It’s not everyday that you come across a curry made of ripe fruits in Indian cuisine. I have had spiced sautéed green apples as a “sabzi” with roti, which my mother used to make and also had numerous chutneys made of fruits like plums, apples, apricots, mangoes, amla (Indian gooseberry) etc. But if I could remind you that coconut and tomatoes also count as fruits, you will realise that the first sentence of this article holds no ground. And now that we’ve seen a watermelon chicken been made by this lovely Andhra granny, we are reminded that anything is possible.
Yes watermelons are in season right now but so are mangoes. And I just love how different varieties of mangoes just come and go from the markets as if they were teasing us. Numerous summers have been spent devouring mangoes that were stored in a bucket full of cold water or in the fridge. Sometimes sliced, sometimes peeled and sometimes simply sucked from the top opening.
We would discuss how the Sindoori this year is better than last year and would check with each other if they have seen the Chausa or the Dassheri on the carts yet. These discussions were no less than a mango connoisseurs meeting, if such a thing existed. Such is our love for Indian mangoes. Living in Delhi, we weren’t exposed so much to the Alphonso until recently. But these were the nineties that I’m talking about. Now of course, you find all varieties of mangoes almost every where in the country.
But when you are far from home, you savour any Indian mango variety you get. And luckily for us, this summer our friend told us that he gets good quality Alphonsos from a vendor who imports them to Dubai from a farm in Maharashtra. It was obvious that we were going to order. It’s mango season after all!
And we were in for a treat! They were absolutely yummy! I’ve always found varieties like Sindoori, Langra, and Chausa as my favourites but these good quality Alphonso had made a place in my heart. But what do you do with so many mangoes?
You make Mango Curry!
I had tried this Kerala style Mango curry 2 years ago and became an instant fan of how unique it was. It took me 2 mango seasons of practice to get the proportions right and here I am sharing the recipe. It is often a part of a Kerala sadhya and is best had with some steamed rice among other things.
3 ripe mangoes, peeled
3/4 cup water
salt to taste
red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup fresh grated coconut
1/2 tsp cumin
1 green chilli
1 cup beaten yogurt
1 tbsp coconut oil
2-3 sprigs of curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 dried red chilli
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
Slice both the sides of the peeled mango in such a way so that there is still some flesh left on the seed. In a pressure cooker or a pan, transfer the mango slices with the seeds, water, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric. Cover and cook until the mangoes are soft and the flesh can be mashed. In the pressure cooker I had to cook for 3-4 whistles and then later mashed the slices with the back of the ladle. The consistency should be thick and not too watery.
While the mangoes are cooking, grind together grated coconut, cumin seeds and green chilli. You could add an inch of ginger too if you wish.
Once the mangoes are done, keep the heat low so that the contents are simmering. Add the ground coconut paste to the pan/cooker and mix well. I used a whisk for this so that the mango and coconut combines well. Cook for 2 minutes more and remove from heat. Add the beaten yogurt and mix well. You can skip the yogurt if you are vegan.
In a small pan, dry roast the fenugreek seeds till they turn darker. Transfer them to a mortar and pestle and grind them. Toss the powder in the curry and mix.
In the same small pan on medium heat, add the coconut oil and wait till it heats up to add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add the curry leaves and dries red chilli. Give this tempering a stir, cook for another minute and remove from heat. Now transfer this tempering to the curry and it is ready to serve.
If the mangoes used are not too sweet, you can add a little bit of jaggery to enhance the taste. Enjoy the comforting fruity mango curry with some steamed rice.
Try it and tell us how it was in the comments!
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