Explore Versatile Uses of Mango in Indian Cuisine

“Faler raja aam” (mango is the king of fruits). It is a favourite line in Bengal and other non-Bong Indians can hardly differ.

Maybe, many in the world think the same. Raw mango is khatta (sour) and ripe mango is meetha (sweet). And there are khatta meetha types.

A large variety of mango is available in India. Of them, langra, himsagar, alfonso, chosa are more popular. India earns millions of dollars from mango export.

Mango, for its immense popularity, has made its way to Indian kitchens and cuisines. It is not served only as fruit on the platter but also used in times of cooking many delicious dishes such as, dals, curries, pickles, chutneys, drinks and desserts.

Mango dishes soak the goodness of mango and hence, are delicious and nutritious

Uses of Mango in Indian Cuisines

Versatile Uses of Mango

Dal

Amer dal is a popular mango dish in Bengal. It is a summer special prepared with raw mangoes and lentils (usually pink lentil or masoor dal is used).

Raw mangoes give the dish a tangy flavour. This traditional dal is a mildly creamy, light and comforting dish served hot with boiled rice.

Fry

The best part of Indian cuisine is its countless varieties and regional flavours. India’s culinary portfolio will remain incomplete without the mention of Parsi delicacies.

Parsi Pora is a famous dish that originated in the Parsi kitchens. It is a delicious omelette prepared by mixing eggs, chopped raw mango, ginger-garlic paste, onions, coriander leaves, green chillies, salt and a pinch of turmeric in a bowl.

The mixture is poured on a heated pan and fried for 5-6 minutes. Parsi pora is traditionally served hot with just-taken-out-of-oven chapatis.

Mango puri is a lovely and delicious summer twist to traditional puri. Mango pulp and sugar are added to dough.

The dough is kneaded well to make puri. Unripe mango has a distinct flavour that gives you enough reason to crave more puri on your platter. 

Curry

‘Mambazham Sambar’ is a famous dish from the South Indian kitchen.

Prepared with mango, toor dal, grated coconut, tamarind, chillies, pepper, methi and asafoetida, the dish offers a tangy, comforting flavour that keeps you cool in hot summer.

Prawn curry is a popular Goan dish. If prawns are the real king in the recipe, mangoes and tamarind play the roles of the queen and minister up to perfection.

The spicy, sour curry is a traditional dish cooked in thick coconut milk flavoured by ground masala paste.

Sliced onion gives mild sweetness but spicy and sour flavours overpower the dish.

Achari chicken is another spicy delight that makes a good use of raw mango pulp and jaggery.

Chicken is cooked with the pulp, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, jaggery and roasted spice mixture (the same masala mix that goes into making of sweet mango pickle).

Condiment

In Bengal, amer chutney is a popular dish served after the main course. However, it is also relished with dal.

The sweet-tangy dish is prepared with unripe mango slices, red chillies, mustard seeds, salt, sugar and turmeric powder.

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The mangoes are cooked until they become mushy and the dish is finished with fragrant panch phoron.

Amer kasundi is another popular Bong special prepared with raw mangoes. It goes best with fish fry.

The recipe uses chopped mangoes, mustard seeds, chillies, sugar, salt and turmeric powder.

All the ingredients, except mango, are turned into a pulp. Mango slices are added to the pulp in a jar and next, oil is mixed.

The mixture is gently shaken. A muslin cloth is then used to cover the jar.

How can Indian meals be complete without achar? And if it comes to achar, our beloved mango becomes a part of the scenario. Amer achar or mango pickle is a must-have condiment in many Indian households.

There are two varieties in amer achar – tangy and sweet. The tangy variety is made with raw mangoes, green chillies, homemade spice mix, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, asafoetida, vinegar, salt and mustard oil.

Amer misti achar or sweet mango pickle is a mouth-watering delicacy.

Almost every woman can laughingly recall their girlhood memories of how they managed to drag a chair, stand on it and steal sweet mango pickle from the big jar usually perched on the upper shelf way beyond the reach of the arm length of a little girl or a teenager.

This pickle is prepared with raw mangoes, jaggery, salt, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chilli powder and salt. Fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds are roasted and coarsely grinded. The mixture adds a sharp but soothing fragrance to meetha achar.

In Gujarat, spicy mango pickle is made with grated raw mangoes and peeled small onions that are lovingly coated with generous use of achar masala.

Oil is poured copiously into the jar to cover the ingredients and the mixture is left to rest. This delicious Gujrati curry is a class-apart from many curries cooked and enjoyed in India.

The Punjabis prepare another version of mango pickle usually served with their famous aloo ka paratha (potato paratha). They use raw mango, dry fenugreek, fennel, turmeric powder and chilli powder and then submerge these ingredients in mustard oil.

Beverage

Mango is a summer fruit. Hence, mango drinks are a hot favourite to beat the heat. Aam panna, aam jhol or amer sharbat – whatever you call it – is a delicious beverage.

Mango pulp, jaggery, roasted jeera, black salt and mint are blended in a mixer. The thick mixture is stirred with a glass of cold water and then served.

Sometimes, sugar replaces jaggery as a sweetening agent though jaggery is a healthier option. Mint makes the chilly beverage fragrant and more refreshing.

In Bengal, mangoes are roasted before using in aam panna. The flavour of roasted mangoes makes the dish uniquely and amazingly delicious. The hearty blend of mango pulp, spices, salt and sugar will throw a challenge to the scorching heat.

Aam rash is different from amer sharbat. Only mango pulp is used for it. It is stored in an air-tight container or served immediately.

Baflo is another comforting drink. This Gujrati special is prepared with blended mango pulp, salt and water.

Chaat masala is sprinkled over the drink before serving. In summer, the mercury soars up in Gujrat and this time, such a delicious drink keeps you cool from within. It is nutritious too.

Come summer and mango lassi claims its own share of love and thirst from the sun-soaked and work-exhausted population.

This chilli beverage is flavoured with a lovely mix of yogurt, rose water, cardamom powder, dry fruits and a few strands of saffron.

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This drink can serve as a wholesome meal. It is a perfect, comforting drink to beat the heat and boost your energy level when the sun beats in summer.

Deserts

Mango kulfi is a famous Punjabi delight though now heavily enjoyed across India.

It is prepared at every house in Punjab and also served at all Punjabi restaurants.

Milk is continuously boiled until a desired thickness is achieved. The rule of the thumb is: reduce milk to half of its quantity.

Mango pulp, sugar and condensed milk are added to cold, thickened milk, given a good shake, flavoured with vanilla essence, topped with a few saffron strands, poured in moulds and placed in the freezer until the mixture hardens.

After it hardens, they are taken out of molds and served cold. You can add chopped cashews and pistachios for a nutty flavour.

Kheer is integral to the meethi memories in our Indian cuisine and mango has always been a part of this sweet picture.

Mango kheer is almost like rice kheer, with an extra addition of mango slices. This recipe is perfect to relish after a hearty meal. You can add mint for a refreshing flavour.

Mango firni is the same as mango kheer. The only difference is the way rice is used. For firni, rice is coarsely grinded whereas in kheer, whole grains of rice are used.

Aam papad is a three-ingredient wonder. Many varieties of this sweet-spicy delicacy are available in India.

It comes in different shapes, textures and flavours. Some prefer the spicy-tangy swad whereas others love to swag with the sweet, jam-like papad. Nonetheless, it can satisfy all the cravings.

What is summer without mango desserts? And when we talk about summer desserts, not mentioning mango pancake is a sin.

It is an innovative dish that soaks in the sweetness and goodness of ripe mangoes. Indulge in sinful greed – no one will blame you; after all, mango deserts have a universal appeal to people with a sweet tooth.

Aam sandesh is another Bongo special in the category of mango desserts. Mango and chena do a tango on your taste buds.

For a quick delight, you can use paneer (cottage cheese) in place of chena. However, chena is a must for the yummiest taste.

Have you ever given mango ice cream a try? You may have but homemade mango ice creams are simply divine. This is because on-shelf products often use synthetic flavour whereas fresh mango pulp is used for homemade delights.

Amsatta is a mango-made spread that offers natural sweetness. Mano pulp is extracted from ripe mangoes, laid in different layers, soaked under the sun for a few days and cut into pieces.

Making perfect amsatta is an art and many village women in Bengal know the tricks.

Snacks

Aam chana chaat is a light, tasty yet wholesome and healthy snack. It is a perfect guilt-free summer meal for breakfast or snack time.

Without mango, summer is literally wasted. Nature brings you its best, why not soak in the flavours and fragrance to the fullest?

How Does Mango Taste?

Mangoes are known for their sweet, tropical flavor. They have a juicy and pulpy texture that is soft and tender.

The taste of mangoes can vary depending on the variety, but in general, they have a sweet and slightly tangy flavor with a rich, fruity aroma.

Some varieties may also have hints of floral or citrus notes.

When perfectly ripe, mangoes are considered a delicious and refreshing fruit that can be eaten on their own or used in a variety of recipes, from smoothies and salads to curries and desserts.

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What Goes Best with Mango?

Mango is a versatile fruit that goes well with many different flavors and foods. Here are some popular combinations:

Lime: Mango and lime make a perfect combination. Squeezing some lime juice over fresh mango can enhance its flavor and sweetness.

Coconut: Mango and coconut make an excellent tropical flavor combination. You can try making a smoothie with fresh mango and coconut milk.

Chili: A sprinkle of chili powder or hot sauce can add some heat to the sweetness of mango. It is a popular combination in Mexican cuisine.

Yogurt: Mango and yogurt make a healthy and tasty combination. You can mix fresh mango with Greek yogurt to make a refreshing and nutritious snack.

Basil or Mint: Fresh herbs like basil or mint can add a refreshing twist to mango. You can make a salad with fresh mango, basil or mint, and some lime juice.

Vanilla: Mango and vanilla make a unique and delicious combination. You can try making mango ice cream with a touch of vanilla extract.

How Do You Serve Fresh Mango?

Fresh mango can be served in a variety of ways, depending on personal preference. Here are some ideas:

Sliced: Simply slice the mango and serve it as is. This is a great option if the mango is ripe and juicy.

Diced: Cut the mango into small pieces and serve it as a side dish or a topping for salads, yogurt, or oatmeal.

Smoothies: Mangoes are great for smoothies. Blend them with yogurt or milk and add some ice for a refreshing drink.

Sorbet or ice cream: Puree the mango and freeze it into a sorbet or mix it with heavy cream and sugar for a homemade ice cream.

Salsa: Mango salsa is a popular dish that pairs well with seafood, chicken, or pork.

Chutney: Mango chutney is a sweet and spicy condiment that goes well with Indian or Caribbean dishes.

Grilled: Grilled mango is a delicious treat. Cut the mango into thick slices and grill them for a few minutes until they are caramelized.

Questions & Answers:

What Enhances the Taste of Mango?

Little bit of rock salt actually enhances the taste of Mango, both raw and ripe mango.

What Fruit Mixes Well with Mango?

Fruits like papaya, banana, coconut go well with mango.

How Do You Know a Mango is Ripe?

The mango is yellow and soft, in fact the smell is also sweet when ripe.

Will Cut Mangoes Ripen in the Fridge?

No, cut mangoes do not ripen in the fridge.

Is It OK to Eat Green Mango?

Yes, it is completely okay if you eat green mangoes.

Can Mango Be Mixed with Milk?

Yes, you can mix the ripened mangoes with milk.

What is Mango Meat?

The pulp that is inside the mango skin is the mango meat.

What is Mango Called in Different Languages?

Mango is known as Aam in both Bengali and Hindi.

Conclusion

Mango is not only a popular fruit in India but also an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine.

It is used in a variety of dishes, including dals, curries, pickles, chutneys, drinks, and desserts.

Different regions of India have their own unique way of incorporating mangoes into their recipes, adding a unique flavor to their dishes.

Mango dishes are not only delicious but also nutritious. The popularity of mangoes in India has made it one of the most exported fruits, earning millions of dollars for the country.

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