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Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork

East Indian Mango Chutney Recipe

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 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.

Murabba with turmeric, cloves and cardamom - TheWingedFork
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.

Buying the raw mangoes

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

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
Skin the raw mangoes

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

Shredding the mangoes for sweet pickle for the Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork

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. 😉

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
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!

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
Chopping the mangoes for pickle

This are the other guys chopping the mangoes into pieces for a different pickle. And the lady with the greenbag and purple salwar kameez who kept coming in my way.

Now let’s start with the recipe. 🙂

How to make murabba? Steps to follow

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
Clean garlic and ginger

Clean the garlic and ginger and cut into slivers.

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
Grind garlic and ginger with a mortar and pestle or with a stone grinder – patha

After cuttin, 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 flavor of the garlic and ginger.

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
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.

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
Also add raisins and stir

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

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
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.

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
Stir occasionally

Stir occasionally to let the moisture out.

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
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.

Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
Print Recipe
4.34 from 3 votes

East Indian Mango Chutney

Recipe Notes by Abby of TheWingedFork.com, for the East Indian Mango Chutney.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Mango shredding time (If you do it yourself)1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Pickle, Side Dish
Cuisine: East Indian, Indian
Servings: 80 times
Author: Abby

Ingredients

  • 2.5 kg Raw Mangoes peeled and shredded
  • 3 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 100 g Slivered Ginger
  • 100 g Slivered 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 variant of the traditional recipe for Murabba or Chunda - By Abby from TheWingedFork
Traditional recipe for East Indian Mango Chutney - TheWingedFork

3 thoughts on “East Indian Mango Chutney Recipe”

  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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