Mangoes come in all shapes and sizes, all degrees of sweetness (and tartness in Green Mangoes), and in all seasons (at least in our local Asian grocery). Our local Green Grocer has 3 or 4 different varieties, but our local Asian has dozens. It really is great to explore the different types.
I make a cumquat chutney which is quite divine and these Pickled Cumquats, but this year I wanted to make something a little different. So I took the ideas from the pickle to make this chutney that is sweetened with mango puree. Not only is it mango puree, it is alphonso mango puree, the king of mangoes. You can use any mango puree of course, but I saw some alphonso at my local Asian shop for the first time the other day, so I had to grab some.
If you want to make your own mango puree, please go ahead. There are still plenty of ripe mangoes in the shops if you know where to look (try good Asian groceries). The delight of using mango puree is that it adds a sweet element against the tartness of the cumquats. Add chilli, and you have a hot-sweet-sour chutney which is incredibly additive.
It takes about 45 cumquats to make this chutney, and can be made in 30 mins once you have sliced and seeded the cumquats. We really adore it.
Yoghurt is an essential part of meals in Tamil Nadu, and Pachadi recipes are a way to deliver the health benefits of yoghurt while adding another vegetable (or fruit) to the meal. Win-win! This pachadi uses dried mango; it’s common in households as Summer is spent sun-drying vegetables, mixed vegetable purees and lentil pastes.
Meenakshi Ammal has this recipe in her Cook and See volumes (Volume 1). Perhaps using dried mango for pachadi is not as common as it was, but it is a delicious addition to the table, and easily made from readily available ingredients.
You might expect it to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the mangoes retain. I used mangoes that I dehydrated last year in the midst of mango season.
One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through Meenakshi Ammal’s books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.
How extraordinary noodles are, and oh! What a variety! Think Japanese noodles, Chinese Noodles, Italian Noodles (pasta), Indian noodles (lots of them using interesting flours), noodles from Eastern Europe, and I guess there are many more around the world. Soba noodles are Japanese, and they make delightful cold dishes as well as hot. In Summer, cold Soba noodle dishes are almost like salads.
It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one day per month where we publish recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely.
Ottolenghi has the occasional noodle dish, and our current focus on his books brought us to this recipe in his book Plenty. It brings together mango and charred eggplant in a way that makes it seem way out there, but is perfectly balanced. It is such a surprising combination of flavours and that makes this a memorable dish from the first bite – sweet from the mango and savoury from the eggplant. It is a beautiful noodle for hot summer nights or for a simple weeknight dinner any night of the year. The leftovers only get better in the refrigerator, so Yotham highly recommends making enough for lunch leftovers.
This recipe calls for a lot of oil in which to fry the eggplant (from 220 – 300 ml in different versions Yotham has printed). But the frying turns the eggplant soft and silky, and almost meaty, if a vegetarian can say that. Follow your heart, but I do recommend frying in the amount of oil that he suggests.
In Late Summer, mangoes come back with abundance into the local Asian shops – there have been green mangoes for a while, but then the early sweet mangoes appear. We needed no further prompting to celebrate the long Australian Mango Season with mango dal.
All the flavour and taste of mango is in this kootu as tamarind is not added – it is full of natural flavours. You might think that it would be too sweet, but the spices mellow the sweetness. The recipe is meant for a sweetish mango, but a slightly sour one can be used as long as it is soft enough to melt into the dal. Our local shop will have sweet-sour mangoes later in the season. These would also work with this dal. Today I have made it with a very soft sweet one.
It is quite a simple dal with few spices, but that is the beauty of the South Indian style of cooking. If you feel it is too sweet, add a little amchoor (to layer different mango flavours) or lime or lemon juice. I never find this is necessary, but it is an option if you prefer. I like with good chilli heat and slightly salty.
This is a very traditional Tamil recipe. It is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are traditional recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.
Curried chickpeas, ie chickpeas with Indian spices, are always delicious, no matter what form they take. Here, we are not constructing an Indian dish but using curried chickpeas in a salad that you are going to love. The curried chickpeas are mixed with browned onions, cauliflower florets, and either mangoes or papaya, – truly a delicious salad that can be eaten warm or cold.
The recipe is from Ottolenghi. In the original dish he uses Alphonso Mangoes, those intensely flavoured Kings of Mangoes available in India during Mango season, and shipped to some countries outside of India. Sadly and despite the large Indian population here, it is rare to find them. I have only seen them once, and promptly bought a whole tray.
Use any other ripe mango if you can’t get Alphonso. Or if you want to make this outside of mango season, our substitute is to use papaya. It doesn’t bring that same intensity of flavour that mangoes do yet it is surprisingly delicious. We always feel free in Ottolenghi recipes to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. Add plenty of lime juice to the salad, it makes a difference.
Always taste as you go, and particularly so with this recipe. Ottolenghi specifies curry powder in the ingredients, but curry powders range from very hot to quite mild. You might like to adjust your green chilli level, for example, if you are using a hot curry powder. Also add more lime if this is the case – perhaps some lime zest too.
It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Similar recipes include Mustardy Cauliflower Salad, Tray Baked Spicy Turmeric Chickpeas, Cauliflower Shawarma, Cauliflower with Lime and Spices, Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta, and Chickpea Tabbouleh.
Browse all of our Chickpea Salads and Papaya dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.
In India, on one trip, a travelling companion remarked that India did not have dishes of fresh vegetables and greens, like salads and simply cooked vegetables. It was a surprising statement from a person who was not unused to India, but it does show that the most commonly publicised dishes are not the fresh, uncooked or quickly cooked dishes. I may have been more fortunate that that person, eating in the homes of friends in India and spending time in their kitchens. Salads are eaten all over India – they are different to Western tossed or composed salads, but they are fresh and beautiful.
An Indian salad will contain raw or briefly cooked vegetables, fruits, sprouted lentils, and spices. They can also contain grains such as puffed rice or poha (flattened rice). Cooked lentils and beans can be briefly stir fried with spices, coconut and herbs. Vegetables and fruits can be stirred into yoghurt and dressed with sautéed spices.
Salad dressings are not used per se, but flavours are balanced with spices and coconut. When fruits are used, or vegetables like cucumber and jicama, it can be simply spiced by mixing with chaat masala, black pepper and some lime juice.
So today, a salad of fruits with spices and peanuts. It is gorgeous, spicy and with a tang of mustard. I came across the recipe somewhere some time ago, and make it when pineapples are sweet and mangoes are available. There are many different types of mangoes in India, pineapples too. Today, I have used a sweet, green mango, but others with firmer flesh and tarter flavour can also be used. It is a great salad to serve with fiery food, or as part of a Summer lunch outside under the gum trees.
Similar dishes include a Collection of Kosumalli Salads, Sprouts and Pomegranate Kosumalli, Hesarubela Koshambari, Hawaiian Chilli Pineapple Salad, Longan and Green Mango Salad, Pomelo and Green Mango Salad, Cucumber Pachadi, and Kachumber.
Also try Madhura Pachadi with Tamarind.
Browse all of our Indian Salads, and all of our Salads. Our Mango dishes are here, and our Pineapple dishes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.
In Australia, we (sadly) don’t go much for knowing the varieties of fruits and vegetables sold in our Green Grocers and Supermarkets. In fact, some vegetables, like potatoes, are sold under one varietal name, but the suppliers use different potatoes with similar characteristics, depending on the time of year.
But visit a large Asian grocery, and they care about varieties of some items. Mangoes, for example. While our supermarkets often only sell Mangoes, Asian groceries will sell around 2 dozen different varieties of green and sweet mangoes across the season.
It is important to know the different mangoes. Each variety has its own personality – different tastes, textures and aromas. Different shapes and colours. The seed size varies, and the amount of fibre in the mango. Some are crisp and crunchy, some are juicy and melt in your mouth. Some suit dehydration, others suit making Mango Lassi.
We have taste tested each of these mangoes available at our local grocers and green grocers. But for each named variety mango that we could identify, there were others, green and yellow, that had no labels, or were simply labelled green mango.
If you can buy mangoes by the box in peak season when they are at their cheapest, it is easy to dry them in a dehydrator to make sweet chewy snacks for the rest of the year.
Two different snacks can be made at the same time. Slices of the mango cheeks are dried for intensely flavoured nibbles, and the left overs are pureed, spread thinly and dried. The left overs include the juice from when you are slicing the mangoes for drying, any flesh left over from the slices, flesh cut from close to the seed, and any juice that you can squeeze from the flesh clinging to the stone.
Dry Mango for year round summer flavours
South India, I guess all of India, has a culture of drying vegetables, mixtures of lentils and spices, and pastes made from rice, sago and similar. This is sensible of course – it preserves summer produce for use throughout the year, and thus in leaner seasons it extends freshly available ingredients.
Although terms are used interchangeably, strictly speaking:
- Vathal are dried vegetables and fruits
- Vadagam are dried balls of lentils and spices
- Vadam is a paste or dough made from rice, sago etc that is dried and then fried before using. Also called Fryums.
Looking for similar recipes? Learn how to Dehydrate Sweet Mango and make Mango Leather.