Introduction: Indian Bagel Smear
First let me answer the obvious question; No it is not made from real Indians. They say the hotter the country the spicier the food and India is one very hot country. A treat I always enjoyed in my business trips to India was the variety of pickles. Mango pickle is my favorite. Mango pickle is a spicy condiment that is made from cut up mango and is fermented (pickled) to bring out very unique Indian tastes. It goes well with many different foods and is a delightful orange color. Added to cream cheese it makes a wonderful spread, dip, or bagel smear. It can be made the night before work and will be an excellent addition for bagel day.
Step 1: Ingredients
There are only two ingredients; cream cheese and mango
pickle. I like to use the soft style spreadable cream cheese. As for mango pickle, I try to buy Mother's brand as it has been recommended to me by Indian friends. Actually I live in a techie area so on my morning walks, I occasionally meet an older Indian couple. We get to talking about India and I ask if they can recommend a local Indian market to buy some Mango Pickle. Well the universal nine letter mother's word for love is "eateateat", so it won't be long before she takes me to her house and gives me a bottle of homemade pickle. I return the favor by bringing them back a Hindu ornament of Ganesha.
So get homemade mango pickle from a real mother if you can or else buy Mother's brand if you can't.
Step 2: Blend
Place the tub of cream cheese in a bowl and mix in the pickle. I like to add the whole bottle but you may like to start with less to judge the spiciness and adjust it with more pickle match your taste. Mix till it is a consistent orange color. Warning the pickle will stain the plastic bowl.
Step 3: Age
This sounds a whole lot more sophisticated than to say that you just stick it in the frig. Leave it for at least a couple of hours. Ideally you would make it the night before and let it age overnight. For some reason the oils in the pickle seem to infuse into the cream cheese making it seem hotter. It does not make sense to me as there are not any more oils or spices. If someone knows why this is, please tell why in the comments.
Step 4: Spread, Eat, Repeat
Take out of the fridge and spread on a nice bagel, toast, cracker, tortilla chips, etc. Take your first bite and enjoy a glorious assault on your senses. I paid $3 for the pickle and $2 for the cream cheese so it is an inexpensive treat that can be enjoyed most any time you like.
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