Why the mango is no aam fruit!

by Sanjeev Kapoor

At the start of every year, we all eagerly wait for the mango season to kick in. We wait to feel the goodness of the taste on our tongue and to bite into the sweet pieces of heaven. You may not agree with us but we know you desperately wait for the king of fruits to be in season too. Apart from its exceptional flavours that leave you amazed, this fruit is packed with plenty of vitamins, mineral and anti-oxidants. Take a look at why they are great for us!

They are high in fibre and promote digestion. When fully ripe, they are loaded with Vitamin A, hence promoting good eyesight and also improved immunity from common infections like colds. 

Mangoes are low in calories and sodium.

When raw, they are abundant in Vitamin C. The unripe mango also protects from the adverse effects of heat. Aam ka panna is an effective remedy for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

Eating one or two small tender mangoes in which the seed is not fully formed with salt and honey is found to be very effective medicine against summer diarrhoea. 

They are excellent sources of potassium, calcium and iron.

Nutritionists advise at least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Half a ripe mango can be counted as one portion of fruit!

 

How to choose mangoes

 

Mango is truly Nature’s gift to India. You can choose from the Alphonso, Langda from Benaras and Bihar, Chausa, Malda, Dussehri, Fazli, Sindoori/ Safeda, Totapuri, and the Banganapalli from Andhra Pradesh. Here are some basic things to know while picking up mangoes

Colour is not necessarily an indication of ripeness in a mango. Some varieties remain green even when they are ripe, while others turn golden or bright red or a combination of both. 

Buy unblemished fruit with no black marks on the skin. Firm mangoes with bright skin should be picked up.

Ripe and ready for the table mangoes have a sweet smell at the stem end, an indication to help you decide whether it is ready for consumption or not.

To test the mango for ripeness, press the narrow end lightly. The flesh should yield to the pressure.

If you have a batch of not-so-ripe, sour mangoes keep them at room temperature open to the air for a few days. The skin will gradually brighten and the mangoes will start smelling sweet.

Mangoes are best not refrigerated during the ripening process. But once fully ripe, they are best stored in the fridge for up to a week’s time.

 

Recipes 

 

Mango shakes and ice creams - One mango and a glass of milk in the morning is a good breakfast. Mango is rich in sugar but deficient in protein. On the other hand, milk is rich in protein but deficient in sugar. Together they are a great combo of taste and health! Try making a homemade mango ice cream, Kulfi, a mango milkshake or the all-time favourite amrakhand (flavoured shrikhand). 

 

Stock up on Pickles and condiments – Summer is synonymous with mango pickles. Make an instant mango pickle or lachche waala aam adrak ka achar with semi ripe mangoes! Also stock up on some delicious sweet tangy chunda and make a mango chunda crostini out of it for your next party! Also try this oil free healthy mango pickle. 

 

Savoury Mango Meals – Mangoes add an amazing sweet taste with just the right hit of tang in a curry. A south Indian Mango sasam or Make a delicious mango ki kadhi with crunchy salty boondi on top – a great accompaniment with rice. Also in a karela and mango curry the bittersweet flavours taste great together.  Non vegetarians should definitely try these fabulous recipes - aamras ka gosht, fish and mango kababs and tandoori mango prawns on noodle nest and a creamy spicy sweet Thai chicken and mango curry. 

 

Mango MithaiYou can make several Indian sweets with fresh mangoes. Make most of the season of king of fruits and try out interesting recipes like a mango bhapa doi with citrus fruits or a mango seviyan burfi. Or glam up Sunday morning breakfasts with a mango sheera. 

 

Mango DessertsJust like mango mithais there is no dearth of mango based desserts that you can make in your home kitchen. A mango and coconut cheese cake or ice icecream – the tropical flavours gel perfectly together! A Singaporean mango jelly is a great option. Or simply coat slices of mango in tempered chocolate and serve with ice cream. Also use this delicious combination in mango chocolate custard. 

 

Ripe or raw, mangoes are versatile and a cook’s dream ingredient because various dishes like kadhis, puris, pulaos, halwas, cakes, tarts, soufflés, kulfis, ice-creams, puddings, shakes and lassi can be made using fresh mango and mango pulp. 

 

For recipes browse through SanjeevKapoor.com we have several delicious recipes using this summer fruit! 

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.