Ammiji’s Pepe Chutney
A traditional chutney from Bengal that’s an essential part of wedding feasts and Pujo spreads. The goodness of raw papaya teamed with the fragrance of saffron – this is a sweet, joyful delight!
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They say that the Bengalis have a chutney for every season. But for the post monsoon season, when the mangoes have faded away, raw papaya shines in the chutney section of the Bengali meal. Crisp raw papaya is cooked till it becomes transparent – and some call it the “Plastic Chutney” for just this reason. We prefer to call it the Pepe Chutney. “Pepe” is Bengali for papaya.
The unpretentious Plastic Chutney was elevated to a royal level when a prominent hospitality chain started serving it in their opulent Indian restaurant. We’ve taken that recipe, added our own saffron-flavored twist to it, and come up with a deliciously luxuriant version that no one will believe is made from the humble papaya.
When Ammiji tasted this chutney (yes, the recipe is not hers but she will vet anything that goes out in her name) she closed her eyes and then opened them hurriedly before we caught her at it. Of course, we didn’t miss the expression of satisfaction on her face but declined to comment on it. “Is it good?” we asked. She pretended to think for a bit. We waited on feigned tenterhooks. “Theek hai,” she finally said, which in her language meant that it was wholeheartedly approved. She kept the jar in her kitchen, pretending that it was an ordinary thing to do. We knew then that what we had in this chutney was pure love.
This sweet chutney is flavored strongly with nigella seeds and saffron, and it has added raisins for texture play. It goes well with all your meals – with paranthas, with dal chawal, even atop crackers with feta cheese! (The aforementioned restaurant served it with rich Awadhi biryanis and curries!)
We bet you – one spoonful of this chutney will definitely not be enough.
Ingredients: Raw Papaya, Raisins, Sugar, Himalayan pink salt, Lemon Juice, Red chilli, Cumin, Nigella seeds, Aniseed, Saffron
Weight: 150 gms
Price: 499 399
Good for: 3 months when refrigerated
Usage: Store in Refrigerator.