Sunday, August 10, 2008

Green Mango Chutney

As a little boy growing up in Pune, I became aware of the fact that the raw green mango (kairi) and the deliciously sweet, ripe mango in spite of being the same fruit are completely different animals. I also understood that a mango stolen from someone else’s yard tastes infinitely better than a store bought mango. It is popular knowledge that the best green mangoes inevitably come from the trees that are in the yards of the meanest people in the neighbourhood. These trees are usually guarded by some of the house’s senior gentry, who will come after you with sticks—making stealing mangoes from the neighbourhood one of my favourite summer sports.

After the annual examinations in April one quickly discovers that two months of summer vacation is in fact really boring. During our vacation, the area kids would gather to pass their afternoons with a game of cricket, carrom or cards. A good afternoon’s cricket is really incomplete without a good snack and the raw mangoes that were in peak season spiced with salt and chili filled that void very well. Stealing mangoes is a group effort and confidence in a solitary attempt is a rookie mistake. Good bicycles with a carrier capable of going “double seat” are also an integral part of the mango stealing operation. Three is the perfect number of people needed to steal mangoes. One to climb the tree, one to stand under it, catch the loot and assist in the getaway and the third one near the compound wall to keep watch and relay information with fake coded animal sounds that don’t even come close to the real thing. The third one also keeps the getaway bicycles ready. Since there has rarely been an attempt where the owner of the property didn’t come after you, most operations yield varied results and thus require multiple attempts on various yards. Regardless, the mango stealing exercise is a large part of the summer vacation and one I miss dearly.

Here are some rules of successful mango stealing that can never be ignored:

  • Never climb so high that you won’t be able to directly jump to the ground if and when needed
  • Sticks, hooks, bags only get in the way, throw the mangoes directly to the person on the ground.
  • No matter how awesome the mango, don’t select the tree that is closer to the house than the fence
  • Before the operation begins, locate a spot in the barbed wire fence that is either easy to jump over or has a huge hole
  • Do not underestimate a bogan-villa plant that doubles as a fence
  • Angry, old people can run faster than you think
  • Always locate a compound where the owners may or may not know you, but they most definitely don’t know your parents

1 large Raw Mango (peeled and cubed)
1/2 cup shredded fresh Coconut
1/2 cup Cilantro
2 cloves Garlic
3 Green Chilies
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar (Only if the mango isn’t sweet)
1/2 cup

Put the cilantro at the bottom of the blended and then add the rest of the ingredients on top
Blend to a smooth mixture

Mango Chutney Sandwich
Apply mango chutney to one slice of whole grain toast
Apply sour cream to another slice and create a sandwich
Serve as a snack.


Roma said...

ha ha haaa....really funny tips on Mango stealing!! :-)

Alka said...

First time here,and i just could not stop myself from giggling while reading whole post
Oh so wonderful childhood days,life was hell lot of fun then
I can't help but recite the song by jagjit singh.....woh kagaz ki kashti woh baarish ka paani(after ur mango full summer,monsoon will surely come ;-) )

Tee said...

This is such a neat mango chutney recipe! I have to try it....have a kairi at home!:)

sunila said...

Hi,tried ur mango chutney ,v nice and fresh tasting.

pratima said...

hey, love ur blogs....u must try ur hand at writing something...a book, short story,...anything

It is simply a pleasure to read and of course thanx for the recipes too....basic but awesome

Aparna said...

Your ready reckoner on selecting a prime mango tree to pluck fruit is definitely worth a read.
The sandwiches look good. Can imagine just how good they would taste.

Jaspreet Singh said...


certainly a delicious recipes.. and great collection as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi!I am a goan saswat based in gulf now. I came across this blog looking for some maharashtrian recipes.I am hooked n to this site now and ur style of writing!I like the humourous cheeky narative and I have been a part of my brothers gang of mango thiefs rampant in the months of march april and May and so many memories came flooding back..reading ur blog.Great work!I think u should take up writing as some reader suggested!God bless u.

Kuwait International Automobile Exhibition 2009 said...

I Kept smiling all the way while reading your tips for mango stealing which made to remember the childhood.Excellent post!!!!!!!Like to visit your blog ever!

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