In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Picante Mango Kuchela.

My first memory of mango kuchela goes way back to my childhood, when I first had kuchela flavored with mustard oil, along with dhal, rice and fry dry (small herrings or sardines fried very dry until crispy). The memory of that mustard oil clearing my sinus still haunts me and to this day.. I’m still to try anything with mustard oil after that experience. This is the reason why in this mango kuchela there’s no use of mustard oil as in some traditional recipes.

This mango kuchela is one of those spicy condiments you’d get served on popular street food, such as doubles and aloo pies (deep fried dough stuffed with seasoned mashed potato) and versatile enough to accompany many curry dishes at dinner.


You’ll Need…

3 green mangoes
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoon amchar massala
3/4 cup veg oil
2 scotch bonnet peppers

Notes: Try to get really green mango (skin and flesh), which will be very sour or tart. I stared with 3/4 cup of oil, but you may need about 1/2 cup more as it’s important that the entire jar (when storing) of the kuchela is covered with the oil. The oil can be used to drizzle onto food as well, as it will be well flavored. The 2 scotch bonnet peppers are used as a starting point, so feel free to add more as you’d like. The same can be said about the amchar massala…so add more if you want your finished mango kuchela to be darker and packed with more flavor.

The first thing we need to do is peel and wash the mangoes. Use a potato peeler or sharp paring knife and remove the outer skin off the mangoes. Don’t go too deep or you’ll be wasting the mango! When shopping for the green mangoes, be sure to get ones that’s firm (hard), no blemishes and if you were to knock them against something, they should give a solid sound (like a rock).

Next up, get your box grater and with some care, grate the mangoes. Remember there’s a seed in the middle of the mango, so be prepared when you get close to it. Discard this seed.

The grated mango will have a lot of moisture in it, so we’ll have to get rid of as much as we can. That moisture (what I was told) is what causes the mango kuchela to go bad fast, so we have to remove as much as we can. Using one of Caron’s new kitchen towels, I placed a heap of the grated mango in the center.. then used some elbow grease to squeeze out as much liquid as I could (see video below).

I recall as a kid my mom and grandma always having a galvanize (metal sheet) when mango was in season, covered with grated mango in the sun drying. It had that sort of musty scent, you’d also get when they were making mango amchar. Now it’s time to spread the grated mango onto a cookie sheet and allow to air dry for a few hours. If you’re blessed with Caribbean sunshine, make use of it and place it out in the sun. WARNING! Don’t place in the oven on low heat as I thought would be clever. The end result is parched mango, which will not work for this.

The next step (as the mango air-dries) is to puree the pepper and garlic. I used the entire pepper.. including the dreaded seeds, as I wanted the raw heat in this mango kuchela. I used  my magic bullet, but you’re cool using a blender or a mortar and pestle. I know it may be hard, but try not to use any liquid in the blending process (puree). I ended up shaking my magic bullet a few times during the process to move the contents around. BTW, I gave the garlic and scotch bonnet peppers (feel free to use any hot pepper you have or like) a rough chop to make it easier to puree.

After about 3 hrs (overnight may be best) of air drying the grated mango should be ready now. So the next step is to place a sauce pan on medium/low heat, add the vegetable oil (don’t allow it to heat yet) and add the pureed pepper and garlic mix to it.  If you add the puree to hot oil, it will splatter and give of a very strong (peppery) scent. Now allow the oil/pepper mixture to heat up and on medium/low heat, allow to cook for about 5 minutes.

Empty the dried grated mango into a bowl, then add the salt and amchar massala and give it a good stir. With the peppered oil mixture cooled, add that as well. Make sure to mix the entire batch of mango kuchela well.

Place in a dry bottle or container and it will keep for a few weeks. Additionally you can store this in the fridge for a couple months at least. When stored in the fridge be prepared for it to loose some of it’s heat. If storing on your kitchen cupboard, ensure that the mango is covered with oil. To add more oil.. heat (on high) vegetable oil, then allow to cool completely.. then add to the jar to cover the mango kuchela.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.






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  1. Cindy
    January 15, 2024 / 11:23 am

    Hi Chris. thanks for the Kuchela recipe. I always wanted to try making it. but you make look so easy. I really appreciate the step by step approach I am definitely going to try making it..will let you know how it turns out..thanks for sharing

  2. Anthony R Persaud
    December 19, 2022 / 1:17 am

    I will try this recipe when I get green mango. I usually try buy Matouk. On line. Thanks Chris

  3. Kerwin Simon
    May 10, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Can’t wait to try. Looks good Chris.

    • Shawn Fraser
      July 3, 2021 / 6:28 am

      im about to try this with christophine (chayote) any tips?

  4. Clare Bruce
    September 26, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    I always thought mango kuchela was difficult to make but after reading these instructions I can definitely handle this dish. Thanks Chris.

  5. linn wallace
    May 18, 2015 / 11:54 am

    I made the recipe without mustard oil (can’t get it in the USA for food. I substituted coconut oil and added a little dry mustard. Pretty good, but still doesn’t duplicate Matouk’s, the brand I have used. So then I added a touch of prepared yellow mustard to a spoonful of my kuchela. I actually thought this was pretty good to get a little mustard flavor in the mix. Any thoughts or recommendations?

  6. Shar
    December 18, 2014 / 6:35 pm

    I have tried this with green mangoes many times. Just decided to try it with green apples and it’s wonderful as well!

  7. Ms Bee
    August 18, 2013 / 7:27 am

    Hi Chris or any one please respond…what is the difference between amchar and kutchela? Thanks

  8. suzette baptiste
    August 1, 2013 / 8:27 pm

    Hi Chris, I'm filled with excitement because I've just followed your kuchela recipe (but I did it with pommecythere) and it tastes um oh so good. Thanks for sharing your recipes, you make this world a better place with all that you do. I wish my sister Esmin was here in Trinidad to get some. suzette

  9. Kim
    February 27, 2013 / 7:25 am

    Hi Chris…thanks so much for the recipes. I just love them. I am not Trinidadian but my husband is and even though I cook the traditional food, taught by a fantastic mother-in-law, it is always good to have reference to the recipes that I love so much. Good job!!!! keep them coming. These recipes bring loving memories back to watching my mother-in-law cooking in the kitchen with me.

  10. Wendy
    August 17, 2012 / 5:08 pm

    Thanks Chris. This looks great!

  11. megan
    June 3, 2012 / 4:36 pm

    Must try this when I get back home. Have not seen any green mangoes in England. Thanks Chris.

  12. lee
    May 18, 2012 / 7:42 pm

    hey Chris, thank you for the wonderful recipes, i can so appreciate the scotch pepper because i am originally from Trinidad, now live in NC in the United States.
    I was wondering though Chris, do you think that I can use a Dehydrater to dry the mangoes?

  13. June r. Watson
    May 18, 2012 / 11:46 am

    Chris when I make my kuchela I use green long mangoes that appears slightly yellow when the stem or bottom of the mango is cut away, I also don't peel the mangoes before grating, and after the pepper puree ( I add shadow beni to this mixture) is fried somewhat I add the masala and grated mangoes to the oil and let cook for a few seconds while stiring constantly. When making for the children I dont use hot peppers but primentoe peppers for that peppery aroma.

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