Mangoes – The Eternal Favorite

 Mangoes – The Eternal Favorite

 

Huge golden mounds of mangoes are a delight to the weary summer eyes. Mangoes are easily the most favourite fruit in our country. One cannot think of summer and Devgad Hapus

not think of mangoes. The hot humid days would become unbearable but for this heavenly fruit.

Scientifically mangoes belong to the genus Mangifera Indica, consisting of numerous species of tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Cultivated in many tropical regions and distributed widely in the world, mango is one of the most popularly exploited fruits for food, juice, flavor, fragrance and color. Its leaves are ritually used as floral decorations at weddings and religious ceremonies.

Mangoes are a sweet favourite across the length and breadth of our country. Each region has its own favourite and some like the Alphonso are loved by every one. Mangoes are consumed both in its raw and ripe state. When raw, the mango is invariably green in color and really sour.

No summer is complete without the ritual of pickling raw mangoes. Whether as pieces or as shreds the variety of pickles that can be made are amazing. Sweet or savoury, spicy or not the mango pickles and murrabas are irresistible. The combinations it makes with chick peas, carrots, lemons and other such ingredients are marvelous. Pickles made in the northern parts of India taste very different from the ones made in the southern parts. The basic difference being that in the north usually mustard oil is used for pickles whereas down south the pickles are made in gingelly oil.

Raw mangoes are also used to make hot & spicy chutneys and even a sweet’n’sour concoction called loonji. In northern regions of India the raw fruit is used to make aam panna, which serves as a coolant against the hot dry winds Loo, which blow across northern and western India. The raw fruits are boiled and the pulp extracted to make this sweet & sour drink. With sugar and dried mint leaves it is the best protection available from the hot dry winds that blow in the northern regions. Raw mangoes are also the source for an important Indian spice aamchoor. It is deseeded and cut into thick pieces which are dried in the sun and then powdered. It is added to various dishes to give a tangy flavor.

Ripe mangoes come in different hues of yellow, orange and red depending upon the regional flavor. The fruit is often red on the side facing the sun and yellow where shaded. When ripe, the unpeeled fruit gives off a distinctive resinous sweet smell. In its center is a single flat oblong seed that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface.

When ripe, mangoes are easily the most delicious fr

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *