Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi Shares Tips To Cook With Mangoes
Image Credit: Karigari

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi is referred to as the ‘Dancing Chef of India’ (courtesy of his charming cooking style in Turban Tadka and the catchphrase - ‘namak shamak’). Through his television shows and videos, Chef Sokhi has introduced home chefs to an array of regional delicacies across India. Currently adding a tangy tadka on the menu of Karigari, a pan-India restaurant chain by Chef Sokhi, is none other than mango, the king of fruits. The ongoing Aam-e-Ehsaas Festival will come to a halt on June 30, 2024.

Video Credit: Chef Harpal Singh/ YouTube

According to the National Horticulture Board, there are 1,500 varieties of mangoes grown in India of which 1000 are commercial varieties. Boasting tangy and sweet flavours, it is not just a fruit but an ingredient with unlimited potential. From desserts to curries, you can use it in a variety of dishes. 

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi said, “The Aam-e-Ehsaas Festival celebrates the beloved mango, evoking nostalgia for Indian summers. We crafted the menu to showcase its versatility, incorporating traditional recipes with creative twists to offer a delightful mango-centric dining experience.”

Aam-e-Ehsaas Menu

Visit any Karigari outlet, and you will be presented with a separate menu featuring mango-based delicacies. Speaking about the menu for the mango festival, Chef Sokhi said, “Perfecting the Aam-e-Ehsaas recipes involved multiple trial sessions and adjustments. We meticulously balanced ingredients and refined techniques to ensure each dish captured the essence of mango and provided a unique culinary experience.”

You start with Mango Kasundi Paneer, a delicacy made with cottage cheese marinated in Kasundi sarson and tangy mango puree. It is served with Andhra’s special aam papad. It is the perfect starter to embark on a gastronomic journey centred around mangoes.

Before you order ahead, get a Mango Pulp mocktail or Mango Plucker cocktail to pair with the dishes. Chef Sokhi, who is currently judging Laughter Chefs on Colors TV, has learnt Hyderabadi cooking from Ustad Habib Pasha and Begum Mumtaz Khan. Creating a lip-smacking melange of notes in his kitchen, Chef Sokhi introduced Hyderabadi Kacchi Kairi Khatti Dal on the menu of the Mango Festival. 

As the name suggests, the dish boasts tangy flavours from raw mangoes. The tempering of curry leaves, burnt garlic, and mustard seeds brings a burst of flavour to your mouth with every sip. Order it with paratha, tandoori roti, or rice, you will have a complete meal served.

However, no meal is ever complete without a serving of desserts. In the Aam-e-Ehsaas menu, you can witness Alphonso Bhapa Doi shining bright. Bhapa doi, a popular Bengali sweet dish prepared by cooking curd, is given a twist of sweet and pulpy Alphonso. If you have a sweet tooth, do not miss ordering this delicacy.

Cooking With Mangoes

While speaking to Slurrp, Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi shared the vision behind starting and expanding Karigari. He said, “The vision behind Karigari Restaurant was to blend traditional Indian flavours with modern culinary techniques, creating an innovative dining experience. We aim to honour the craftsmanship in cooking, presenting familiar dishes in a contemporary style that delights our guests.”

Chef Sokhi also unveiled a few secrets about cooking with mangoes. Depending on the flavours and texture of mangoes, he shared a few tips that will empower home chefs to experiment with traditional recipes and create magic in their kitchens. 

Chef Sokhi said, “For desserts, Alphonso mangoes are ideal due to their unique sweetness. They are perfect for universal desserts like mango cheesecake, mango kulfi, or simple mango sorbet. In savoury dishes, use raw mangoes like Kacchi Kairi for a tangy flavour to curries, chutneys, and salads. Pair mango with spices like cardamom for sweets and mustard seeds or cumin for savoury dishes to enhance its natural taste.”