You can eat it when it’s raw and sour, you can savor it when it’s ripe and juicy. It can be sweet and fleshy, or tangy and pulpy. Cut into cubes, top it on your favorite ice cream! You can pickle it or you can make it into a tasty preserve. Cakes and curries, tarts and sorbets. Whiz it up into a yummy milkshake or even enjoy it like an awesome skin-on drink! There really is no single way to indulge in the wondrous mango. It is undoubtedly the most versatile of the fruits and that has rightly earned it the title of being ‘the king of fruits.
Rich in antioxidants that can boost heart health, fibers that can improve digestive health, the Mango is also packed with vitamins C, A, and Collagen which can give you beautiful hair and skin. But whoever asked for reasons, right? When it comes to mangoes, us Goans are already smitten by their sweet aroma, subtle flavor, and rich texture.
It is no surprise that we have a number of traditional recipes using mangoes that have the trademark of Goan kitchens. have been prepared in the Goan kitchen for generations together. Let us explore some typical goan recipes that celebrate the royal fruit in all its glory!
1 – Amlechi Uddamethi
This is a delicious raw mango curry. Made in a coconut base, it is smooth and rich. The very name of the dish reveals its ingredients- Amli is raw mango, Udda is split black gram or urad dal and methi is fenugreek seeds. This is a traditional preparation of the Goan GSB (Gowda Saraswat Brahmin) Community. It has an interesting combination of ingredients, each having very distinct flavors but which come together to create a wonderful lip-smacking harmony. It ropes in sourness from the raw mango, tanginess from tamarind, sweetness from jaggery, and slight bitterness from the fenugreek seeds. All in all the dish is a wonderful burst of flavors.
2 – Ambeche Saasav
This is a bright yellow sunny dish that makes your heart fill with joy. The name literally means Mango (ambo) and Mustard (saasav). Mango is of course, the star of this show and mustard is the key ingredient used in the tempering of this curry. The best part about the dish is that it makes use of the ghonta variety of mangoes that is the more humble, smaller, fibrous relative of the Alphonso or Mankurad which are only table-fruit varieties. There are two variations to the dish- one is the cooked one, and the other uncooked version, which naturally has a shorter shelf-life. Fresh pineapples are also a great addition to this dish which is a little sweet, a little tangy and packs a tingling heat as well. The dish is best relished cold from the refrigerator, especially in these summer months, and can be eaten with chapati or even as it is!
3 – Bharilyo Amlyo
A Goan jevon is incomplete without a zesty, spicy pickle that at once livens up the taste buds. And one can’t speak of pickles without mentioning the absolute favourite pickling ingredient- amli or kairi, that is the raw mango! It’s natural sourness makes it a perfect ingredient for this recipe which is nothing but a Stuffed Mango Pickle. A special tiny variety called the Miskut is used for making this pickle. Lengthwise cuts are made into the mango which is then deseeded and covered with lots of salt. A spicy masol or masala with a tempering of chilli powder, turmeric, crushed fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds is then stuffed into the mangos. A key ingredient here is Sesame oil which is known to best-complement the Miskut. The mangoes are then preserved in a jar, and will last for months. Although we sincerely doubt you will let them!
4 – God (Sweet) Lonche
Is it a pickle? Is it a jam? We don’t know and we don’t care because IT IS DELICIOUS. We always need some sweet-and-sour in life, likewise with our pickles! That’s why we have the very popular and beloved pickle which is made with raw mangoes and jaggery, hence called god lonche which literally translates to ‘sweet pickle’. This tastes great with chapatis or even as an accompaniment with rice. When refrigerated, it can last for upto a year.
5 – Mangaad
Goan love for Mangoes dishes can’t wait until noontime or a full-fledged meal, of course not! We want to hog on it all day, as much as we can. And what better way to do it than slather a tarty jam on our one true love, the humble pao! Mangaad is the name given to the Mango jam that was mostly made in the traditional Christian households of Goa. The Monserrate or Musrad variety is most commonly used for this preparation. A favourite among the lids, this delicious preserve can be enjoyed at breakfast or even as a topping for ice-creams and pancakes!
You will see that many of these dishes have the same ingredients and yet, differ in taste owing to the style of preparation and variety of mango used. Each dish makes use of a specific variety of mango, which imparts its unique flavour and aroma to it. Each one is made in a different style boasting the skills and expertise of the hands that prepare it. These are truly a treasure of our culture- the secret recipes passed down generations by grandmothers and mothers. Celebrating the fruit in all its different forms, these were our top picks from the Goan summer kitchen.
Have you picked a favorite yet?