Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mulangi(radish) chutney - a very 'I am grateful' Thanksgiving and some

Going by the title of this post, you can guess the time origin of this post. I started writing this last week sometime when I finally emerged out of the food coma and the shopping mania induced by Thanksgiving:-) but then it took this long for the post to actually see the light of the day(err on the blog I mean). So if you would, please switch your mindset to a little over a week ago as I talk about the Thanksgiving we had this year or jump straight to this ever green chutney. This is a one of a kind chutney, unique for me as it is sans coconut (my usual theme and suspect when it comes to chutneys :-)), a medley of a couple different flavors I have tasted and enjoyed over the years, a quick fix for cravings and definitely not without health benefits.
Ah, we finished our Thanksgiving too this year and already looking forward to the Holiday season as the year draws to an end. Really, where does time fly?? DD came home for 4 days and was in a cycle of food, sleep and homework while the parents were bursting with happiness to have the little one home. Someone asked me last week if she has changed, is all grown up and responsible and I had no fitting answer because she has always been responsible and a little grown up for her age at every age. Oh well, I know it is just the mommy speak :-). We also had a cousin and family join us for our traditional vegetarian Thanksgiving making the lunch all the more festive as everyone enjoyed the stuffed masala dose, corn bread, cranberry relish, some brown rice flour shavige and dahi vade. We rounded off the festive lunch (and the belly) with gulab jamoons, ice cream and some 'imported from India' kaayi obbattu (coconut obbattu - stay with me here until I am able to explain what obbattu is :-), definitely not stuffed sweet paratha which is a description totally lacking in imagination and doesn't do any justice to the dish).

Remind me about the brown rice flour shavige and I will talk about it in detail another time. For the purposes of this post, suffice to say that I brought home a bag of brown rice flour from the store and ended up making shavige with it. All I can say is it is DELICIOUS and tastes so much more wholesome than the one made with white rice flour. If you are ok with the un-fanciful reddish color and can adjust your mental model to forget the white, angel hair shavige that is traditionally made, you will be treated to a wonderfully healthier version of the dish with this flour. Try it out sometime.
For the last couple of years retailers are trying to be more and more innovative in enticing poor, hapless consumers to the stores as soon as the weather cools down. Marketing and advertising have changed so much trying to retain customers and make them spend during this season. The black Friday mania got extended to Cyber Mondays keeping abreast of the changing patterns of shopping. There are even 'almost Black Friday deals' starting from the beginning of November. For the last year or so, black Fridays are spilling forward into the Thanksgiving Thursdays with sales starting from 6pm. I couldn't have imagined going shopping after a meal like what I described above and trying to find things in that chaos that underlines everything about thanksgiving shopping. I guess we (human beings) are very adaptive and morph with the times.

Since DD was heading back that weekend, we wanted to do some shopping before she left. Here is a confession, I am not a shopper, when it comes to buying anything other than groceries, I become lazy, disorganized and everything that contradicts my true nature. I know, I know, it is even shameful to admit I don't relish shopping for clothes, shoes and such. My sister knows this very well about me and doesn't bother asking me out for shopping. The kiddo is a much better and smarter shopper than I am in this department and I am glad to hand over the reigns to her:-). She loves shopping back in India with 2 of her doddammas (aunts) who love to take her out and doesn't mind anymore if I feign jet lag or general tiredness.
Anyways, off we went to keep the tradition (of holiday shopping) alive and with true consumerism in our hearts on the evening of Thursday and were transported into that wonderful world of glittering, glamorous, colorful materialism :-). But then the break through happened, I just didn't feel the need to buy anything, I walked from the kitchen department to the clothes and everything in between but just didn't pick up a single item. Stood in the line while DD was shopping for her stuff and was glad to be of service :-). It was so liberating to not feel the need or even the over whelming 'want' to buy things. BH says it is a sure sign of old age, while I don't agree with him on that topic, I am glad I was able to just walk around and be extremely thankful to the life I have and the family and friends that make it as beautiful as it is. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!

If I were to take a vote by a show of hands as to how many people enjoyed eating radishes, I am sure I can guess the outcome in any conceivable sampling except if the sample set was made of bunny rabbits :-). I know it is not a very popular vegetable but BH and I really love radishes. I find both raw and the cooked form of this veggie to be pleasing and appetizing, I just don't advocate carrying it in lunch boxes for the smell some people may find offending. We eat radishes in salads, raita, gojju etc frequently and have always looked for new recipes where radishes can be used.
Peanut chutney is another favorite at home especially with DD and BH and I personally find it a little too heavy on the stomach with an overload of peanuts. Enter radish chutney aka mulangi chutney which combines 2 loved ingredients and brings a well mashed chutney recipe using some of Andhra's usual chutney suspects - result is this light, lip smacking, tangy, spicy chutney with the goodness of radishes that can be eaten with all things ranging from dosa, idli, chapati, paratha, rotti and even tastes great mixed with steamed rice.

I use the regular diakon radishes or the white, long radishes for this recipe as they have a more robust (almost pungent) flavor compared to the round, red radishes. Peanuts are just to give body to the chutney and hence don't over do it unless you want to end up with peanut chutney laced with radishes :-). The tang from tamarind, flavors from roasted mustard and fenugreek are tell tale Andhra chutney indicators. I love to add turmeric powder for the color it gives the chutney. If you mix it with the right amount of cilantro, the final product will have a very pleasing greenish yellow or yellowish green imparted to the chutney. So there is quite a bit of free hand possible that you can do your own magic with the basic recipe but try it for sure and you will glad you added another coconut-free chutney to your repertoire.

What do you need to make Mulangi chutney? 
1 medium sized radish (2 cups of thinly sliced pieces)
1/4 cup peanuts
4-6 green chilies (adjust to taste)
1/2 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1.5 Tbsp oil
1/4 Tsp turmeric powder
2-3 curry leaves (optional, can be skipped)
1/2 Tsp mustard
1/4 Tsp fenugreek seeds
small keylime size tamarind
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro (optional, recommended for flavor and color)
pinch of asafoetida
1 Tsp oil
1/2 Tsp mustard
1-2 pieces dry red chilies
1/8 Tsp fenugreek (optional)
How do you make mulangi chutney? 
  • Wash, remove ends of radish and peel. 
  • Chop into thin pieces, I cut the radish vertically into quarters and then slice them. 
  • Dry roast peanuts in a heavy bottom pan for 5-6 minutes or until they change color and just start to pop. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning. 
  • Take aside to a plate and let cool. 
  • Add 1/2 Tbsp oil in the pan, add mustard, fenugreek seeds, green chilies and curry leaves. 
  • Roast until mustard pops and the chilies develop blisters on them. Add tamarind, stir once and take it out on to the plate with peanuts. 
  • Add the remaining tbsp oil and add the radish pieces and turmeric powder. Stir once so turmeric coats the pieces, add salt and asafoetida, cover and let cook for 4-5 minutes on low heat. 
  • The time it takes to cook the radish is dependent on how thick the pieces are and the heat you have on the stove. Thinner pieces aid in cooking faster. 
  • Once radish is soft and cooked, add chopped cilantro and switch off and let cool. 
  • In your blender jar, add peanuts and the remaining roasted spices and grind it dry(without water) until peanuts break down. 
  • Add the cooled radish and give it one or two pulses so it makes a coarse paste. You will not need additional water to make this chutney. 
  • Heat the oil for seasoning, add mustard and fenugreek if using. Let mustard pop. Add dry red chilies and curry leaves. Switch off. 
  • Pour the seasoning on top of chutney and serve it. 
  • You can make this chutney high on mustard or fenugreek in addition to radish based on your preference, I like fenugreek :-)
  • Due to the moisture in radish, you don't need to use water in grinding, keep it separate and dry grind the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Turmeric powder gives a pretty hue to the chutney and also adds to the taste. Don't skip it. 
  • You can use a mix of red and green chilies if you like. Break or cut green chilies before you pop them in the pan. 


anu said...

very tasty chutney . I love fresh chetnies. mouth watering. thanks for the nice and healthy recipe.

anu said...

nice and healthy recipe. I love fresh chetney