When raw mangoes are in season, this is one dish that I never miss to make, Mangai Pachadi ( Mango Sweet Chutney ). This is a simple dish where raw mango pieces are cooked and jaggery and other seasonings are added to it. They also add a little dried neem flowers ( toasted in ghee ) at the end, till now I have never added it, but this time I asked the maid to collect some flowers for me, washed and dried them completely and then used it in the Pachadi. This is traditionally made on the Tamil New Year, the sourness from the mangoes, sweetness from the jaggery and the bitterness from the neem flowers balance each other and the Pachadi tastes great..
Need To Have
- Mango Pieces - 1 cup
- Jaggery - 3/4 cup
- Mustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
- Dried Red Chilly - 1, broken into halves
- Dried Neem Flowers - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - a pinch
Cook the chopped mangoes with salt and about 1/4 cup water till it becomes soft.
Melt the jaggery with 1/4 cup water, strain and add it to the cooked mangoes and cook till the mixture becomes thick, then switch off.
Heat a little oil, add the mustard seeds, when it starts sputtering, add the dried chilly and the asafoetida, mix for a few seconds and add it to the cooked mangoes. Then heat 1/2 teaspoon ghee, add the neem flowers, toast it and add it to the pachadi, mix it well and serve.
Add the jaggery only after the mango is cooked completely.
If you don't have neem flowers or if you don't like it, leave it out.
Some of the Indian grocery stores may carry these dried neem flowers.