Monday, February 23, 2015

Chundo - Grated Mango Preserve

This time again, the old mango tree in my backyard,looks promising of a good number of mangoes. The tree is quite old and during the last season, it bore so many fruits that almost all of them fell off the tree unripe, some very tiny others big yet diseased. Thus, we did not get to taste any of them as fruits, but were able to drop a few tiny, sour tasting ones in brine and pickle those.
Mangoes do not totally go off season in Togo. The tree in my home starts season sometime around January through March- April. This year too, I have already plucked few huge mangoes. They are raw and very slightly sour.They are ideal to make raw mango rice, some pickle and such. Chundo has been in my mind for a long time to be tried. I am, however, apprehensive that such dishes will meet resistance from my husband. Hence the idea was one I was contemplating on.
I met Rushina, author of "A pinch of this and a handful of that",  and one who has put together a cook studio,"A Perfect Bite", at the IFB Meet last August. She generously gifted me, an authentic Gujarati cookbook titled Dadimano Varso. It is a treasure trove of Palanpuri, Jain Cuisine. Neatly categorized and all recipes given in both languages, English and Gujarati, this book is a quick reckoner to some exotic dishes. I have been making dhals and theplas, shaak and khadhis from this book. Those dishes were very welcome in my home. So I decided to venture a little further and be adventurous. The mangoes and the recipes in the book got me to pick on the Chundo.
Chundo is a sweet - sour and lightly spiced preserve with grated mangoes that is matured in the heat of the sun. You may opt to do the same on stove top too; also the grated mango can be replaced by cubed chunks that render an altogether different texture.
I chose to make the grated one and this is an adaption of the recipe from the book. I did not go by weight or volume given in there.
Chundo - Grated Mango Sweet-Sour and Spiced Preserve
(Adapted fully from Dadimano Varso)
Yield: About 250 ml cupful of preserve.

2 cups of raw mango grated
2 heaped cups of sugar
Salt to taste
1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder

The spices:
1/4 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon redchillis crushed to a coarse powder ( the book asks for Kashmiri chilli powder; I had on hand the Byadagi variety chillis only. I crushed them and two regular dry red chillis together.)
2 pinches asafoetida powder

Wash the mangoes, pat them dry.
Remove the skin and grate them until near the stone within.
Take the grated mango in a large bowl, add the turmeric powder and salt. Allow about 30 minutes for the mangoes to absorb the salt.
Add the sugar and mix well. cover and keep aside.

Keep stirring the mixture at regular intervals so the sugar dissolves in the juice of the mangoes and blends well.
Keep cover for a day and overnight.
Next morning give the mixture a thorough stir and cover the mouth of the bowl with a cloth that is wrapped tightly around the edge.
Place this in the sun through the day. By evening, bring the bowl inside and stir the mangoes again.
Repeat this process for the next seven or eight days. By then the sugar would have thickened and the mangoes translucent.
After a week in direct sunlight, bring the bowl inside and while the preserve is still warm from the sun, add the crushed spices. Give a brisk stir, cover and keep aside.
Place the wrapped bowl in the sun for a further two days. Let the flavours from added spices blend well in direct sunlight.
Once ready, transfer to a clean, sterile bottle/ jar and use.

If sugar does seem less, you may add powdered sugar to the preserve in one of the days in between, during the week when it is curing.
This preserve stays well for a year.
The chundo makes a great accompaniment for theplas.


  1. Been a long while since I got a chance to peek into your space. This chundo looks absolutely marvelous, it tastes great even with phulkas :)

  2. The chundo is looking so glamorous. I love that shot. The recipe sounds even more delicious. So happy to see you back in action.


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