East Indian Mango Chutney/ Aam Ka Murabba/ Chunda

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Here in Mumbai, we make this lush sweet mango chutney every summer. Sweet and slightly spicy, it’s similar to the aam ka murabba or chunda, and tastes as good as a dessert. This mango pickle perfect as an accompaniment to meals or as a spread on bread or roti for snacks or breakfast!

Being brought up in India, we’ve grown up on lush sweet mango chutney every summer. Sometimes, although rarely, the traditional East Indian mango chutney lasts through the monsoon and into a bit of winter. It’s a version of the Gujarati murabba and chunda, but not exactly. Or the Russian and Eastern European varenye. 

What is Mango Chutney? What is Murabba? What is Chunda?

History says that the murabba was an Armenian and Georgian fruit preservative that travelled to India over the centuries and was adapted to include the local mango, and became a part of Gujarati culture. In Southern Indian states, Murabba is used to treat nausea and indigestion.

Across different cultures, Murabba has been made with amla aka gooseberrys, plums, apples, apricots, cherries and other local fruit.

In Eastern European countries like Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine,  murabba is called varenie or varenye. It has been made from vegetables, apricots, apples, raspberries, rose petals, pine cones or strawberries. Leo Tolstoy, in his infamous novel Anna Karenina, also talks about the process of making a raspberry varenye.

Here’s the simple yet major difference between a murabba and a chunda.

Murabba being without spices can also be eaten as a dessert. Murabba uses only sugar or jaggery, cardamom, cloves and kesar or saffron. Chunda on the other hand contains spices such as roasted cumin and chilli powder. Traditionally, murabba or chunda are preserves or jams made as a result of fermentation in glass jars in open sunlight. However, nowadays, due to lack of time, murabba or chunda is just made on the stove like regular preserves and then stored in glass jars.

And here’s the difference between the murabba, the chunda and the East Indian mango chutney.

Did I say there was a difference? Okay maybe it’s that traditionally the East Indian mango chutney is just cut fine, while the chunda or murabba is shredded. But when you actually shred the mangoes for the East Indian Mango Chutney, you find it denser, richer and sweeter. Right?

Also, the ingredients for the East Indian version are more like the chunda. But sometimes we make murabba too. See the pic below. Yummy, aint’ it? Same recipe, just use turmeric, cloves and cardamom instead of chilli powder, garlic and ginger.

A stainless steel pot containing murabba with turmeric, cloves and cardamom.
Murabba with turmeric, cloves and cardamom

But I daresay that the garlic and ginger in the chunda take it to a whole different level.

If your recipe is different from my mom’s, comment below and let me know.

Mango Pickle Ingredients

To make this sweet East Indian Mango Chutney you’ll need raw mangoes, chilli powder, ginger, garlic, sugar, jaggery, raisins, vinegar and salt.

Buying the Raw Mangoes

Anyways, from the time we were kids, we used to go with mom to the big bazaar in Borivali to buy green mangoes that were a teensy bit ripe, but mostly raw.

Market vendor peeling the skin of raw green mangoes.
Skin the raw mangoes

It’s fun to watch how deftly the guys skin the raw mangoes and then shred them.

market vendor shredding raw green mangoes.
Shredding the mangoes for sweet pickle

Maybe they’re that quick because each one sticks to his own trade? I mean, I’ve never seen the skinning guy shredding, or the shredding guy chopping, or the chopping guy doing anything else. There’s a lesson in there. Stick to what you’re good at. 😉

Grated mango next to a hand grating mango.
Lovely yellow shredded mangoes – This is just one mango

These mangoes are so huge, almost a kilogram each. This shredded produce above was from just one mango!

Market vendors chopping mangoes into cubes.
Chopping the mangoes for pickle

These are the other guys chopping the mangoes into pieces for a different pickle. And the lady with the green bag and purple salwar kameez who kept coming in my way. Thankfully, we managed to cut most of her out of the pic.

Now let’s start with the chutney recipe. 🙂

How to make Murabba? Sweet Mango Chutney Steps to follow

Cleaned ginger and garlic on a chopping board.
Clean garlic and ginger

Clean the garlic and ginger and cut into slivers.

Ginger and garlic on a yellow chopping board being ground with a stone.
Grind garlic and ginger with a mortar and pestle or with a stone grinder – pathar

After cutting, dash the garlic and ginger with a mortar and pestle or with a stone grinder which we East Indians call a patha. Probably derived from the word pathar meaning stone. We don’t have a patha anymore, so just use the plain old chopping board. The dashing brings out more of the flavour of the garlic and ginger.

Ginger, garlic, jaggery, sugar and salt in a pot.
Add ginger, garlic, jaggery, sugar and salt to the shredded mango

Add the slivered ginger and garlic, jaggery, sugar and salt to the shredded mango in a large pot on a low flame. Jaggery is essentially gluten free, but may contain added gluten depending on the processing method or storage method. Check the pack before purchasing.

East Indian Murabba or Chunda in a pot
Also add raisins and stir

After a while, add in the raisins, chili powder, and vinegar and stir.

Mango pickle called Murabba or Chunda in a steel pot with slivers or almond on top.
Add slivers of chopped almonds

After about half an hour add slivers of chopped almonds and continue to simmer. I haven’t seen any other recipes that use chopped almonds yet. Only we East Indians use almonds in chutneys, but I love them.

Spoon in a steel pot cooking Murabba or Chunda.
Stir occasionally

Stir occasionally to let the moisture out.

Thick stringy Murabba or Chunda in a steel pot.
Leave the murabba mix on the stove to simmer and thicken

And once the mixture is sufficiently dry, take it off the heat. Allow it to cool before bottling. And there you have it, a melange or melee or mixture of the murabba, chunda and veranye that found itself called the East Indian mango chutney.

If you have more detailed info about how the mango chutney became a part of the East Indian culture, please tell me. I’d love to update this post with more details. If your recipe is similar or different, comment and let us know. 🙂

Indian pickles murabba and chunda in two white dishes on a black background.
Sweet murabba and spicy chunda!
Top view of mango pickles murabba and chunda in two white dishes on a black background.
Tangy mango pickles!
Red chunda pickle and yellow murabba pickle made of raw mango in white dishes.
Sweet murabba and spicy chunda!

What’s perfect about this mango chutney recipe?

  • This mango chutney is perfect for making large batches that will last till next summer. You can make about 4 to 4.5 kg of mango chutney is just 2 hours.
  • Mango Chutney is the perfect thing to roll in a roti or spread on a piece of toast as a last minute snack.
  • Make this sweet mango pickle at home and give it to your friends as gifts. They’ll love it!

Cooking Tips and Tricks

  • After shredding the mango, do not wait too long before cooking it, else it will lose water/juice.
  • If you want a healthier chutney, you can replace all the sugar with jaggery.
  • You can make this recipe without almonds or any nuts. They are not part of the original recipe.
  • You can replace the almonds in this recipe with broken cashew nuts.
  • Store in airtight ceramic, glass, steel or other non-reactive jars. If stored well, the pickle can last for as long as a year.

Other Recipes You might Like

Did you try making this recipe? Give us your review below! And make sure to share your delicious creations by tagging us on Instagram or join TheWingedFork Facebook group and share your lovely food pics and results of your food experiments there!

Mango pickle called Murabba or Chunda in a steel pot with slivers or almond on top.

East Indian Mango Chutney (Chunda Recipe)

AbbyAbby
The East Indian Mango Chutney is a traditional chutney recipe from the Western coast of India that tastes like the Gujarati Chunda or murabba. Usually made in April or May, it lasts through the monsoon and into a bit of winter.
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Extra mango shredding time (If you do it yourself) 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Pickle, Side Dish
Cuisine East Indian, Indian
Servings 80 times

Ingredients
  

  • 2.5 kg Raw Mangoes peeled and shredded
  • 3 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 100 g Ginger
  • 100 g Garlic
  • 1.4 kg Sugar
  • .5 kg Jaggery
  • 200 g Raisins
  • 200 ml Vinegar
  • 80 g Salt

Instructions
 

  • Clean the garlic and ginger, cut into slivers and set aside.
  • Shred all of the raw mango (or purchase pre-shredded mango) and add it to a large vessel.
  • Allow the mango to simmer and lose some water.
  • Add ginger, garlic, jaggery, sugar and salt to the shredded mango.
  • Cook on a low heat before adding in raisins and stirring.
  • Add in slivers of chopped almonds and stir ocassionally.
  • Leave the mango chutney on the stove to simmer and thicken. 
  • Add in the vinegar 5 minutes before turning off the heat.
  • Bottle and store. (Will last for months in cooler conditions or in a refrigerator.)

Notes

*We never use fixed amounts of ingredients. So feel free to add or remove as per your taste.
*Jaggery is essentially gluten free, but make sure you purchase it from a gluten free processing facility.
* Any vinegar is good. Apple cider vinegar is gluten free.
* The produce from this recipe is between 4 to 4.5 kgs depending on how dry you make it. 
* The pickle lasts for months. We have also stored some jars in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 years. 
Pinterest images of shredded mangoes, and mango pickle cooking on a stove.
Pinterest image of spicy murabba pickle and sweet chunda pickle in white dishes.
Pinterest image of shredded mango and the East Indian Mango Chutney being cooked.

3 thoughts on “East Indian Mango Chutney/ Aam Ka Murabba/ Chunda”

  1. Your mangoe chutney brings back fond memories of my childhood in the village
    My mother used to make lots of this stuff and preserve it in ceramic jars, freely distributing to relatives and friends.4 stars

    Reply

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