Time to savour mango delicacies

Time to savour mango delicacies

Time to savour mango delicacies

Come summer and the aroma of sun-kissed mangoes literally grips every fruit market. With its rich sweetness and melting texture, this tropical fruit grown in abundance in many parts of the State gives a refreshing and exotic touch to every sweet and savoury dish. Be it eating fresh or using raw and ripened forms as a core ingredient in various preparations or as a flavouring agent, mangoes are celebrated in every kitchen.

Mango chitranna (rice with tadka, grated coconut and mango), chutney, gojju (a sweet and spicy side dish with semi-liquid consistency), kosambri (salad teamed with moong or chana dal and other ingredients), seekarane (dessert of mango pulp), sheera (mango flavoured sooji halwa), pickles, jam (traditionally known as gulamba in North Karnataka) and juice are generally prepared in every part of the State with slight variations in taste. Apart from these, there are a few distinctive dishes that are unique to certain parts of the State.

In Uttara Kannada district, especially in Sirsi-Siddapur region, and in parts of Shivamogga district, a type of thin curry known as appehuli is prepared. This curry has mashed raw mango, salt and chilli tempered with a tadka of mustard, cumin, asafoetida and curry leaves and little jaggery (optional) for balancing the taste. It is consumed as an appetiser and goes well with steaming rice. In Kalaburagi region, a curry known as hasihuli is cooked. This sweet-sour curry has groundnut, sesame and fenugreek seeds (all in powdered form), jaggery and mashed mango with a tadka of dry red chilli. Wild mango curry (raw) is commonly prepared in Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts during the season.

Another such dish which has its roots in Udupi is the mango-curd curry. For this, mango, mustard and fresh chilli are ground and this mixture is blended well with sweet curds. For tempering, urad dal, dry chilli, asafoetida, curry leaves and a dash of turmeric powder are used. A similar side dish is enjoyed in the traditional platter in Bengaluru area. This dish has ginger, salt, jaggery and mango, with curds. This is commonly referred to as shunti (ginger in Kannada).

In Karwar area and Dakshina Kannada district, a unique delicacy called sasav, which is packed with sweet, spice and sour flavours, is cooked, especially during monsoon.

While curries and gojju are preferred for their tangy taste, ripe mangoes are used to prepare a number of sweet delicacies. These not only give a break from sugar-coated sweets which are not too healthy but are also useful in preventing heat strokes in summer.

Influenced by neighbouring Maharashtra, a sweet called Aamrakhand is prepared in the Belagavi region. Aamrakhand is a fluffy, hung curd-based dish with mango puree. This is topped with cardamom and saffron. While it is usually eaten with chapatis or pooris, it is sometimes eaten plain as well.

Ripe mangoes are also used to make holige in North Karnataka. This holige is made by stuffing thickened mango pulp, grated coconut and cardamom inside the wheat dough and rolling it out by dusting with flour. In addition to this, mango pulp adds flavour to coconut barfi, modaka, juice and papads.

For all seasons

Preserved mangoes are used in various dishes throughout the year. The preservation process and storage methods vary from one region to another. Known as mavinkai balka, sun-dried mango slices or grated mango is used in chutney, rice, gojju and curries in North Karnataka. Also, grated raw mango mixed with turmeric, asafoetida, salt, and dipped in sesame oil is preserved and used in many dishes. Kuchkai (big wild mangoes) type mangoes are boiled and stored in special containers with salt and are used for gojju and other recipes.

Also, in some parts of the State, mango pulp is dried under the sun and is made into flakes so that it can be used year-long. Raw mangoes soaked in jaggery syrup or honey are traditional forms of jams served with chapatis. Raw mangoes are also put in brine to be used later.

Raw mango pickle is a must in every meal in the State. There are several types of mango pickles, each known for its distinctive taste. A special dry variety of pickle is prepared in Tumakuru area. It is a pickle where raw mango dices are dipped in salt water and then sun-dried. These are immersed in milk extracted from fried niger seeds along with other spices. Another type prepared from Appemidi is in great demand across the country. Appemidi, grown in Sirsi, Sagar, Siddapur and Thirthahalli areas, is considered to be the king in the pickle industry. In addition to this, tokku, which is a type of cooked pickle is prepared in certain regions.

With so many dishes made out of a single fruit, it is of little wonder that the mango is often referred to as the king of fruits. So, what are you waiting for?