More Mangoes Please
I think that I’ve seen more mangoes on my most recent trip to India then I have in the last few years to date! Summertime is prime mango season here in Bangalore, India (where my parents live), and to say that there are mango sellers and mango stalls on every street corner is no understatement. Back in Boston, I’ve only seen two varieties of mangoes – the Tommy Atkins and Champagne mangoes (the latter being my favorite since it isn’t fibrous inside). In Indida however, there are many different varieties of the fruit: Kesar, Alphonso, Daseri, Kensington (I’m not sure how to spell some of the names – I’m pretty sure I’m butchering the spelling but oh well…), and all of them have slightly different characteristics. My parents primarily by Kesar and Daseri mangoes since they tend to be sweeter and more flavorful than the other varieties. They’re also smaller than Kesar and Alfonso mangoes, and seem to have a deeper orange pulp. The latter two varieties are larger and can range from sour to fairly sweet, and they also tend to have more fibers.
I love eating mangoes on their own – as a sweet treat and a change from other fruit snacks, or in salads and smoothies. However, they can also be added to savory dishes, and their sweetness provides a lovely compliment to seafood and spicy dishes. In India, unripe mangoes are often used to make a sour, and often spicy mango pickle, and in many cuisines mangoes are used in salsas, chutneys and marinades.
Some interesting savory dishes that might be fun to try are:
Roasted Corn, Black Bean and Mango Salad (from Cooking Light)
Avocado-Mango Salsa with Roasted Corn Chips (from Cooking Light)
Poblano, Mango and Black Bean Quesadillas (from Cooking Light)
Marinated Salmon with Mango-Kiwi Relish (from Cooking Light)
Black Rice Salad with Mango and Peanuts (from Epicurious.com)
Avocado and Mango Salad with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette (from Epicurious.com)
Mangoes are not only delicious but are also a great source of lutein and beta-carotene (great for your eyes), and a good source of both vitamins A and C. So if you find that you don’t like the thought of adding them to a savory dish, try them in a smoothie, or chopped up in your morning bowl of cereal, oatmeal or yogurt. When I get back to Boston next week, I’m going to try a new mango smoothie – so stay tuned for the recipe. Till them, check out some of the ones listed above – and feel free to let me know which ones you try out!