Not only Narendra Modi, we Gujaratis love mangoes!

Trust a Gujarati to find innovative ways to accommodate mangoes in every meal twice a day.

 |  7-minute read |   27-05-2019
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Gujaratis adore their mangoes, as was evident when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he loved eating mangoes during his apolitical interview with actor Akshay Kumar recently.

It’s summer — mango season all across India.

Mango is the king of fruits and, during summer, people eat the fruit galore. Each region in India, of course has its own special variety of mangoes. India is the largest grower of mangoes globally and this fruit is exported in large numbers from India. In 2017-18, India exported 49,180 MT of mangoes worth Rs 382 crores to dozens of countries around the world.

In Gujarat, two mangoes are famous: Kesar mango, which has a Geographical Indication (GI) tag with the name Gir Kesar, and Valsadi Alphonso mango.

Both these mangoes are flavourful, sweet and tasty and they don’t have long fibres.

The Gir Kesar got a GI tag in 2011, though the Alphonso mango is better known and more expensive.

The Alphonso Mango from the Konkan region in Maharashtra, is superior in quality and it got a GI tag in late 2018.

There are around 1,000 mango varieties in India, but only about two dozen of these are grown commercially. In North India, Dashehari, Langda and Chausa are famous mango varieties while in Southern India Banganapalli, Neelam and Badami are well-known mango varieties.

There is an interesting story about the Kesar mango — which was first grown by one Wazir Saale Bhai in his farm in Vanthali in Junagadh district of Gujarat.

Saale bhai planted 75 grafts in Junagadh Laal Dori farm in the foothills of the Girnar hills in 1931.

mango_052619073910.jpgFruit of Gold: We Gujaratis love our mangoes! (Photo: Reuters)

When the plant bore fruit, it was orange in colour and it was sweet with lots of flavour.

When the Nawab of Junagadh Mohammed Mahabat Khan III first saw it, he said the fruit looks like Kesar, the Hindi name for saffron. So, since then in 1934, this mango variety was called Kesar.

Businessman Rajeev Mehta, a resident of Junagadh where the Kesar mango originated, was speaking about Gujaratis love for mangoes, especially Kesar. He said, “We in Junagadh love to eat Kesar mango. The season begins from mid-May and ends in mid-June. For one whole month, we eat mangos daily — both at lunch and dinner. We cut and eat it or we make mango juice and have it. We consume many boxes of mangoes during this season and you will find that all households have mangoes during this season.”

Apart from eating ripe mangoes, there are many other ways that mangoes are used — both raw and ripe ones.

First, mango pickle is made all across India in most households. Women get busy in making all kinds of mango pickles — spicy, sour or sweet mango pickle, and in chutneys. Ripe mangoes are used to make mango juice, jams and squash.

Communications expert Binita Parikh from Ahmedabad, speaking about her love for mangoes, said, “We consume mangoes daily. For lunch, we have mango ras and for dinner, we eat mango cut into cubes. These days, you can even get mango pulp extracted through machines, so one can get ready-made mango juice in various outlets which is a convenient and assured way to get pure mango pulp from the fruit of your choice. You just have to take your mangoes, go to the shop where they extract mango pulp — and they will do it right in front of your eyes.”

kesar_052619073923.jpgKesar mango was first grown by one Wazir Saale Bhai in his farm in Vanthali in Junagadh. (Photo: Twitter)

In Gujarat, people start eating mangoes right from April when Pyari, Badam and Alphonso mangoes start making an appearance in the market. Gujaratis also consume raw mango in salads, chutneys, and gravy-based preparations all through the season.

These days, the emphasis is on organic produce so naturally, there are organically grown mangoes which are of course priced higher than the non-organic variety. But despite the steep price, organic mangoes are gaining ground due to their health benefits.

Mango recipes:

Mango Chunda (Gujarati sweet mango pickle without any oil)

Ingredients

2 kgs raw Rajapuri mangoes (or any other large mangoes like Fazli)

2.5 kgs fine sugar

50 gms chilly powder

25-30 gms salt

10 cloves

3-4 sticks of Cinnamon

100 gms raisins (optional)

Method

Wash and completely dry the mangoes. Clean the sugar. Ensure that there are no foreign particles in it.

Peel and grate all the mangoes in a thick grater. Put in a stainless steel vessel in which the grated mangoes fill up to 1/3 of the vessel. Add salt and mix well. Cover the stainless steel container with a muslin cloth and tie it around with a string. Keep this for one day in the hot sun. Keep the container in a cool place after one day in the sun.

Next day, open the muslin cloth and mix the grated raw mango well. Add all the sugar, mix well and again cover with the muslin cloth and tie it with a string. Keep it in the sun from 10 AM to 6 PM. Remove and keep in a cool place overnight. Next morning, remove the muslin cloth, mix nicely and then again keep it in the sun. Do it for 9-10 days.

On the ninth day, check the sugar syrup in the mixture. Take a drop between your forefingers and thumb and see if the syrup is thick enough. If when you open your finger and thumb you get 1-2 strands of sugar syrup between your fingers your Chunda mixture is ready for the next step. If the sugar syrup is too thin, keep it in the sun for 1-2 more days as required.

Once the sugar syrup in your mango chunda is thick enough, add the rest of the ingredients: chilly powder, cloves, cinnamon and raisins and mix well.

Transfer in a clean sterilised bottle, or bottles — as the case maybe. Use for the rest of the year.

This sweet mango pickle tastes great with paranthas, rotis, bread or even with meals. 

Mango chicken chaat ( 30 minutes)               

                                                                                                                           

Raw mango peeled (1 medium size)

Ripe mango peeled (1 medium size)

Small red onion (1 medium size)

Coriander chopped (50 gms)

Curry powder (1tbsp)

Lemon (1)

Bell peppers (1)               

Chat masala (1 tbsp)

Amul Butter (1 tbsp)                                                                      

For the chicken marinade

Boneless chicken (220 gms)

Yoghurt (100 gms)

Turmeric powder (1/2 tbsp)

Ginger garlic paste ( 2tbsp)

Green chilly paste (1 tbsp)

Salt to taste     

Method                                                                                                                                                                                     

Marinate chicken in a bowl adding all the ingredients meant for chicken and keep aside for 20 minutes.

Chop bell peppers and onions. Take a frying pan, put butter in it and sauté the bell peppers and the onion for a few minutes.

Then roast the marinated chicken in an oven till it’s well cooked.              

Cut the raw and ripe mangoes into small strips.

After that mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, sprinkle chopped coriander on it and serve.                                                            

(The mango chaat recipe is given by Chef Mukesh Dhuliya of Silver Leaf Bistro, Ahmedabad)

Also Read: Cauliflower calling out to all the health freaks

                                                                                                     

Writer

Sonal Kellogg Sonal Kellogg @journolady

Independent journalist, writer, Child Sexual Abuse survivor & activist and a strong voice against sexual abuse.

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