plenty of fresh organic red Chillies still available from my garden, so they will appear in the recipe. As for the Saffron, I will be biased; my very own home grown organic Saffron has the most delightful strong Saffron aroma, unlike the shop bought varieties, which I find when jars are opened, do not have these strong aromas at all. I cannot wait to harvest more this winter.
Growing your own Saffron Corms require very little looking after, plant them during the month of September, in free draining and not very rich in nutrients soil and do not water them in. Less watering the better. Within a few weeks they will appear, with leaf shape like thin spindles; this helps with less water retained around the leaves or flowers. As Winter draws in, flowers will start to appear around December, as soon as the flowers bloom in the morning, pick the flowers and carefully remove the 3 bright red stamens, taking care not to let the pollen touch the precious harvest. Set aside to dry out in the house and store in an air tight container. Each plant will produce 1 flower only, but in each growing season the corms split and more flowers will be produce the following year.
As for the recipe: these Mangoes were the last few, bought 400g of unripe Mangoes, remember the peel and stone will be discarded, once grated, the amount of Mango left is approximately half its weight.
Once peeled, finely grate the Mangoes carefully, avoiding the stone. Place the grated pulp (200g approximate) in a heavy bottomed Pan with 140g of granulated sugar, 1 small finely diced Thai Chilli (used Red Demon variety, which are growing happily outside, in my back garden), 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated Ginger, 3 to 4 black peppercorns, 50ml of water and 100ml of White Wine Vinegar. Allow the sugar to melt over a gentle heat. In the meantime, place the following in a mortar: Seed of 2 Green Cardamom Pod, 1 or 2 Cloves and 1/4 teaspoon of Fennel seeds, and crush down with the pestle until it resemble a smooth powder.
Once the sugar has melted, bring the liquid to a gentle boil, until when stirred, the contents leave the base of the pan clean. Add the spice mix, next, in the same mortar place 3 or 4 strands of Saffron and pound with the pestle, add to the pan and stir, until all spices are evenly distributed, and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes.
Carefully ladle into a warm sterilised jar and can be used, once it has cooled down. I do prefer the jar to sit for up to 3 months before opening, this helps the flavours to infuse even further.
Once jar is opened Chutney will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.