My recent trip home was a short one but it brought back a flood of childhood memories. Ever since my parents settled back in our native place, I’ve probably been on three flying visits home, with never enough time to relax, sit back and enjoy the warm and serene surroundings. This time was different. I didn’t have a packed itinerary and didn’t have to rush from place to place visiting people and places. This is just the way it was when we were kids!
I knew I would miss Amma and all her yummy food, when I left and so I decided to take pictures of her creations. I wanted Amma to make all the tasty food that Ammamma used to make for us as kids. Ammamma didn’t do too much of cooking herself by the time I was old enough to remember but would always make an accompaniment of some kind to make the meal a great success. She was also the supervisor ever present in the kitchen, chopping veggies and constantly improvising recipes. Ammamma is no longer with us but every time I visit Pampady, I remember her and all the love she showered on us as kids. One of the ways in which she pampered us and showed us her affection was through her mouth watering recipes. Some of the dishes that I make at home are recipes that I learned from Amma (over our phone conversations) which she learned from one of my Grandmothers.
One of Ammamma’s recipes, Chadacha Maanga (Pounded Raw Mangoes) was my favorite as a child. Raw mangoes were abundant in Kerala during the summer months and Ammamma would prepare pickles of all kinds with it. We used to collect fresh raw mangoes for Ammamma and Amma to make into delicious Chadacha Maanga(Pounded Raw Mangoes). This is one of the recipes I associate with Amma and Ammamma. This time in Pampady, we spoke a lot about Ammamma and Amma also made the famous Chadacha Maanga for me everyday. It is an easy recipe but the Ammi Kallu(flat grinding stone with a cylindrical stone pestle) is an integral part of the recipe and I have not been able to find a better way of doing it. I tried making Chadacha Maanga with my metallic mortar and pestle here and it comes out alright but it is definitely a lot more effort than with the Ammi.
Here is the recipe:
1) Two fresh raw mangoes, cleaned, deseededand cut into big pieces – Step one was for me was to pluck fresh green mangoes from Amma’s and Daddy’s Mango grove.
2) 7-8 toasted whole dry red chillies – Amma lightly warmed them on a medium flame for a couple of minutes. The chillies should not burn or change color.
3) ½ a teaspoon of cumin seeds.
4) About a teaspoon of Kallu uppu(un iodized salt crystals) or according to taste. Can be substituted with regular table salt.
Grind the red chillies, cumin seeds and salt on an Ammi Kallu into a semi-coarse paste. The chillies should not be fully ground and should appear as flakes. Now place the Mango pieces face down two at a time on the chilly/jeera paste and pound them to blend in the spices. Don’t grind the mangoes; the pieces should stay as pounded mango pieces. Transfer the Mango pieces onto a serving dish and top it off with coconut oil. It can be eaten as an accompaniment with rice and curries or as it is to quench a spicy mango craving!
The Mangoes on the Ammi:
A sensational meal – rice with aviyal, drumstick leaves dal, long beans fry(payar upperi), chadacha maanga, pickle and papadam
All other recipes in the picture will follow soon 🙂
This recipe is my contribution to JFI for the month of April.