Vikhroli Cucina

Chundo: A refreshing sweet-sour-spicy mango pickle to add zing to your meal!

18 May 2017 , 0 comments / 3 likes
Traditionally a Gujarati pickle, chundo is found in various forms across South Asia. It is eaten as a sweet-spicy-tangy accompaniment to a traditional meal. During the #AamAchaarDay event at APB Cook Studio Mrs Heena Munshaw demonstrated the recipe for the Gujarati household staple

Makes 1½ kg of pickle
Time: 1 hour + 8-21 days to sun the pickle

Rajapuri mangoes 3, raw, firm
Sugar 1½ times the volume of the mango
Salt 1/2cup
Turmeric powder 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tbsp, crushed coarsely


Wash the mangoes and dry them thoroughly. Peel and grate them. Measure out the quantity of mango in cups. Measure out 1½ times the same volume of sugar and set aside.

Mix the grated mangoes with salt and turmeric powder. Set aside for about 30 minutes. Take handfuls of the mango and squeeze gently to remove excess water. Transfer the mango to a clean stainless steel thali or tray. Add the measured sugar and mix well.

To make this chundo the traditional way, tie a piece of muslin cloth over the thali or tray. Place the tray in the sun for 8-21 days. It has to go out every morning (after a stir) and be brought back in every night. You will know the pickle is done when the sugar has melted to a syrup of 1½-2-string consistency. (Place a little of the syrup between your thumb and forefinger and open them gently; 1½-2 strings should be formed.) Stir in 2 tbsp chilli powder and 1 tbsp coarsely crushed cumin seeds. Ensure a wet spoon doesn’t touch the pickle. The traditional method requires a lot of patience but it seems as though the flavour of sunlight is captured in this pickle!

There is an easier option to make chundo, but be warned, it will not taste the same! Cook the mango mixture in a heavy-bottomed pan on low heat till all the water has evaporated and it reaches the correct consistency. Keep stirring so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan. Add 2 tbsp chilli powder and 1 tbsp coarsely crushed cumin seeds while still hot.

Notes: There are a few variables you need to watch out for with chundo:

  • Mangoes: In case the mangoes are not firm and have begun to ripen, they will not do for chundo. The recipe calls for Rajapuri mangoes which are large and used raw, sour and firm. The idea being that the pickle, when ready, should hold the form of the slivers it has been grated into.
  • The sun: The sun may not be strong where you live, so vary the number of days you sun the chundo accordingly. If it’s really hot, then 3-4 days will suffice. But if the intensity is lower, the number of days will vary between 4-8 days. It can go up to 21 days. Just keep an eye on it.
  • Crystallisation: If you notice that the sugar is crystallising, then the sugar ratio is too high. Grate some more mango, salt and squeeze it, and mix it in.
  • Ants: Chundo is an ant magnet! The muslin cloth is to keep them and other stuff that might get in, out. If ants are a problem where you live, take the extra precaution of placing the whole container of chundo in a basin of water. Don’t let water get into the pickle however.
  • Variation: This is something I like to do with a small batch: increase the chilli quotient and add raisins when I add the chilli powder.