Murumba, also known as murabba, is a popular way to preserve raw mangoes in India. It has a unique taste, thanks to the tartness of raw mangoes. The addition of spice gives it a sharpness that makes it quite different from jam.
The mango tree in my grandmum’s courtyard used to be the centre of all our attention – from the time it bloomed with flowers in early March, to when tiny mangoes appeared in April. In May, these were ready to be picked and preserved in various forms, to be enjoyed through the year.
Each time I see raw mangoes, the excitement of our childhood summers comes flooding back – the kitchen used to be a hot bed of activity during these months. Aji or mum used to spend their time making all kinds of pickles, jams, kees (a sweet and spicy mango preserve made from grated mangoes and dried in the heat of the summer sun) and this murumba.
Given my sweet tooth, the murumba and kees are the ones that I enjoyed the most. A chapati with some murumba was quite often a ‘complete meal’ for me.
This version is made using jaggery instead of sugar and is also referred to as Gulamba.
400 grams raw mangoes (peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks)
400 grams jaggery
1/2 a small green chilli (a little longer than an inch)
6-8 methi seeds
1/2 teaspoon oil
1. Heat the oil. Add the chilli and let it splutter.
2. Add the methi seeds and saute rapidly.
3. Add the chopped mango pieces. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook till mango pieces are tender.
4. Break up the jaggery into small pieces so that it can liquefy easily. Add it to the pan.
5. On a low flame, stir occasionally.
6. When the jaggery turns syrupy and thick, turn off the heat.
7. Let the murumba cool. Bottle and refrigerate it.
Serve with hot chapatis or eat it off a spoon. Anyway you like it, it’s a great memento of summer.
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