Recipe & Photography: Sumon Majumder
I was travelling to rural Bengal and in my journey, Malda was an obvious stop. Malda is a town but if you travel just 15km into it, you will land up in a completely different green Bengal surrounded by mango gardens. Malda means mangoes and vast acres of mango gardens. There are more than 1000 mango gardens in Malda and hence, it is the mango hub of West Bengal.
It’s something that has been coming down since the last century. As we all know these entire variations of mangoes available to us is due to the Mughals. Every year, Malda produces mangoes in huge quantities and varieties which is why it is so essential to the people of Malda. They could make anything with mango. Yes, literally anything. They even use mangoes for fish curry and, trust me, you won’t find this preparation of mangoes anywhere else except Malda.
Now you might as well be wondering where is all this coming from? So, here it is: not too long ago, I was invited to a house in Malda. It was winter. Now, when I reached there, I discovered that this family of Mr. Ranjan Roy has their own mango garden and they also have a business in mango trade (that is of selling the mangoes that they grow in their garden). At their place, I was offered some tiny little sweet mango rolls and tea. I was quite surprised because you generally don’t get mangoes during the winter. When I enquired about it, the grand lady smiled and replied, “When you come to a house in Malda, how can you not have mangoes, even in winter?”. Well, so that is how it came about. The best part about it that in addition to it, I learnt this wonderful recipe. Here it goes:
Okay. At first, a little bit about Amsotto or ‘Dry Mangoes’. Amsotto or ‘Dry Mangoes’ are still made by a traditional process. At first, the sweet mangoes are picked out and their pulp taken out. Then it is let to dry for days, under the sun. Slowly, the mango pulp becomes ‘Amsotto’ as its gets dry and hard and finally, these are preserved.
Now, although it was a snack but I tried to add a little twist to Amsotto and made what is called an Aam Kathi (Mango Stick). The delicious mango delight.
Mango Stick (Aam Kathi)
Time: 15 mins.
200 gm Flour
½ Lt.White Oil for deep fry
A Single Bar Dry Mangoes (Amsotto)
500 gm Sugar
First you have to cut the dry mangoes into slices. Mix the flour with ½ cup of water. Then make small chapattis from the flour and then just roll the sliced dry mangoes inside it. Wrap up both the open ends of this roll. Now heat up the white oil and deep fry it till the rolls become brownish. Then take it out from the pan and put it on a tissue paper to dry the extra oil.
Now comes the twist part. You have to melt the sugar. Put some water and sugar and start stirring it. When it becomes sticky, just pour it onto those tiny mango rolls. For garnishing, just sprinkle some sugar over it. Then put it in the fridge for 5 mins. and your little mango rolls are ready!
Sumon Mazumder is a film maker, traveler, musician and of course foodie. He travels and finds character with a story. Also food with a story. Cooking is his hobby which he does with a small fusion twist. He believes every food has a history and a story. And he is on his journey to discover them.