The season of mangoes is officially here, and it sure is helping us take our attention away from the scorching heat. India has been hit by one of the worst heatwaves in recent years. As per experts, the respite is far. Most prudent call would be stay indoors and avoid the wrath of sun, and while you are at it, how about enjoying the king of fruits in all its glory. Mango is a tropical fruit native to India that has now found fans across the globe. Throughout history, mangoes have been a favourite among kings, conquerors, and commonfolk alike. Legend has it that Alexander the Great and his troops loved mangoes so much that even upon their return they carried wagons of mangoes along. The Buddhist monks of yore were known to carry mangoes with them in their long expedition. The Portuguese encouraged Mango grafting and took popularity of mangoes to greater heights.  

The endless mango cultivars are proof of our never-ending love affair with this fruit. The good thing is that the fruit is incredibly versatile and used both in its raw and ripe avatars. Here are some ways in which you can use it for your summer lunch.  

Mango Rasam

Rasam is tangy, peppery soup that is widely popular in South Indian cuisines. There are many kinds of rasam, for instance, tomato rasam, lemon rasam etc. Tamarind, tomato, lentils, spices, are some common suspects in mist Rasam, making the soup a heart-warming affair. In terms of consistency, it is comparable to Sambhar, however, Rasam is of much thinner consistency. In this raw mango rasam, raw mangoes, curry leaves, asafoetida, and slit green chillies create magic that is hard to recover from.

Aamras

‘Aamras’  literally means the juice of mangoes. In parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra, it is fairly common to pair a thick portion of Aamras with Puris (deep-fried breads made of wheat). This aamras made with pulpy mangoes, cardamom and sugar is decadence overload, make it today and savour every bite.

Mango Pickle

Not undermining the value of ‘side dishes’ in a typical desi platter, mango pickle, is perhaps one of the most popular Indian pickles we know of. Chopped up raw mangoes tossed with asafoetida, turmeric, red chilly powder, salt, jaggery and mustard oil, this tangy and irresistible pickle is just too good to be true.

Mango Bhajji

Ever had mango fritters? They are a delight to tuck into. All you need are some ripe mangoes, coat them nicely in a batter made of gram flour, rice flour, salt, red chilli powder and deep-fry them same. Serve them hot with rice, spicy dal and you are good to go.  Click here for the recipe.

Mangalorean Mango Curry  

Mangalorean cuisine is renowned for its eclectic, tangy and hot curries. This tropical curry is from the same league. Made with goodness of raw mangoes, black pepper, curry leaves, mustard seeds and dried red chillies. This smooth and hot gravy is best paired with rice. Click here for the recipe.