Last week we visited our native village accompanied by our sambandis .(When a boy and a girl get married, their respective parents become Sambandis to each other.)
The highway via Dharmapuri and Salem split smoothly through the beautiful tender green mango topes (Groves), with rough and sturdy hillocks standing guard in the background. Green, firm and juicy mangoes looking like emerald pendants weighed down the branches of the short mango trees. The already harvested ones lay in mounds at the foot of each tree.
Ripe and raw mangoes of all hues and sizes were stacked up in shacks skirting the high way.The fragrance and the colour of the king of fruits attracted each and every passing vehicle which compulsively stopped by, for a happy bargain.
The sight of the king of fruits lead us to exchange various mango recipes and my sambandi and I chatted and chatted only mangoes till we reached our destination!
Since we had bought a cart load of mangoes on our return trip, I started preparing the mango dishes one by one.
CHAMANDI which I learnt from my Sambandi was the first one to be dished out!
Chamandi is a chutney or a dip or you can even call it a pesto, prepared with raw mangoes and raw spices. It involves no cooking. A side dish with a tang, it goes very well with rice and koottu or rice and morkuzhambu , curd rice, chapatis and dosais.
Red chillies - 8 ( depending on the degree of sourness of the mango.)
Salt - 2 level tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Grated jaggery - 1 tbsp
Coconut oil - 2 tsps
2. Grind all ingredients without coconut oil into a slightly coarse paste.
3. Add coconut oil and run the mixer just to blend.
Enjoy the mixed taste of Chamandi with a mixed flavour of mango and coconut oil, with steaming hot rice.