To begin this post by showing you the pic of this hideous looking vegetable is certainly not the wisest thing I have done, especially when I later try and convince you that this chutney is perhaps one of the best, if not the best, chutney I have ever had. Yeah, I have given you reasons to believe otherwise but what can I say…you got to trust my words more than what the pic says, else the loss is yours my friends.
If you have seen my post on the Litti Chokha, you would remember I had promised to upload each month, a dish from the northern state of Bihar. This post is a part of my effort to showcase and introduce you to the best and perhaps not so known dishes of this delicious cuisine – both sweet and savory. Few of the dishes that I posted earlier were the delicious street food Litti Chokha, this addictive snack Nimki (Stick Crackers) and this scrumptious flat bread, Sattu ka Paratha which in fact I had posted way back in 2011. And how could I forget the Sarson Masala Bhindi (Okra in Mustard Sauce) and Tori Aur Kala Chana (Courgette & Bengal grams Curry). This Kathal Kofta (Jackfruit Kofta Curry) is also my mil’s recipe however I am not sure if it is a Bihari recipe or not; scrumptious nonetheless.
My effort is to bring forth the distinctive flavors from Bihar and traditional food that has for whatever reason remained unexplored and which deserves to be shared with the world. In fact I had planned of posting recipe for Bihari Gosht & Pua for Holi but I was busy helping my daughter prep for her exams, so it didn’t happen. Anyways, for the month of March, I decided upon this chutney which is finger licking good and pairs with all curries and rice dishes. It even pairs beautifully with the Makki ki Roti (Cornmeal Flatbread) and other flatbreads such as Gobhi ka Paratha or stuffed Tawa Kulcha. Some may find it a tag strong for taste since it has raw garlic and ginger but the taste matures over a period of 2 – 3 days. So do give it a try.
I was amazed with the kind of chutneys that my mother-in-law used to dish out. The Biharis make chutney with the most unassuming of veggies and this chutney is a testimony to that. The Green Pea Chutney is one such chutney that I had after marriage and I can never get enough of her pickled spring garlic; it is simply out of the world. Enough of chatter I suppose, time to head for the recipe.
300 gram approx Oal / Suran (Indian Yam)
25 gm/ 1 tbsp heaped, finely grated Ginger
25 gm / 1 tbsp heapted, finely grated Garlic
2 – 3 Green chilies, finely chopped or roughly ground
1 scant tsp Ajwain (Carom Seeds)
¼ tsp Kalonji / Kala Jeera (Nigella Seeds)
Juice of 2 Limes
1 whole stuffed Red Chili Pickle
1 tsp Mango Pickle (approximately two pieces of mango pickle)
3 tbsp Mustard Oil
Salt to taste
Peel and wash the oal. Dice it in 1 – 1.5 inch pieces. Transfer the pieces to a pressure cooker and add half a glass of water. Pressure cook till the cooker lets out one pressure whistle. (the cooking time will depend on the size of the pieces). Switch off the heat. Once the pressure is back to normal in the pressure cooker, drain the water using a big sieve. Keep the boiled pieces of oal aside and let them cool.
Once cool, mash the oal using a potato masher and in case you do not have that, use the back of a fork to mash it.
In a non corrosive mixing bowl, add all the ingredients to this rough mash and mix everything using a spatula or fork. Use a spoon to scoop out the masala from the stuffed red chili pickle or use your hands to mash it (you may want to wear gloves while dealing with red and green chilies) Taste the chutney at this point and adjust the flavors and also, only if required, add the salt.
Transfer the chutney to a non-corrosive container or bottle. Allow the flavors to mature for a day or two before you begin using it.
Note: Be careful not to over-cook the oal. Also, before you start peeling and cutting the oal, rub a little mustard oil on your hands since raw oal can lead to itching in hands.
Note: Do not be intimidated by the amount of raw mustard oil. It is essential for enjoying the authentic flavors of this chutney.
Note: You can keep the chutney in the sun for a few hours to hasten the process of maturing its flavors. While you keep the bottle under sun, ensure that you do not cover it with a lid but with a muslin cloth for the moisture to escape.
Note: I have seen some people use fresh coriander in this chutney but my mil doesn’t and neither did I.
Note: It keeps well refrigerated for approximately 10 days.
Yield: Makes 1 large bottle.
Are you a chutney fan? Then try these ones too…
Panchphoran Tamatar Chutney (Indian 5-Spice Tomato Chutney)
Hareh Matar ki Chutney (Green Pea Chutney)