Monday, May 01, 2006

Methamba - Sweet & Savoury Mango Relish

This Maharashtrian relish is one of those almost-forgotten dishes, I feel. Those ones, which the earlier generation too doesn't think of that often. Anyway the trend in urban Maharashtrian households nowadays is to try out new dishes, from other Indian regions as well as from international cuisines. I am no exception. I am often more eager to cook a totally new ingredient than to cook a familiar ingredient in an unknown way.

It is only thanks to the Jihva for Ingredients event that I went through my recipe books and notes looking for some untried recipes for mangoes. I selected this one because
a) I have never made it before, which means that it is a learning experience.
b) I have eaten it before, which means that I know what the taste should be like.
I am happy that I 'rediscovered' this dish for myself. It can be prepared fast. It stays fresh in the refrigerator for several days. It is versatile; can be eaten with any meal and has a very intense flavour.

Actually, it's worth mentioning that it falls into a catagory, which is called in Marathi 'Tondilavane'. Meaning a relish or chutney, which
- is served and eaten in small quantities with meals, and which
- makes your tastebuds dance even if you have very little of it . :)

The name itself tells you about the two main ingredients : Methi (fenugreek seeds) + Amba (mango). The rest of them are listed below and also featured in the picture.

Recipe for Methamba

Makes about a cup.

Clockwise from right: whole mango, chopped mango, chopped jaggery, red chilli powder, asafoetida powder, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds


Ingredients:

½ cup pieces of raw mango (The mango can be in any stage of ripeness. I have used a quite-ripe-but-still-rather-sour one.)
¼ heaped cup chopped jaggery (The quantity will depend upon the sourness of the mango.)
1 tsp chilli powder (I know it’s a lot, but the relish is meant to have a sharp contrast of sweet and savoury.)
¼ cup water
salt to taste

2 tsp oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida powder
½ tsp fenugreek seeds, coarsely ground

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.

2. Add asafoetida powder. Add ground fenugreek seeds and wait until they give out their aroma.

3. Add mango pieces. Stir them well, so that they get coated with the seasoning.

4. Add chilli powder and stir again.

5. Add water and cover the pan partly. Let the mango pieces cook in the steam.

6. Now add the jaggery. As mentioned earlier, the preparation IS supposed to have a pronounced sweet taste, so don't worry as to whether you have put too much. Add salt too.

7. Let it simmer for about 8 minutes. The preparation needs to become semi-solid. Once it reaches that consistency, take it off the heat.

8. Let it cool uncovered. Then take it out into a serving bowl.

It keeps fresh outside the fridge for about three days. If stored well-covered in the refrigerator, it should stay fresh for at least a week (which doesn't happen, because it vanishes much before that :).

Methamba

Serve it with any meal. It goes well with parathas, theplas and ragi dosa too.

50 comments:

Tanuja said...

Hi vaishali,

Ur Mango recipe looks yummy.

Vee said...

Hmmm...I remember my neighbors passing on a bottle of methamba to us every summer...never knew how to make it...Now I do...Thanks to you...

Indira said...

Unearthing old recipes and finding this type of forgotten taste is the intention of this event.

Thanks for sharing such a unique recipe and participating in "JFI~Mango", Vaishali.

Saffron said...

ok, you got me with the "the mango can be at any stage of ripeness".

No more "guess the state of ripeness?" games at the grocer's..at least for this dish :)

cheers!

RP said...

I usually get green mango from the grocery store, but when I cut open it, it is at some stage of ripeness. Good to see that we can make things out of this kind of mangoes. I am saving this recipe.

Manisha said...

Vaishali, is this the same as gul-chat? It sounds very much like it and that used to be a hot favorite at home. I make it whenever I get a chance. We just polished off my stock a couple of weeks ago. As for tondilavane - well, what's that?! ;-) We eat this more like a bhaji than tondilavane!

Now I am torn between Luv2Cook's pulusu and gul-chat!

BDSN said...

Wow!! ur pic does look yummy!!It's like a sweet mango pickle perfect for chappathis...

Kitchenmate said...

Vaishali: looks yummy and delicious, we make a similar kind of recipe, "Mango Thithipu"(i blogged about it) which uses raw mango, with all the ingredients you listed. Good to see similarities between regions too:)

Revathi said...

This recipe is very similar to mango pachadi that I blogged and ur tried on your patrol - But you tasted both the dishes right ?? Is the taste similar ??
I guess we are all rediscovering mangoes..Lovely post

Ashwini said...

Oooh....I had forgotten about this dish too. I remember Wadke maushi handing this to my mother in the summer :-)
You know the tondilavne part brought some memories. My Marathi was not great as a child because I spent about seven years in Calcutta. So once at lunch I asked my aunt "tondasathi kai aahe"? All my cousins burst out laughing saying "powder aahe"...

KrishnaArjuna said...

Looks yummy Vaishali, thanks for the recipe. This joins my must try list.

Anonymous said...

at my place it was served with ragi dosas.... and there was a race at the dining table to finish it off!! Yum stuff

Lakshmi said...

nice one, just want to have it Vaishali.

Vaishali said...

Tanuja, Vee, Lakshmi, thanks for stopping by.

My pleasure, Indira.

SH, I know that frustration over the ripeness of mangoes so well. You know, in the main market in Pune (Mandai), women selling unripe mangoes actually sit with cutting blade and cut the unripe mangoes open for you. You can check whether the ripeness of every individual fuit suits you. Can't have that convenience here, can I?

RP, let me know in case you try it out.

Manisha, sorry, I don't know about Gul-chat. Hey, but, I know that 'tondilavane being eaten like bhaji' phenomenon. My father is infamous for that.

BDSN, do have it with fresh chapatis. Believe me, you won't be disappointed.

Kitchenmate, I checked out your Thithipu recipe. One observation: It doesn't have fenugreek seeds. Methamba, on the other hand, has a predominant flavour of them. Brothers parted at birth maybe? :)

Revathi, actually I made Methamba and your Mango Pachadi on the same day. They are similar, I'd say, maybe cousins, but still significantly different from each other...like Kajol and Rani Mukerjee maybe? :) Your Pachadi has a pronounced lovely flavour of curry leaves and dried red chillis whereas Methamba leaves a flavour of fenugreek seeds and jaggery on the tongue. Try it out. You'll like it.

Ashwini, that was a funny anecdote. Cousins are always soooo mean, aren't they?

KA, let me know in case you try it out.

Hey, I too serve it often with Ragi dosa, Anon.

Go ahead, Lakshmi, have it. I've got lots more sitting in the fridge. :)

spicehut said...

Sounds yummy ! I bet this goes well with a nice chapati hot off the tava.

Nandita said...

Feels very good to get back to the roots of our culture and tradition- This is sure worth a try- I have being going around all my fav blogs to read about what you've being doing with the mangoes :) It's fun!

Santhi said...

what beautiful looking relish...
I am sure this whole summer if I make one mango recipe a day, I still wont be able to finish making them all...:)

Vaishali said...

You bet it does, Sonali.

It is sure fun, Nandita. I, too have been doing that for the last 24 hours now. Have you noticed that not a single recipe has got repeated? Interesting, isn't it?

I so agree with you Santhi. I guess, we will have to mark the days in the calendar this year, when we DON'T eat mangoes. :)

Shpriya said...

The pic very clearly shows that it would taste yummy:) Think it will go very well with hot , crispy pooris :)

Nandan said...

Hello Vaishali, methamba looks great and yummy. Just seeing this recipe makes me miss Mangoes more. :(

Menu Today said...

Hello Vaishali,
Thank u very much for adding me to your blogger roll.
Your version of dish looks yummy!!!! My mother used to make with mango paste.

Vaishali said...

Shpriya, you bet it will. Thanks for stopping by.

Nandan, welcome to my blog! Methamba is indeed yummy. Want to come over to Germany for your share? :)

MT, with mango paste? Interesting. How did she make it? Maybe you can blog about it sometime in future.

Mythili said...

Thanks for dropping by. Your methamba looks great !!!! You have a great blog going here. Will add urs to my blogroll too.

Mythili said...

Thanks for dropping by. Your methamba looks great !!!! You have a great blog going here. Will add urs to my blogroll too.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Had almost forgotten about this recipe.Had tried it at my aunt's place, back home.Will definitely try out this weekend.
Thanks,
Kamakshi

Mahek said...

hi,
vaishali
lovely photo looks yummy i will definetly try it and let you know
bye
keep in touch
mahek

Vaishali said...

Thanks, Mythili.

Thanks for stopping by, Kamakshi. Do let me know in case you try it out.

Thanks for the compliment, Mahek. Your Banana Halwa looks yummy too.

Anonymous said...

Vaishali,
Finally tried your methamba recipe this weekend.The recipe was just perfect.Results were awesome!!!
Will watch out for more recipes.
Kamakshi

Vaishali said...

Kamakshi, welcome to my blog. And hey, thanks for trying out my recipe. I am so happy you liked it. You made my day!

Sumitha said...

Vaishali I was hunting for this recipe in your blog,I didnt find it in the side bar,drop down menu,This one is so tempting I have bookmarked it!

Sanjana said...

Hi Vaishali
Your Methamba looks lovely with mango pieces floating in a red hot sauce. Good and thanks for sharing such a unique recipe.
Chk here for Mampaza puliseri - ultimate dish with ripe mangoes:
http://www.indusladies.com/forums/14696-post87.html

Anonymous said...

mmm this looks so good! I really want to try this. I was wondering if I could skip the asafoetida powder? Will it taste the same? (I have the other ingredients)

Reena said...

Hey, this recipe can also be made with ripe guava and tomato instead of mango and it tastes awesome

Geeta said...

I made this recipe today and tastes soo yummy. It is little hot for us so next time I will add 1/2 tsp of red Chile pwdr.

Geeta

Swati said...

My mother used to make 2 types, phodicha and kisaacha. pieces or grated. I think I like the chunky one better- phodicha. But thanks so much for reviving old memories.

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PL/SQL said...

Nice! Want to mention that it can be made with Guavas instead of mangoes.. Although I always liked the version with grated kairi the best!

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This recipe is very similar to mango pachadi that I blogged and ur tried on your patrol
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