Bengali plastic chutney is nothing but candied raw papaya chutney. In Bengal, we also call it Kancha Peper Plastic Chutney. This delightful and popular Bengali chutney is served as part of a elaborate meal particularly on menus for ‘biyebari’ (wedding feasts).
The flavor of Bengali Platter’s Chutney is distinct from that of other chutneys. When we Bengalis talk about chutney, we think of a sweet and sour tongue-tingling combo. I learned about different types of chutneys during my hostel days in Chennai, such as coconut chutney, dhania-pudina chutney, spicy tomato chutney, and so on, but none of them had a sweet taste. Then I realized only Bengali Chutney has the extra addition of sugar with a tangy taste.
What exactly is Plastic Chutney, and why is it called that?
On any occasion, you will find chutney along with papad followed by sweets to finish a Bengali meal. Bengali plastic chutney is popular for wedding day lunches, birthday meals, first rice ceremony meals, and other important occasions. You’re probably thinking how someone could make chutney out of plastic!
Let me explain why raw papaya chutney, also known as kancha peper chutney, is referred to as plastic chutney. We cook thinly sliced raw (green) papaya pieces in sugar syrup until they become transparent, like a plastic sheet. Hence, we call it plastic chutney. (Does this name have any other explanation? Please let me know if this is the case).
How does the papaya plastic chutney taste?
As I previously mentioned, Bengali chutneys are sweet and tangy. The papaya plastic chutney has a similar sweet and tangy flavor. Despite the fact that papaya has a neutral flavor, we add lemon juice to give it a tangy flavor.
What are the ingredients required for Kancha peper chutney?
- Kancha Pepe (Raw or Green Papaya)
- Mustard Oil or Vegetable Oil
- Bengali Five Spices or Panch phoron (You can replace this with black mustard seeds or you can skip this as well)
- Lemon juice
How to make Bengali style Plastic Chutney at home?
Peel the skin of the papaya and cut it into thin slices. Rinse them with water and keep aside.
In a pan, pour 2 cups of water. To make the sugar syrup, turn on the gas and dissolve the sugar, then boil for a few minutes.
On the other hand, in a pan, bring water to a boil and add the papaya slices. Boil for 8-10 minutes before draining the water. Keep them aside for few minutes.
Heat the oil and add the panch phoron. When they begin to crackle, add the papaya slices and cook for a few minutes with salt.
Next, pour the sugar syrup into the papaya slices and cook over low heat, covered, until the papaya slices are transparent. Remove the lid and add the raisins once the papaya is cooked.
Turn off the gas and squeeze lemon juice into the chutney and combine it. Once it cools down, chutney thicken a little. After cooling transfer it to a airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
What are the other plastic chutneys?
We can prepare this chutney with summer fruits like raw mango or pineapple instead of papaya. Since these fruits are sour in nature, you can follow the same process with the exception of adding lemon juice. Each of these plastic chutneys has its own distinct flavor. The plastic chutney made with raw papaya is the most popular.
How to serve the plastic chutneys?
Bengali plastic chutneys are integral part of a Bengali meal. We serve it almost at the end of meal along with fried papad. You can also enjoy them just like that with papad.
Can I store the plastic chutney? If yes, then how long?
Yes, you can store the plastic chutney in the refrigerator up to 5 to 7 days.
You can cook plastic chutney in a large batch and cool it properly. Later you can store it in a clean and sterile covered glass container up to 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator. Whenever required, take out the jar from the refrigerator and use a clean spoon to take out required amount of chutney and again keep the bowl back in the refrigerator.
More Chutney Recipes
Bengali Plastic Chutney | Kancha Peper Plastic Chutney
- 1 cup Raw Papaya cut into 1 inch thin slice
- 1⅔ cup Sugar
- Salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Bengali five spices (Panch phoron)
- 12 – 15 nos Raisins
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Mustard Oil
- Pour 2 cups of water into a pan. Turn on the gas and dissolve the sugar and boil for few minutes to make the sugar syrup.
- On the other hand, in a pan, bring water to a boil and add the papaya slices. Boil for 8-10 minutes before draining the water. Keep them aside for few minutes.
- Now heat oil and add panch phoron into it. Once they start crackling add the papaya slices into it and sauté them for few minutes with salt.
- Next add the sugar syrup into the papaya and cook under low flame covering with a lid until the papaya slices are transparent in nature.
- Once the papaya is cooked, remove the lid and add the raisins.
- Switch off the gas and squeeze lemon juice into the chutney and combine it.
- Once it cools down, chutney thicken a little. After cooling transfer it to a airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
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