The mango season in India is a special season. The Mango justifies it's title “king of fruits” with a very distinct flavour, fragrance and taste. This delicious fruit helps us to wade through the extreme hot Indian summers. Today, as I sit down to write a mango recipe, memories of my childhood flash by. Early summer, the mango trees in my garden used to be in full bloom, its white flowers announcing and promising the harvest for late summer. We loved to see the tiny green mangoes appear soon after. When the early summer storms known as “Kal Boishakhi” knocked some of them off the trees, it was a pure treat to go and collect them with friends. There was a certain mango whiff in the air which can only be experienced. Ma made tasty chutni with the raw mangoes, while some of them ended up in bottles as spicy pickles. Early summer, the raw mangoes dominated a large part of our meals as chutneys, drinks or pickles. Ripe mangoes were available as of late May-early June. During the season, mangoes were an integral part of our daily meals. My father who considered himself a mango connoisseur, picked up each mango, held it in his hands, smelled it, turned it around multiple times, smelled again before selecting the right one to buy. The carefully selected mangoes were fondly brought home and kept in cold water to enhance the taste at dinner time. The expression on his face on returning from the local market was an indication of how satisfied he was with the day's purchase.
Ma used to slice each mango into three pieces. Two slices from each side and the central piece or “anti” the main seed. The middle piece (anti) consisted of 80% non edible part (the seed) and 20% of the edible mango flesh. Inspite of this, we (my brother and me) fought over that piece. Thankfully,most days multiple mangoes were sliced, so there were enough middle pieces to satisfy both of us. It was not the shape or the size of that middle piece that made it so special. It was a certain way this piece was eaten, that made it so attractive. First, the peel had to be removed like a ribbon starting from one end with a soft pull all the way to the other, without tearing it. Then the main piece was kept aside and all attention was focused on trying to scrape off (with the teeth) the last bit of mango flesh clinging to the inner side of the peel. Once satisfied that there was absolutely no flesh attached to it anymore, then the main piece was attacked. Starting from the top, going along the sides to the bottom and back to the top.
Depending on the juiciness, there were frequent occasions when drops of the mango juice would trickle down in between the fingers towards the elbow, which were licked away when Ma was not looking. The end product was an almost-white mango seed devoid of colour, taste and looks.
Some of you from my generation, as you read this article, are actually eating a mango with me while some, who ate peeled and cubed mango pieces with a fork may say..”Ewwww”.
Let me tell you, you have missed a lot of the fun.
This is a “sure success” recipe and it is going to add a feather to your culinary skills. So do not hesitate, go for it. I used:
Condensed milk : 1 can
Mango Pulp: 2 cans (measure it in the empty condensed milk can)
Eggs: 3 large
A few mango slices and fresh basil leaves for decoration
Ready steady cook:
Mix one can of condensed milk with 2 cans (same can) of the mango pulp.
Add three eggs.
Mix well. (you can use an electric mixer but whisking with a fork is good enough)
Pour the mixture into a flat oven proof dish. (a flat dish helps in slicing into perfect pieces)
Preheat the oven (200 degC)
Bake for 50 mins. It should turn light brown at the edges.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool. Chill, decorate and serve. Your guests will definitely ask for a second helping
Written byDayeeta Roy
Dayeeta, has her hands full being a mother of one, wife of one and full time job of one.A Physicist by education and a researcher by profession, she enjoys her daily work very much.She loves to cook and writes two blogs."Food,Friends and Fun.......I have everything!!” www.dayeetasworld.blogspot.nl www.hiji-biji-chhorar-moja.blogspot.com