Summer’s in full swing and it’s not the favourite season of most Indians. Among the very few good things about an Indian summer are the lovely mangoes that start flooding the market around March. When the temperatures soar to over 40 degrees outside, there is nothing more exciting than a juicy mango before a meal, with a meal and after a meal! 😀
For those delicious, naturally ripe ones, it is advisable to wait till the beginning of May. It’s not for nothing that this tropical fruit is considered to be the ‘King of Fruits’ here in this country. Raw or ripe, made into a chutney, shrikhand or smoothie, used in salads, curries and desserts, Mango season is full of possibilities in an optimistic foodie’s world.
Mangoes are grown in many states across India and each state has its own, specific recipe for raw and ripe mango. So even if it is a common Mango recipe, say a pickle, even then the taste of a mango pickle from each state is unique. While Gujaratis love mango juice (keri no ras) with their roti and puri, they also make it a point to make a fresh batch of chhundo (pickled raw mango) every year. The North Indians make a variety of mean raw mango chutneys and we Keralites love both raw and sometimes, ripe mangoes, in our curries. Some of my Bengali friends like to make sandesh or kalakand (sweet) with mangoes and the Marathis love their Aamba dal. While my favourite mango recipe from Goa is Prawns Ambotik, the Assamese Aampitha served with sweetened cold milk in summers is something else.
Recently, I made this traditional Maambazha pulissery, a Mango-yogurt-coconut recipe from Kerala. It’s my most looked forward to dish during summers as it goes with all sorts of side dishes when served with steamed, hot red rice. What makes this recipe a must try for mango and yogurt lovers is its simplicity.
Ripe mangoes – 3 nos, any variety would do
Yogurt/Thick buttermilk, lump free – 1 cup
Grated/Shredded coconut – 1/2 cup
Green chillies – 2, if hot, otherwise 3
Turmeric – a pinch
Red chilli powder for some colour – a pinch
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Water – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek (Methi) seeds- 1 tsp
Whole red chillies – 2 large ones
Curry leaves – as many as you like
In a clay pot, boil mangoes with salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and water. In a mixer, make a paste of coconut, green chillies and cumin with a little water. When the mangoes are cooked, add this paste. Then add the yogurt or buttermilk and stir. Switch off the flame before the first boil. Add tempering and serve hot with rice. So simple, isn’t it?