Also Known as
Manga, Aam, Kairi.
Considered to be the King of Fruits, Mango is popular amongst people of all ages. It comes in countless varieties and is relished in raw and ripe forms. Raw mango is always green, while ripe mango varies in size and colour. Depending on the variety, it may be yellow, orange, red or even green when ripe. You can find out when a mango is ripe by the sweet smell that it gives out. When it is peeled, it has fleshy and juicy yellow-coloured pulp that is usually sweet but sometimes sour, according to the variety. There is a single, oblong and flat seed in the centre.
Peel the mango, give vertical cuts and then horizontal cuts and finally run the knife just close to the seed or the pith, to get chopped mangoes. The distance between the vertical and horizontal cuts can vary depending on whether you require finely- or roughly-chopped mangoes. Finely-chopped mango pieces without skin are usually used as a topping for ice-creams. Finely-chopped pieces of mango are also used to make mango curry, chutneys and kadhi. Most recipes demand the mangoes to be peeled. Roughly-chopped mangoes without skin are used to make puree, milk shakes, lassi or aam ras.
Peel the mango, give vertical cuts and then horizontal cuts, and finally run the knife just close to the seed or the pith, to form cubes of 1” x 1”. Mango cubes are served with hot puris or rotis. They can also be served with a scoop of ice-cream or whipped cream. IF the recipe calls for frozen mango cubes, make cubes and store them in deep freezer and use as required.
Mango juice can be conveniently prepared at home. Peel the mango, cut all the pulp around the seed with a knife. Process this pulp in a juicer and add the required amount of water to make it thinner, according to the recipe requirement. Mango juice makes a soothing and refreshing drink in the hot summer. Elaichi (cardamom) can be added to mango juice to give it a traditional, spicy aroma. Mango juice is also used to prepare lassi, milkshakes, muffins and jams.
To get mango strips, hold the mango it in your hand, peel and slice through the skin and the flesh to the pit all the way around, lengthwise. Twist each half in opposite directions to separate them, remove and discard the seed and use a spoon to scoop out the pit. Cut each half into thin vertical strips lengthwise. Mango strips can be easily cut by following a simple method. Peel the mango cut it vertically and then cut into desired strips vertically. Mango strips without skin are used to prepare dishes like the famous Aam Papadi. Mango strips with skin are dried and used to make pickles. Mango strips without skin are used to garnish mango juice and milkshakes. They are also added to cereals to make a healthy and tasty breakfast. Mango strips are used to garnish cakes, ice-creams and Falooda too.
Peeled riped mango
Taka a ripe mango and soak it in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Start cutting the top stem part using a sharp knife. Slowly start turning the mango in your hand and slide the knife simultaneously while rotating to peel the skin till the bottom. Discard the skin and use the mango as required.
Lay the mango on its flat side and start cutting it lengthwise, working around the solid pit and peel off the skin. This piece can be cut into thin or thick slices as desired. Slices of mango are relished in every corner of India and world. Mango-Papaya jam can be prepared easily by tendering thin mango and papaya slices in boiling water with sugar till thick and packing it in sterilized containers. Mango slices are often served as an accompaniment with chicken and meat. Mango slices are also used to garnish salads.
How to select
• Always pick mangoes with fibrous and firm skin.
• Ensure that there are no blemishes or black spots on the skin.
• Never select an overly-ripe mango.
• Always select fuller and rounder mangoes, which usually have a deep colour.
• Check the area round the stem – if it is plump and round, it indicates that the mango is ripe. If it is blackened, it means the mango has started decaying.
• A ripe mango gives off a sweet smell even when it is unpeeled.
• Mango pulp is squeezed out of the fruit to make Aam Ras (thick juice), which is relished with puri.
• Ripe mango pulp is cut into thin layers and folded to make bars known as Aam Papadi or Aamvat.
• Dried strips of ripe mango combined with seedless tamarind are also popular in India.
• Ripe mango pulp can be diced or crushed and used for topping ice-creams and custards.
• Mango pulp is used to prepare refreshing mango milkshakes.
• Mango Lassi (a blend of beaten curd and mango pulp) is a very popular summer drink.
• In Kerala, ripe mango pulp is used to prepare Mambazha Kaalan in which ripe mango pulp is cooked in a gravy of coconut and yogurt.
• Mango Sambhar can also be prepared by cooking mango pulp with tamarind juice, cooked toovar dal and sambhar powder.
• To make Mango Rice, sauté grated raw mango with a traditional tempering of mustard and red chillies, flavour it with a masala of coconut and spices, and mix it with cooked rice.
How to store
• Keep unripe mangoes at room temperature covered in a paper bag to ripen. This may take several days.
• Ripe mangoes can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
• Mango is a rich source of vitamins A and E, which help the hormonal system to function efficiently.
• These antioxidants also promote eye health.
• Mangoes contain phenols, which are rich in antioxidants that keep your skin glowing. It also helps to unclog the pores of skin.
• Selenium is also present in mangoes, which provides protection against heart disease.
• Mango is high in calories and carbohydrates, so it is good for people who want to gain weight.
• Being high on the glycemic index scale, it is best avoided by those suffering from diabetes or trying to lose weight.