A few days back a bunch of friends came to our place from Delhi and I decided to cook a simple Bengali spread for them. The spread I made was having Bhangachora Shukto, Ghee Bhat, Kochi Pathar Jhol, Doodh Mach, Plastic Chutney and Payesh. They had it all, however, were curious about the weird thing called Plastic Chutney 😛 . One of them requested the recipe. However, I was not satisfied with the pictures I clicked then and decided to post it later. Those clicks were not Plastic enough 😀 😀 .
I cook Plastic Chutney quite often. In fact, it was part of our Kojagori Lokkhi pujo spread as well. The spread, however, was completely vegetarian. I cooked Bhoger Khichuri, Phulkopir Roast, Begun Basanti, and Plastic Chutney. Fortunately, I was able to capture the chutney with the plastic effect this time.
Let me share what actually Plastic Chutney is before you think we eat plastic. Though if you are Bengali (or not) or had it before, you obviously know what an amazing condiment it is. Bengali Plastic Chutney is nothing but a raw Papaya Chutney looked like melted plastic. Here I must mention, Raw Papaya is not typically a seasonal vegetable and hence this chutney can be prepared in any season.
Plastic Chutney! Why this name?
Necessity is the mother of invention and it seems creativity is the godmother of Bengalis. What a brilliant and innovative naming it is. Jokes apart here is the reason behind the naming.
When raw papaya is cooked with sugar and lemon juice, it turns translucent. If you see a bowl full of Raw papaya chutney cooked with sugar and lemon juice it will look exactly like transparent plastic pieces and that is why this name 🙂 .
If not Papaya what else!
You can make the same chutney with raw mango or with Pineapple as well. However, I prefer mine with Pepe! The true blue peper chutney works for me.
Here I must mention, this dish is not an older inclusion in the Bengali cuisine. In fact, it came into existence sometimes after the 1900s as plastic itself was introduced in India back in 1920. Naturally, somebody found the resemblance and decided to name it Plastic Chutney.
Talking about the Plastic Chutney, it has nothing to do with original plastic apart from the look. This particular variety of chutney is very popular among Bengalis especially during the fall and winter when the raw papaya is available in abundance and also raw mangoes are not available or expensive. In fact, it is a substitute for Pineapple Chutney (also known as Anarosher Chutney) according to a known caterer.
Here’s how I cook Plastic Chutney at Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Serves: 8 People
- Serving size: 120g
- Calories: 284
- Fat: 7.1g
- Saturated fat: 1.3g
- Carbohydrates: 58g
- Sugar: 44.4g
- Sodium: 158mg
- Fiber: 2.7g
- Protein: 3.3g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Raw Papaya: 1 (Medium size)
- Cashew Nut: 10
- Raisin: 15
- Lemon Juice: 3 Tbsp.
- Sugar: 100g
- Salt: ½ Tsp.
- Panch Phoron/ Bengali Five spices: ½ Tsp.
- Dry Red Chili: 1
- Mustard Oil: 1Tbsp.
- Peel the Papaya skin and after discarding the seeds cut it into thin rectangular or square pieces.
- Please refer to the picture for the size and shape of Papaya.
- soak the papaya in water for 15 minutes before cooking.
- Heat Oil in a pan and temper the oil with Panch Phoron and Dry Red Chili.
- Now add chopped Papaya followed by salt and give a light mix.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
- The Papaya will release sufficient moisture and hence no need to add water.
- Once the papaya pieces are soft enough add Cashew Nut and Raisin to it and mix lightly.
- Now add Sugar and cook till it dissolves completely.
- Add Lemon juice and cook till the gravy thickens a bit and the papaya pieces turn translucent or semi-transparent.
- Switch the flame off and wait for the Chutney to cool down.
- Serve it after the meal along with Papor Bhaja!
You may substitute Mustard oil with vegetable oil, however, I like the pungent smell of it.
Chutney/ Achar/ Jam/ Jelly/ Condiment Recipes from Debjanir Rannaghar:
- Gur diye Topa Kul ar Tometor Chutney ( also known as Jujube, tomato chutney with jaggery)
- Tomato Amsotto Khejur er Chutney (Also known as tomato, Mango cake, and date chutney)
- Ilish Macher Tok (also known as hilsa fish chutney)
- Kacha Aamer Ambol (also known as Runny Mango Chutney)
- Kuler Achaar aka Boroi-er Aachar (also known as Jujube Sweet pickle or Ber ka achar)
- Bacon Jam
- Kerala Chemmeen Achar aka Kerala Style Prawn Pickle
- Lal Mirch Ka Benarasi Achar (also known as Chilli Pickle)
- Aam Kasundi aka Bengali Style Mustard and Mango Sauce
Have you tried the Plastic Chutney Recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, on Instagram, you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar and in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.