‘Tis the season of mangoes
Almost all of us love mangoes and why not? There are so many reasons to gorge on to this amazing and delicious fruit. What’s more, it is used to prepare a whole load of mouth watering dishes. A few Goans share their mango tales with NT BUZZ
RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT BUZZ
With the summer season comes the King of Fruits, mangoes. And one may not like the blazing heat that summer brings; there is no reason to hate mangoes. In fact, the love for mangoes among people is well known to all.
Stories of nostalgia
When Suellen Correia, Nerul hears the word ‘mangoes’, she is taken back to memories of childhood summers. “Living in village we were surrounded by mango trees of different varieties in our property. I remember waking up really early and rushing under the favourite mankurad mango tree along with my sister to spot the best mango fallen under the tree. Those are the tastiest mangoes,” she says.
She adds that they also have the korel variety which is especially used for pickles, and the mussarat which is mostly used to make jam or aam papdi. “We also had this really tall tree with chewable mangoes. I don’t know what they are called. But my cousins loved to show off their stoning and aiming skills as children. It was more of the fun times and the mango rewards that made our day,” she says. Studying under the tree was fun too, she adds. “One could sit for hours under the tree studying while treating one’s self to the nice mangoes that fell down if lucky. Guess all these memories make me smile,” shares Suellen.
Shruti Kamat Dalal from Mapusa awaits summer to enjoy all the seasonal fruits, especially mango. “Eating the fruit in the messiest way, where the leftover is only a polished seed, reminds me of my childhood days and I adore having it the same way even today,” she says.
Even Shrinivas Joshi, Morjim is crazy about mangoes. In fact, they have mango trees in their backyard which he says are very delicious and loved for their golden colour. “It is the most loved fruit because of its taste, easy availability, and also because it is rich in vitamins and minerals,” says Joshi.
And while Ameya Pai Angle from Chinchinim also loves the yellow fruit, living in Pune currently means that she does not get to enjoy it as often as she would like to.“I do not get good quality mangoes here. Hence, I eagerly wait for someone to send some mangoes from Goa. I anxiously wait for my next trip as well,” she says.
Sachin Ghotage, Pernem has hundreds of reasons to hate summer but the mango fruit is definitely not one of them. In fact, it’s his favourite seasonal fruit not only for its taste but also because of its nutritional value. Being from a village of Goa this fruit is locally grown around us,” he says, while recalling childhood memories of climbing the mango trees or stoning them, and even robbing mangoes from their neighbourhood when they were hungry or just for fun. “The fear of getting caught made this more memorable,” he says. In fact, he adds that the robbed mangoes were tastier due to the effort.
So much to choose from
Like most fruits, there are myriad varieties of mangoes. And many of these are grown on Goan soil. Each variety is unique and carries a different taste. These include the Mankurad, Alphonso, Payri, Sakahari, Gotte, Totapuri etc. “Though ‘Mankurad’ is the king of mangoes, I cherish ‘Mangilar’ for its looks, its sweetness, smell and its mouth-watering taste,” says Shruti.
Joshi meanwhile believes that all other varieties pale before the Mankurad and Alfonso. Indeed, the Mankurad is Ghotage’s favourite variety but he waits for the price drop to fulfill his annual quota.
“Mankurad and Mussarat mangoes are not easily available outside Goa. Alphonso mango is well known for its rich and sweet flavour. The aroma of the fruit itself is enough to make you drool,” says Angle, who is a huge fan of the Alphonso mangoes.
Made with mango
And it’s not just the fruit by itself that people enjoy, but also the many number of dishes made with it. The Karel variety, informs, Shruti is used to prepare pickle. When it comes to sweet pickle, she says that ‘Totapuri’ or ‘Mankurad’ or ‘Mangilar’ is used and considering the sweetness of the fruit, less jaggery can be added. Any ripe mangoes especially ‘Ghotan’ are used to prepare ‘saansav’ a unique Goan mango dish in which the pineapple is also added to make it tastier.
“Ripe mangoes are used to prepare mango squash, ice-cream, cake and also sheera. Raw mangoes meanwhile are used to prepare panna to quench the thirst this season. They are also used to prepare chutney, and hunna used especially while eating ‘Pez’. Besides all these, prawns curry, dry fish curry, galmo sukhen, tisryo sukhen and velhyo dhabdabhit taste yummy when raw mangoes are added,” adds Shruti.
Heard of mango water pickle? Mouth watering right? Suellen says that it is the best to have for the monsoons. The mangoes here are normally plain or sometimes de seeded and stuffed with masala. “If you don’t have a tree you can spot these typical longish green mangoes at the Mapusa Friday market for a reasonable rate. Be sure to choose the smaller ones. These need to be stacked in alternate layers of rock salt and green mangoes in a tub with heavy weights over the lid. They need to be turned after a gap of three days. Once the skin shrinks and colour becomes light, bottle them with a piece of hing and your monsoon temptation is ready,” she explains.
Ghotage meanwhile says that they make milkshake, satha, icecream, raw mango pickle and also mango beverages like aam panna to beat the summer heat. He also likes to eat raw mango with salt and masala. Other mango delicacies he enjoys are kairi ka pani which is extracted from raw mangoes, aamsulle from skin of raw mango, aamras which goes with puri, and saath-dried mango pulp which is preserved to have later.
Angle shares that they make traditional mango jam every year and store it for off-season. Besides mango jam, they make mango shake and aamras. In fact, aamras puri has been her all-time favourite dish. “Although it is high in calories, you do not get mangoes every season,” she says. Another traditional dish, which they make often, is mango sasav, a curry dish comprising of small pieces of mangoes. And last but not the least, the mango season is incomplete without mango pickle that her grandmother makes every year. Here, raw mangoes are stuffed with masala paste and stored in traditional vessels called ‘Bharani’.” Other homemade dishes, which she relishs are amrakhand, amba barfi, and lassi.