The moment I saw this recipe on Bong Mom's Cookbook, I knew that I had to make this on the first given opportunity.
Kasundi, a tangy, pungent Bengali Mustard Sauce, an accompaniment to the various fish fries, chops and cutlets, has a special place in most Bengali's palate. Ever since I can remember it had always been store bought affair at my place and never homemade. I think it has to do with the fact that I was raised in a Flat Bari (apartment), with a tiny Baranda (balcony) and limited access to the roof.
Last week Cincinnati was blessed with two (19th and 20th) gorgeous days of sunshine. Unlike meringue, this recipe of Aam Kasundi has nothing to do with the levels of humidity. It would have tasted perfectly, had I made it on a cold, rainy or a snowy day. But the moment my living room was filled with golden rays of the rising sun, I could literally smell the enticingly pungent Aam Kasundi wafting through warm rays. I just HAD to make it.
Raw mango is not a pantry staple for me and I did not have it. I had a lone Brazilian mango (leftover from the Black Bean -Mango Salsa) in my fridge. The best thing about these Brazilian mangoes is that they are not too sweet nor absolutely tart. They are khatta-meetha (sweet and tangy) and that's the way I like my mangoes. I was also out on yellow mustard and hence used only brown mustard instead of the the combination of yellow and brown mustard. Except for the mangoes, I have followed the instruction to the tee. Her recipe in her words:
|From Bong Mom's Cookbook - Aam Kasundi|
Soak in water
4 tbsp Mustard seeds ( a mix of brown and yellow
gives the best color but I had only brown this time)
Grate a small mango to yield
3/4th-1 cup of grated raw Mango
(I did it in the blender)
In a blender jar add
strained mustard seeds
5 fat clove of garlic chopped
8-10 hot green chili chopped
With a splash of water make a smooth paste.
Try to make the paste in one go instead of pulsing.
When the paste is almost done
drizzle 2-4 tbsp mustard oil (more is better but I went low)
a pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
Give a final whiz and your Aam Kasundi is ready
My prized bottle of Aam Kasundi is the pride of my refrigerator right now. It stands tall, with its head held high amongst all the ketchup, salad dressings and Thai sauces on the fridge door. I have used it as salad dressing, as a dip for my fish and sticks, drizzled over my Palaong shaak bhaja (stir fried spinach) and Sam even added to his jhaal muri (a spicy concoction of puffed rice).
But the best way I savored the Aam Kasundi was when I slathered it over a fillet of salmon and broiled it and had with some Green Beans Salad for a quite lunch.
My weekday lunches are usually the leftovers from last night dinner and one particular cloudy day, I was not interested to have vegetable fried brown rice for lunch. Salmon was already thawing in the kitchen sink, since it was on the dinner menu that night. Now Sorshe (mustard) and Salmon are match made in a Bengali's culinary heaven. Some tangy mango and a garlic thrown in wouldn't do much harm, I reassured myself. Going by pure gut feel, I went ahead and slobbered my precious Aam Kasundi on a 6 oz Salmon steak and placed it under a broiler.
Six minute later I flipped and broiled again for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile I steamed my Green beans, chopped my onions and dressed my salad with balsamic vinegar. Minutes later I digged into the most Terrific Broiled Salmon I have ever tasted!
I have tried the same glaze for Tilapia too, which was also good. But Aam Kasundi glazed Salmon was the winner hands-down!