If you have mango trees in your home, you are familiar with the pain of having a huge crop of mangoes in summer that you don’t know what to do with. There is a limit to how many mangoes you can distribute to family, friends, neighbours, or anyone who accidentally drops in. This mango jam comes to the rescue as it keeps for a long time, and goes with a wide variety of dishes.
There were different versions of mango jam prepared in my family. It was called a sweet rather than a jam. I recall my aunt crackling mustard seeds in oil and adding red chillies also to the sweet. I have also come across recipes using cardamom powder, but my mother used to make this jam with jaggery only. She used to cut the mango into small pieces and add water, and patiently cook it to a pulp. When I stared to make this jam I discovered that grating the mango reduced cooking time and gave it a smooth texture. This is a favourite not only in my family but also among my colleagues. This jam is a very good accompaniment to biriyanis and pulavs, but I relish it during every meal :).
The unripe mango is used mainly for its tart sourness. Its nutritive contribution to any meal is not significant, but the jaggery used in mango jam raises the calorific value because the jaggery contains about 383 Calories per 100 g. Therefore those who are on low carbohydrate diets should strictly avoid this delectable item.
- 3 Unripe Mangoes (kili mukku/kallamai/parrot beak mango)
- 3 C broken Mandai Vellam/Jaggery pieces
- ¼-½ tsp Salt
- ½ C Water
- Wash and wipe the mangoes. Remove skin.
- Grate the mangoes. Discard the stones (seeds).
- Place the grated mango in a large heavy-based saucepan.
- Add ½ C water and ¼-½ tsp salt.
- Place on heat. Bring to boil. Cover with lid, and simmer till the mango pulp is reduced to 1/3 volume.
- Add the jaggery pieces. Stir till dissolved.
- Bring to boil. Lower heat. Stir occasionally and cook till the jam falls in blobs from the spoon. Wait for froth to appear.
- Remove immediately. Place the pan in a basin of water to cool.
- Bottle and refrigerate.
- If you are using fibrous mangoes, chop the mangoes into small pieces instead of grating them.
- If jaggery manufactured in North India is used, you may have to increase the salt. South Indian jaggery is salty and therefore ¼-½ tsp salt will suffice.
- If you think the jaggery is impure, dissolve it in ½ cup of hot water and strain. Use the strained jaggery syrup to make the jam, but it will take longer to set.
- This jam will remain fresh in the refrigerator for a month.
- If you do not have access to jaggery you can try with brown sugar.