Aam'er tok (pronounced "tawk") is a recipe for the hot Bengal summers when the mangoes are not ripe yet, and frequent nor'westers or afternoon storms keep knocking unripe green mangoes off the trees. Bengalis love making all sorts of cooling green mango recipes in these months. Besides a variety of tok dal, achaar (pickles) and chutney, aam'er tok or ambol too is popular during summers. It is a unique transitional course just after the fish and meat course and before dessert. Sometimes, on very hot days ambol or tok can even play the role of dessert in ending the meal.
For this aam'er tok recipe remember to select the smaller, more fragrant unripe green mangoes. The large, nearly ripe green mangoes don't have the same tartness, flavour or texture. This can be cooked very quickly and easily, and stored in the fridge for a few weeks. Serve chilled towards the end of the meal and experience the cool-sweet-savoury-sour tok make its way to your soul.
- 500 g kacha aam (green mangoes)
- 10 g mustard oil
- 1 pc dried red chilli
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 10 g salt
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 130 g sugar
- 500 g water
- Peel mangoes and cut them in 5-cm chunks. In small mangoes, remove the pit. Soak the mangoes in water for 30 minutes to reduce the astringent taste. Strain and set aside.
- Heat 10 g mustard oil in a pan. Temper it with dried red chilli and mustard seeds.
- Add mangoes and fry them on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add salt and cook for another minute before adding 500 g water.
- Add turmeric and sugar. Since tartness of mangoes can vary widely, you may need a little more or a little less sugar than we’ve mentioned.
- Bubble on medium heat until the mangoes are cooked. This should take about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or the mangoes will disintegrate and turn mushy.
- Remove from heat. Once cool you can store this in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Serve chilled.