Wednesday

Of summer holidays - Mango Relish

If I had to choose a single word to capture my summer holidays as a child, it would be ... mangoes. When the first wooden crate appeared in the market, each greenish yellow fruit neatly stacked amidst bundles of hay, it meant only one thing. Two long fun filled summer months at my grandparents' house in the Konkan (the Konkan coast is a stretch of land that covers parts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka).

One of our first visits would be to our orchard, a magical sight for a kid. Trees and trees laden with the fruit in vibrant shades of green. My grandfather who had an innate instinct about such things would decide which fruits were ready to be picked. These mangoes were brought home and left to ripen in peace and quiet. After a long wait (or so it seemed) they were served in all their golden glory, plump, juicy and begging to be eaten. And eat we did!

Many households in the Konkan region have their own mango orchards or at least a couple of mango trees in their backyard. So the women of the house have a huge repertoire of recipes using this fruit. The raw green mango is used in beverages, chutneys, spice blends or as a souring agent in curries, the ripe one in desserts, jams and relishes.

The first batch of juicy fruit is eaten sliced. No frills required, this is the king of fruit after all. By the second or third week everyone begins to hanker for a change, so in comes a very popular dessert - mango juice flavored with cardamom (aam ras) and served with hot puris. After this mangoes are used to make breakfast or teatime treats - mango burfies, pancakes (ambapoli) and jam (muramba).
When the sweetness has gotten overwhelming for even a staunch mango lover, a spicy relish is introduced in the meal - the amba sasam. It is a sweet, sour and spicy combination that serves as a side to a rice- curry meal and is eaten by all in thankful relief! To up the tartness quotient, pineapple cubes are added in one version. This is called the Ananas Amba Sasam.

Sasam gets its name from the mustard seeds (sasam in Konkani) that are used liberally in the masala.

sasav3

ANANAS AMBA SASAm (Pineapple Mango Relish)
(serves 3-4)
1 small ripe mango
1 cup pineapple cubes
1 green chilli chopped fine
1 teaspoon jaggery
salt to taste
Grind to a coarse paste -
3-4 tbsp coconut, grated
1-2 dry red chillies
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
For tempering (optional) -
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
oil

Peel mango and slice it. Combine with pineapple cubes and green chilli in a bowl. Add salt and jaggery to taste. Mix with your hands, mashing the fruits as you do this.

Grind coconut and red chilli to a coarse paste using very little water. Add mustard seeds and pulse for a minute. Mix this paste with the fruits. I like to add a tempering of mustard seeds. Serve cold as a side with rice and curry.

* Alternatively you can simmer the relish over low heat (do not boil) and serve it warm
* Sasam keeps for 2 to 3 days at the most; use leftovers as a topping on sandwiches or salads
* Sasam can be made with mangalore cucumber (magge), ashgourd, beetroot, cucumber or any other fruit

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36 Comments:

Blogger Shilpa said...

Hi Ashwini,
Thats a wonderful mouth watering dish. I like it very much. My mom used to prepare with the fresh mangoes from our garden.Thanks for the recipe.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Indira said...

With age and maturity, I seem to like recipes, that I wasn't particularly cared for when I was a teenager. Same sentiment by you it seems.

Like the recipe and flavor combination, but never tried it before.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Shilpa - ooh, anything made with mangoes from one's own backyard would taste awesome :-) Glad you liked it
Indira - the sasav is an explosive taste. Sweet, sour, spicy everything! Its funny how certain peeves disappear with age!

4:25 PM  
Blogger spicehut said...

Ashwini,

I share your feelings about Mangoes...haapus amba to be exact. Yum yum yum. I think I miss that the most in Indian food, over here.


Words like ambo/ sasav sound malvani or konkani/goan...which one are you ?

6:21 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Spicehut, dont even start on Alphonso mangoes. Its been a long long while :-(
I am a bit of all. My mom is Malvani (Sindhudurg), my dad Konkani (Karwar). The Goan influence comes from spending a week every year in Mangeshi! Btw saw Malvani egg curry on your blog!

6:47 PM  
Blogger varalappu kottibedu said...

Simply Wonderful.

It reminds me of bittersweet mango pickles my Amma made back in Dharwad.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous yogita said...

Ashwini

How long does it last ? I suppose, one should keep it bottled in the refridgerator ?

Cant wait to try this in the late spring when mangoes finally show up here in Pune.

1:24 AM  
Blogger sailu said...

I am going to try this recipe,Ashwini, and with mangoes from our backyard..:)

10:46 AM  
Anonymous esparenza chavez said...

wow! just a super WOW!

More than the dish, I like the blogger's style..

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anushka said...

Sweet. My Mom makes a similar sasav of tomatoes.

I have a suggestion. I think little bit (1-2 teaspoons) of fresh squeezed lemon juice will add to the zest.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Sulekha said...

Share your affection for Mangoes.

We add Mango core, called batha in Marathi, to Dal, called Ambat Varan or Dalichi Aamti in marathi. Tastes really awesome. The mango core should be semi ripe so you get both sweet and tangy flavor. You can remove it afterwords. btw, Skip tamrind if you add mango batha.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Lera said...

This is something to add in my must try list..Ashwini, can't wait to savour the sweet and tangy taste .

8:38 AM  
Blogger BDSN said...

Iam sorry iam not a mango person but hey i always like to read your post..Good work with the post

9:56 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Thanks everyone.
Yogita - store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge. It tastes better a day or two later as the flavors blend. Keep for 4 days max, not advisable beyond. Even less if you make the warm version.
Anushka - didnt thing of lemon juice before. It will add to the taste! Thanks
Sulekha - I adore Ambat varan. Such efficient use of the fruit too.
BDSN - Thanks! But do try the pineapple version. You will like it :-)

1:00 PM  
Blogger Meenal Mehta said...

hey Ashwini ,

loved the story before the recipe..how long would this last typically ?

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Ashley said...

Yum! Yum!! This Pineapple-Mango pudding is a super choice as a filling for cakes and/or pies.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous yogita said...

Hi Ashwini

I tried to make this dish per your instructions but something is not right. It has retained more water so it hasnt geled. Any ideas what I should do next ?

6:21 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Yogita - Firstly the sasav I made also had a bit of juice from both the fruits. Its just that you cant see it in the photo! Second, I think you should chill it a bit. In any case the sasav tastes better after a few hours when the flavors have blended. This will also thicken it. Did you add additional water or did it become watery from the juice of the fruits?

7:30 PM  
Anonymous yogita said...

ok. Now it looks much better. It took a few hours to gel. Glad I didnt try any quick fix.

btw, I had a moment of inspiration while into it. Pineapple/mango halwa may not be that different than your recipe. May require ghee and flour or cashewnut paste.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous bhavna said...

This blog is like opening a time capsule. Yes, I fondly remember konkan summer vacations and all the fun. One difference though, I liked the mango sasav from the get-go. Most of the time, I had either Muramba or Sasav with chapati in my tiffin box . Keep up the blog. Hoping to read equally passionate blog on prawn curry one day.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Lakshmi - I am getting there. We cant all do everything :-)
Bhavna - Thanks - you are kind. You liked sasav? Aah you had sophisticated taste as a child then! Btw I posted about fish curry early on. Here is the link - http://food-forthought.blogspot.com/2006/01/sun-sea-and-fish-curry.html
But yes I am going to wax eloquent about prawn curry too :-)

4:31 PM  
Anonymous bhavna said...

Think my Aaji made less spicy/more sweet version for me. Only Aaji can be so dedicated and had ample time to accomodate the little ones.

btw, I noticed you are not using Aamsool. Aamsool and coconut are the the main ingredient in Konkan cuisine. Is it not ?

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Nayana said...

Nice work on the sasav. I think it will go really well with Sabudana Vada.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous savithri said...

This dish is very similar to amla (indian gooseberry) sauce made in our region. Amla has many medicinal qualities and its rich in vitamin C.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous santosh said...

Ashwini, Nice one. Looks like a lot of effort for one bowl of sasav.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Saffron said...

sweet, tangy, salty, spicy, all in one mouthful! what more can I say? delicious!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Reshma said...

mmm mango memories . lovely post Ashwini :)

8:58 AM  
Anonymous yogita said...

Ashwini

After three days the sasav seems to have caught a little 'boorshi' ( fungus ). I guess, the shelf life of sasav is less on warm, humid days.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Nayana, Savithri, Santosh, Reshma, SH - Thanks all of you.
Bhavna - though coconut is a constant, souring agents vary - kokum, tamarind, bimblee etc. My mum has a version for each :-)
Yogita - yes, combining the sour fruits and coconut is a dicey thing. Mine lasted for five - the weather is a huge factor. In India since we usually had it in April/ May we never even bothered storing it. Consumed it all right away!

1:38 PM  
Anonymous shrikant said...

Ashwini, Good news for you. Per the latest India/US trade pact, Happus Amba will now be exported to USA ! Ye !!

1:29 PM  
Blogger archana said...

You brought back memories of my childhood too.
Archana

1:12 PM  
Blogger mtalpz said...

Wow..just stumbled across your blog.Saasav..its been ages since i had it..I remeebr having only Mango saasav with tiny whole mangoes in it..I always wished the pot used for preparatin could be lie the neverendign pot :)

Good ole memories!

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Seema said...

This is my most favorite dish. Though I have never had one with ananas Love it

8:13 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Shrikant - thats good news indeed
Archana, MT - thanks
Seema - its one of my faves too :-)

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks yummy..!

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Meenal said...

Hi,ur recipie luks gr8 and mouthwatering..I wish to try it soon.Can i use the US style ripe mango and canned pinneapple for this recipie..? Thnks.

3:27 AM  

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