bounty of green apples in my yard!

When we moved into our current house a few years ago, it was the heart of winter. Little did we know that come fall, we would be blessed with an abundance of delicious, sweet-tart, gorgeous green Granny Smith apples! In spring, the once leafless tree adorned itself with stunning light pink-white apple blossoms. With the bounty of homegrown green apples from my yard, I was inspired to craft a brand new signature concoction – the Green Apple Chhunda/ Chhundo.

Green Apple Chhunda/ Chhundo

Soon, it was laden with ample fruit by the end of summer. Unfortunately, the first fall didn’t yield much due to fruit being infected with bugs or eaten by birds. The tree bore no fruit in the second year, but the city set up bug traps. In the third year, we enjoyed an excellent yield of crisp, juicy green apples. We’ve been harvesting them all summer and now into fall.

an aha moment

In addition to gifting them to friends and family or enjoying them on their own, I’ve incorporated these green apples into various recipes, from small bites, salads and many more. Then, I had an “aha moment”! The green apples, though less tart than green mangoes, share a striking similarity. Intrigued, I decided to experiment with them in a classic green mango recipe – chhunda or chhundo, as it is called in the native language, a sweet and spicy condiment, that hails from the western Indian state of Gujarat.

Green Apple Chhunda/ Chhundo

chhunda/ chhundo

Although I grew up in a Maharashtrian family in the city of Pune, I had the opportunity to experience a diverse range of regional Indian cuisines. One of my closest friends from school is Gujarati (we’re still best friends from our school days), and thanks to her, I had the chance to savor various Gujarati delicacies like khakra, dhokla, etc., while growing up. One Gujarati dish that I always enjoyed at her place was chhunda or chhundo, as it’s called in Gujarati. This sweet and spicy relish is traditionally made with green mangoes during the summer months. My friend’s maternal grandmother used to send them an annual supply from a large batch she prepared using the age-old method of preserving a mixture of grated green mangoes with salt, sugar, jaggery, and spices, left out in direct sunlight for a week or two.

Green Apple Chhunda/ Chhundo

Green Apple Chhunda/ Chhundo

With my deep love for the relish growing up, my mom once offered me a store-bought jar, which wasn’t bad. Eventually, my sweet mom discovered a recipe from one of her Gujarati connections to make the stove-top version, allowing me to enjoy homemade chhunda with methi pooris, toasted bread, or whole wheat chapatis. I followed her straightforward recipe to make the green apple chhunda. Given that the texture and flavor of green apples are very similar to green mangoes, the swap worked beautifully in the chhunda! Check out the step-by-step details below to easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen. I have also developed an alternative and a more efficient method to make the same chhunda in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, and you can find the recipe in my cookbook!

Green Apple Chhunda/ Chhundo

serving ideas for green apple chhunda

Just like the classic green mango chhunda, my green apple chhunda can be enjoyed with its classic pairing of methi theplas (fenugreek flatbreads). You can also try it with whole wheat phulka rotis, methi/spicy pooris, use it as a jam along with peanut butter on toast… the possibilities are limitless! I think it’s a great addition to your cheese and charcuterie board, especially in the fall season or at your Thanksgiving holiday gathering. It pairs well with creamy Brie cheese, buttery Gouda, or tangy goat cheese, along with some nuts and crackers or even turn it into elegant appetizers as crostini!

I also love it smeared on sliced sourdough bread, layered with slices of Brie cheese and some more green apple slices to emphasize the apple flavor, and then grilled into crispy paninis for a hearty fall lunch! Check out the video below to see how easy it is to make this delicious fall panini.

Green Apple Chhunda/ Chhundo
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Green Apple Chhunda/ Chhundo


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 2 cups (350 g) 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 medium green apples, washed, cored and grated (see Variation)
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) jaggery powder or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (4 g) ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red chili powder, or as needed
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, or as needed
  • 3/4 tsp salt, or as needed

Instructions

  • In a sauce pan, toss the grated apples, jaggery and sugar over medium high heat.
  • Continue cooking uncovered over medium heat till the sugar and jaggery melt and apples sweat for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the spices and salt. Mix well and let the mixture come to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium low and continue cooking uncovered, for another 20 mins or so till most of the moisture is evaporated.
  • Turn the heat off and let it sit in the sauce pan for about 2 hours, until it cools completely. The relish thickens as it cools.
  • Transfer the relish to an airtight glass jar and store it in the refrigerator.
    Spoon into a serving bowl and serve chilled or at room temperature
    (See FAQs & Notes for shelf life and serving suggestions)

Keywords: Quick & Easy

Step-by-Step Details

Step: 1

In a sauce pan, toss the grated apples, jaggery and sugar over medium high heat.

Step: 2

Continue cooking uncovered over medium heat till the sugar and jaggery melt and apples sweat for about 5-7 minutes.

Step: 3

Stir in the spices and salt. Mix well and let the mixture come to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium low and continue cooking uncovered, for another 20 mins or so till most of the moisture is evaporated.

Step: 4

Turn the heat off and let it sit in the sauce pan for about 2 hours, until it cools completely. The relish thickens as it cools.

Step: 5

Transfer the relish to an airtight glass jar and store it in the refrigerator. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve chilled or at room temperature (See FAQs & Notes for shelf life and serving suggestions)

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Shelf Life

Stored in an air tight glass jar in the refrigerator, the relish will stay fresh for up to 3 months.

Serving Suggestions

Serve it on an appetizer cheese board along with creamy Brie, buttery Gouda or tangy goat cheese and crackers or crostini.
Its also great smeared in a panini along with sliced brie cheese and green apples apples. Finally, you can enjoy it with its classic pairing – methi theplas (unleavened fenugreek flatbreads).

Recipe Variations

Make the classic version by substituting green apples with green mangoes. Adjust the amounts of jaggery and sugar to the desired level of sweetness.

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



Cookbook

Classic and Innovative Recipes for the Homecook

It's a Signature Concoction!


Green Apple Chhunda/ Chhundo

Ingredients

Instructions

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