There are a few saving graces to spending a summer in India, and one of them is having the most delicious mangoes on the planet (Okay, so I might be slightly biased, but they’re still pretty hard to beat!). I didn’t start off being in love with with fruit though, I initially fell in love with Frooti as a child. A sugary mango fruit drink, Frooti was that perfect way to quench thirst on a hot, lazy afternoon, and Coco-Cola soon came up with their own answer to compete with Frooti – Maaza.
There is a strong regional rivalry in India when it comes to deciding the best mangoes. While Alphonsos, grown in Gujarat and Maharashtra, are often touted to be the best by those living in the south of the country, my personal favorites are Safedas and Chausas. Despite India being the biggest exporter of mangoes, the biggest disappointment so far remains the lack of enforcement of the nukes-for-mangoes deal between India and US. In 2008, a civilian nuclear agreement was reached between the US and India, one of whose lesser known clauses was the decision to import a lot more mangoes from India. However, the enforcement of the treaty is questionable at best, leaving those of in the States to fend for themselves with their lesser, mediocre mangoes. Indian expatriates who cannot spend their summers without mangoes might want to consider living in the UAE, which is supposedly the biggest importer of Indian mangoes. For those who are more curious, here’s some good ol’ Indo-Pak rivalry extending into the mango trading business.
Besides mango milkshake, which I feel like is the most obvious and easiest thing to make when you have mangoes lying around at home, here are 5 great and easy things that you can make with mangoes at home:
1. Mango Chutney
Using just half a dozen ingredients, you can eat this as a spread on a sandwich, with roti, parathas, papads, or just as a dip.
2. Mango Lassi
Using just 2 ingredients – mangoes and yogurt, you can easily make mango lassi at home. Depending on the kind of mango you’re using, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar you want to add
3. Mango Ice-Cream
My recipe on homemade chocolate ice-cream can be adapted to make mango ice-cream at home as well. Instead of using cocoa powder, use a full mango for every 500 ml of whole milk. Again, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the mango that you are using. Though safedas make pretty decent mango ice cream, my choice for making ice cream is chausa.
4. Mango Lime Granita
Granitas are basically iced versions of fruits – and are perfect to be had either on their own, or as a topping to a creamy dessert.
5. Mango Salsa
As an alternative to the tomato salsa that you might eat around the year – you can have this mango salsa with either tacos or fish to get that perfect tangy, yet fruity combination. For those who like this, you might want to try a kiwi salsa as well. Though this particular recipe does not include it, I would throw in an avocado and some chopped tomatoes as well.
So how do you like to eat your mangoes?