Wednesday, May 20, 2009

For G...

who apparently is eating enough mangoes to warrant worrying if there is such a thing as mango overdose. Here are a couple of fun, messy things to do with mangoes. Quit grinning people, I am talking curry recipes here. These are from my childhood, and speak to me of cool red cement floors, 'home' mangoes, and lovely summer holidays.

Huli Mensu: Take one mango for each person. The mangoes chosen should be slightly tart. Wash them really well, and peel them, but keep them whole. Don't throw away the peels. Rub over the peeled mangoes salt, chili powder and jaggery/brown sugar. The amount of these varies with the sort of mango you have- the more flavourful the mango ,the less the dressing required. While they are soaking that all in, and the sugar is mixing with the mango juice and the chilli powder and becoming this luscious sticky sauce, get to work. Mash the peels with some tamarind pulp (again, depends on how tart the mango is- start with a ½" diameter sphere and work from there) and water(1/2 cup for each mango). Strain and keep aside. Take a karahi and heat maybe a tsp of oil. Throw in 3-4 crushed, unpeeled garlic cloves, half a tsp of mustard seeds, and 6-10 curry leaves- in that order. When they get all sputter and aromatic, add the mango-tamarind water. When that boils, slide in the mangoes and simmer for a minute or two. Season to taste. Wear something skimpy and old. Eat messily with lots of rice.

Sasam: And here you need slightly sweet mangoes, again one for each person (at least). Peel the mangoes, rub with salt, sugar and chilli powder as before, and keep aside. Discard the peels after extracting every last bit of juice out of them. If liked, add the pulp of an extra mango to this. Bear together curds and coconut milk (about ½ cup each per person). Add the mango juice, mix well. Add the whole mangoes. Just before serving, add a paste of crushed mustard seed and garlic (around ½ tsp per person). Eat with rice. Lots of it.

Either one of these can be made presentable for company simply chopping up the mangoes into neat cubes instead of using the whole fruit. The taste is unchanged, the fun and summerishness is vastly reduced.

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