Chunda is the Gujarathi influence in my life. It is one of the many dishes I learnt from my old neighbours the Rajput family. The eldest lady Ji- aaji, Kaki and her three daughters, Indu, Ansu, Preeti spent a lot of time cooking for the family and I found it really funny that the two men in the family our pet Japan Baba, Rameshbhai were really pampered. These ladies kept aside all their likes and dislikes and cooked only what these men wanted to eat each day. Chunda was indispensible in their house it was very ritualistically made in summer months and stocked for the year.
It is quite simple to make yet has the suncooked goodness packed in it.
1 kg Rajapuri raw mangoes
750 gms granular sugar
1/2 cup powdered cumin seeds
1/2 cup red chilli powder
1 tablespoon salt
First wash and pat dry the mangoes. Peel the green skins. Use the coarse grate to get a pile of raw mango shreds. Incase Rajapuri mangoes are not available any mangoes with a lot of flesh and small seed can be used.
In a huge vessel or glass jar mix the shredded mangoes and sugar and allow to cook in the sun. Do not seal the jar but tie a cloth on the mouth to keep out the dirt. Put it in direct sunlight till you get transaparent raw mango shreds and the mix is sticky like honey yet crunchy in taste. Every day put the jar in the sun and in the evening bring it indoors to mix it well. Do not leave the jar out at night as dewdrops might get into it and that will spoil the preserve. Once the mix is stringy and finally you are ready to store it for the year mix in the salt, chilli powder, and cumin seed powder. Finally it should have the color and consistency as seen in the picture.
Chunda is now ready to be served with all the Gujarathi savories like thepla, fafda, ganthia, khari puri etc etc. As kids Kaki's first chapatis and fulkas with chunda or ghee shakkar were always fed to us every day. It is sweet memories how I was once who got it first then my siblings had their turns to get it first. Kaki used to call my youngest cousin, Kanha or Kanhiya as in Lord Krishna she actually believed that she was feeding the lord himself when she fed him such was her belief. We brats would have a good laugh at her but it did not shake her.
Try it out once and you will make it year on year.