Sweet Potato Chutney Recipe with Mango Ginger Roots

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Yes, we are. Because all the major ingredients in this recipe are roots!

Sweet Potato Chutney with Mango Ginger Root

Sweet Potato Chutney with Aamaada when hot
The Rambling. 
Sometimes, I think there are not enough scientists in this world. I mean, think about it. There are hundreds of new species of plant, animals, and insects discovered everyday and there are not enough scientists to really explore this fascinating world we live in. Or, maybe there are enough scientists but they don't have the funding. Hmm. Jaded much?

  This is the thought that went through my mind while trying to find some literature about a common Indian rhizome plant that's used in East Indian cooking a lot; all the way from Northeast India to South India. It looks a little like turmeric and tastes like a beautiful mix of mango and ginger.

That aspect is translated in each of the local Indian languages. In South India, for example, in Telugu, it's called 'maavadi allam' which literally means mango ginger. In Bengali, which is in East India, it's called Aamaada, also transliterates to mango ginger. Interestingly, though you might find some articles online calling it 'Mango Ginger' or galangal or kaempferia, it's actually not!

Turns out that there are hundreds of varieties of turmeric that are found and hopefully still grown in India and Sri Lanka and some of them have just been identified and been given a classification. Not much else has been done to understand them further. And so, it doesn't really have a common name yet. Mango ginger works for now, I guess.
Oh, did I forget to mention that Aamaada actually comes under the Turmeric family? I know, right? And it was first named in the year 1810? IKR? And it's been found to be toxic to certain cancer cells. Whoa.

The scientific name given to this fascinating plant is Curcuma amada. Curcuma is what you would call turmeric in Sanskrit. So, Curcuma amada reads like 'turmeric mango ginger' in Sanskrit. Whoa.

Curcuma amada, aka Mango Ginger


Sweet Potatoes
There's not much English literature out there about C. amada but it's mentioned in several ayurvedic texts to help with problems of digestion and bacterial skin diseases. How do I know this? Found it in the grandparents' cooking notes! The grandmother studied in Sanskrit. Yup! She never considered it a dead language, as she would tell a 5-year old me about learning Sanskrit. Alright. I shall stop talking about Mango Ginger. Let's talk about one of my favorite chutneys!

Sweet Potato Chutney with Mango Ginger Root

The Chutney.
The flavors in this recipe are 'rooted' in India. Pun intended. Because it uses an Indian cooking philosophy that your dish should have something sweet, something sour, something salty, something spicy, and something bitter too. I believe the reason behind this is that 'life doesn't always taste the same'. Beautiful, isn't it? This chutney has got Sweet potato, Mango Ginger, some turmeric, and some chilies for the 'barely there' spice factor.

I love eating this Sweet potato chutney chilled but with hot steamed rice. Believe me, it's soooooooo goood! Quick note: I usually use 2 tablespoons of Jungle Honey instead of 6 teaspoons of sugar in the recipe but this recipe is the vegan version. Also, the chutney in the pictures looks a bit too runny when hot but it cools to a almost a solid mass. So, don't reduce it too much on the stove.

Alright, here it is:

Sweet Potato Chutney with Mango Ginger Root


Sweet Potato Chutney with Mango Ginger Root


Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 30 minutes


Perfect for: Vegan, Hindu Category: Chutney Serving size:

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving: 43 cal


500 grams of Sweet Potato 150 grams of Aamaada or Mango Ginger (Curcuma amada) 1 1/2 teaspoons of Red Chili Powder 4 Sun-dried Red Chillies 1/2 teaspoons of Mustard Seeds 6 teaspoons of Sugar Juice from 1-2 lemons 1 pinch of Turmeric Powder 1 1/2 teaspoons of Vegetable Oil 2 cups of Water at room temperature 1 tablespoon of Salt (or to taste)


1. Make sure to thoroughly clean the sweet potatoes. Peel them and then soak them again in plain cold water. Sweet pototoes need to be kept soaked in while when peeled since it turns dark and oxidizes very quickly in air. One by one, cut the sweet potatoes into cubes and put them in a large bowl with 2 cups of water to soak. We will need this water later so don't throw it away.

2. In a wok, add some oil, mustard seeds, chilli powder, and turmeric powder on a low flame for about a minute.

3. Add the sweet potatoes in after quickly draining the water into the bowl that it's been soaked in.

4. Stir very quickly and add salt to taste.

5. Put the lid on and let it cook thoroughly on a medium flame for about 5 minutes.

6. Uncover the lid and stir thoroughly. Now, pour in the water that the sweet potato was soaked in into the wok. Put the lid back on and let it boil.

7. Meanwhile, get the mango ginger C. amada out. Clean, peel, and grind it into a smooth paste in a grinder. Quickly check if the sweet potato is cooked. It should go super soft and fall apart with the slightest pressure. If it is cooked, use a potato masher or a large wooden spoon to mash the sweet potato into the other ingredients.

8. Now, add some sugar and the mango ginger paste. Keep stirring for a little longer and reduce the chutney to a consistency that you're happy with, say about 5 more minutes.

9. Switch off the flame and let the chutney cool slightly. Add in the juice from a lemon to add a bit of sour. I prefer to add the juice of two lemons but that really depends on how big your lemons are (hee hee).

10. You can serve this either hot or chilled. When cooled in a refrigerator, the chutney can become solid, like a jelly.

11. Eat it with some hot steamed rice or a Poori.

12. Yenjai!


Ray, out! Peace!


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