Preserved bitter orange chutney(Narnga batte or Kanchi batte chutney)

I was in between moving to a new place, so could not post anything here. Once I moved, I fell sick. I thought to go slow on blog front so that I could take some rest. I didn’t want to disappoint my regular readers by a long silence. So here I am back :).

Narnga” or “Kanchi kaayi” or “HeraLe kaayi” is a kind of lemon available in some(or all) parts of India. These lemons are slightly bitter in taste so they cannot be consumed directly.

Narnga/Naranga batto/batti is one thing that almost all Konkanis like. These are usually given to the people who are suffering from fever and lost their taste. These are spicy, saltly and sour. They taste heavenly when consumed with rice congee(Pej/ganji). These are a must in most of the Konkani houses throughout the year.

My aayi makes a chutney with these Narnga batto and serves with rice congee. This is usually served at around 11 in the morning, in between breakfast and lunch. With just with the mention of it, my mouth has started watering.

Read for a pickle recipe from these bitter oranges in Inji’s post.

For Naranga batto
Cut Naranga into long pieces. In a clean jar, take the pieces and add salt so that all the pieces are immersed in salt. Keep this aside for around 10-15 days till the skin becomes little soft.
Take out the pieces from salt and mix generous amount of chili powder and asafoetida to it. Mix well. Sun dry these pieces till they have become dry.
Store in air tight container, they remain well for more than year. As time passes, they become black.

For chutney:
Grind 5-6 naranga batto with 3/4 cup fresh/frozen coconut and grind to smooth paste.

Do not add extra salt or chili powder since the pieces already have them.

Updated on Feb 06 – 2007 : Naranga is called bitter orange according to Pelicano’s comments below. So I am changing the post accordingly. Read more about bitter oranges at wiki and here.

23 thoughts on “Preserved bitter orange chutney(Narnga batte or Kanchi batte chutney)”

  1. Hi Shilpa,

    Glad you’re feeling better now — I’m so happy to see you back after a little time away 🙂

    This chutney sounds very interesting — tangy/salty/sour combo is appealing. I always appreciate your recipes and writing because they come from your heart and home — thank you!

  2. Shilpa …We call it “kodu kanchi” – bitter melons. I too donno the english name for it. But when i looked into Wiki, i found they are a part of the melon family. You made my mouth water after seeing this post. I wish i could get it from India. Goes well with paje. Thanks for posting.

  3. Hi Shilpa, thanks for writing to me on my blog! 🙂 Wow, you should really consider writing a book with all these wonderful recipes! Don’t be surprised to find me copying some of them and blogging about it (of course, I’ll link back to you)! Cheers!

  4. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for writing to me on my blog! I tried writing to you earlier, but not sure where my message disappeared to! Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that you should write a book with all these lovely recipes! Yum!! Cheers!

  5. shilpa-
    i know of two fruits this could be…it might not be either of them… spanish language for “orange” is “naranja”..which is very close to “narnga” and ” Narthanagi” so, possibly there is a common arabic root word….and i know of “bitter oranges” from which the essential oil “neroli” is extracted from the rind…and they are bitter with little juice and great flavour…so this could be one possibility.
    another citrus fruit i know of is called “kaffir lime” and it’s thai name is “magrut”…not much help i guess,… but this fruit as well is used for its potent flavour and has little juice.
    i’ll see if i can find some info to solve this mystery, but in the meantime….i’m imagining these flavours….hot, sour, salty is my favorite!!!!! great post!

  6. shilpa-
    i read this article and found that i know VERY LITTLE about citrus fruits!! hahaha there are so many kinds..maybe on the bottom of the page you might find which one this is…..but, “naran” is arabic for orange…and it is the root of the english word too, the first “n” was dropped off and the “a” was replaced by an “o”…”eureka” lemons are american lemons…i don’t think this fruit for this recipe is easily found here in the US 🙁

  7. shilpa-
    i am writing way too much on here…i am sorry, but i’ve found it! i think…:-) i found a web-page that lists the 500(!!!) kinds of citrus fruit grown india…the one called “herale” is and is known in english as “bitter orange”, “sour orange”, “bigarade orange” or “seville orange”…it is grown for perfumery, and as a decorative tree. i’ve seen it in phoenix, AZ…the flowers smell lovely! hope this helps anyone who wants to make this delicious-looking chutney!! (but stay away from it during pregnancy!!!)

  8. Pelicano….you are an amazing guy. I searched for sometime the other day, but soon lost patience to search. I know atleast 10 types of citrus fruits. Even if the Naranga is kept infront of me, I can’t recognise it :(. I am really really thankful to you for finding it out.

  9. Bitter oranges are grown in California and available for a short time in the winter, somewhere between December and February. They are sometimes called Seville oranges, and i can vouch that the streets of the old parts of Sevilla, Spain, are lined with them, and they’re heavy with fruit in December and January.

    Pelicano mentions a citrus that neroli oil comes from. This is the Bergamot orange, which is also used to flavor Earl Grey tea. Bergamot oranges (which look like small, very round lemons or limes) are also grown in California and available around the same time as bitter oranges.

    There is another citrus, called citron in English, which looks a bit like a lemon and has very thick skin and very little pulp. The peel is good candied.

    WIth the terrible frosts this year, there were smaller than usual crops, but i did find some before the frosts and made candied bitter orange and bergamot orange peel. Next year i’ll have to try your spiced orange chutney.

    Anyone in the SF Bay area can find them at the Berkeley Bowl Market, in Berkeley, when they’re in season.

    Thanks for the yummy recipes, Shilpa!

  10. I found bitter/Seville oranges in plenty this past winter at a local hispanic grocery…(if that helps anyone who’d like to try this). They are drier and more sour than sweet (eating) oranges and the peel is highly fragrant.

    However, shortly after reading this post last year, I tried making the preserved oranges using blood oranges plus some lime juice- excellent, as was the chatni!

  11. this preparation is usually given to people who have lost appetite due to illness like viral fever.not that it is not tasty to others as brings back my childhood memories.
    you can make pickle too.

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