Monday, 7 November 2011




     1)    Big salted mango (full grown mango in brine) – 1 (if small, use 2 or 3)
     2)    Fresh coconut – 1/2
     3)    Medium hot red chilies – 6 Nos.
     4)    Tender hot green chili (for flavor) – 1 No.
     5)    Asafoetida powder – ¼ teaspoon
     6)    Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
     7)    Coconut oil – 2 teaspoons
     8)    Salt – only if found necessary on tasting

To Make:

          Chop the mango into pieces. Scrape all the flesh off the stone before you throw it away since that portion of the mango has the most sourness and flavor. Grate the coconut. Set a small pan on low heat. Pour in the oil. Tip in the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds are about to finish popping, put in the asafoetida powder, the red chilies and the green chili. Stir once and switch off the heat.

          Put the chopped and scraped mango as well as the grated coconut together with the contents of the pan into a food processor. Pour in a cup of pure drinking water (since this chutney cannot be heated up) and grind to very fine paste. Taste to see if it needs any more salt. Usually, none is required since properly salted mangoes contain a lot of it. Your super tasty, super appetizing khalambya saasam is ready. Serve with rice. You can watch heap after heap of rice just disappearing without the aid of any other curry, side dish or pickle!


          From ancient times, the Konkani people lived very close to nature. Almost every edible fruit, vegetable, root, shoot or leaf was fully made use of in Konkani cuisine. They also had the habit of preserving mangoes, jackfruit, tender bamboo shoots, gooseberries, star berries, star fruit, cucumber tree fruit, cassava, gambooch, cocum, tamarind, chilies, bitter gourd, lemons, limes, spices and many other fruits or berries in salt or sugar or by drying in the sun.

          These preserved items were stored in huge jars or urns and provided out of season food round the year. Countless varieties of pickles, pappads and savory fryable delicacies filled the shelves of huge storerooms of Konkani joint families. Even left over rice were transformed to different dried forms which could be converted to a scrumptious meal or snack within a few minutes.

          This habit helped the Konkanis to tide over difficult monsoon months or a year of famine. Some of the traditions are carried on even by present day nuclear families.

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