Thursday, August 4, 2011

Evvvvverybody Loves Mango!!

   Whenever I'm planning any sort of Indian feast at our house I always try to keep things balanced. Hot, sweet, sour, bitter, crunchy, mild. I try to get all the flavor experiences in there. Since all the courses at an Indian meal are served all at once (except dessert) it helps to have a wide range of stuff on the table. One dish that always does double duty on my table is something cool and sweet with a hint of tart and a bite of chili, and that is Mango.
 I know I'm probably dating myself, but every time I pick up and peel a mango I can't help but think of this guy:

   And yes...who doesn't love mango? Sliced diced, in ice cream, on salads, mango seems to get along with everything. It's the non-diva fruit. One of my favorite uses of mango is as a side dish salad, mango curd. Mango curd works especially well with spicy South Indian food, but wait…it also goes beautifully with  good old barbequed chicken. Actually it tastes so good you might want to just eat a bowl of it all by it’s lonesome. If you’ve got a blender or food processor it’s also very easy to put together. Once it’s pureed and mixed with yogurt, then hit with a spicy chaunk, it’s ready before you know it.

Mango Raita

Here’s what you need:
 2 mangos
 2 Tbs of grated fresh coconut, or dried if you cannot get fresh
 4 green seeded chilies
 1 tsp of cumin seeds
 A bit of water
 2 cups of yogurt
 2 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
 1 tsp of vegetable oil
 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
 1 dried red chili broken in half
 4 curry leaves 

Here's What to do:
Peel and chop 1 of the mangos and place it in a food processor or blender along with the coconut, green chilies and cumin seeds.
Add a bit of water and blend everything into a fine paste.
Put 2 cups of yogurt into a bowl and whisk it smooth.
Add the contents of the blender along with salt to taste.
Now for The Chaunk:
 Heat the teaspoon of oil in a small pan.
When the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, the red chili and the curry leaves.
 When the mustard seeds start to pop, pour everything into the yogurt mango mixture.
Peel and cube the other mango and mix the pieces into the yogurt mango puree.
Scatter a few chopped cilantro leaves over everything and serve it up.
This is a great side dish great with any Indian meal vegetarian or not, but also does double duty alongside any spicy American-style barbeque.
   So there you have mango, short, sweet, and easy to make (rimshot goes here).  And now that mangos are in season and relatively cheap almost everywhere, what's stopping you?
 Coming up next, a great use for all the tomatoes that are coming into season right now. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


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