No mention of summer is complete without the mention of the mangoes, the king of fruits. Having grown up in Hyderabad, my earliest memories of summers were digging into the delectable ‘Bangainpalli’ mangoees, sucking into the pulp and religiously polishing it clean off the skin and seed! It was also the time to stock up on the ‘avakaya‘ pickle, which is essentially chunky pieces of mango cut along with the seed and pickled using generous amounts of salt, chilli powder, mustard powder and Indian sesame (Gingelly) oil.
Moving back to our home town in Bangalore, the preparation of my favourite mango chutney and mango ‘chitra anna’ aka flavoured rice was a more frequent occurrence during the season when the fruit was available. But it is in the cuisine of coastal Karnataka that the use of mango is far more widespread. It is here that the mango is more than a seasonal fruit; it is rather a celebration of sorts during summers with the fruit being used widely in day to day cooking in both the raw and ripe form.
During the season you have dishes as varied as rasam, sambhar, chutney, payasam, ‘gojju’ (tangy sauces) and curries all having the magical ingredient – mango! They form for perfect summer treats. An integral part of Udupi cuisine as well, most of the recipes are simple yet flavourful and can be rustled up in a jiffy.
Here is one such recipe made from ripe mango – Mavina Hannina Sasve (raw ripe mango sauce with sweet, savoury and tangy flavours)
- Ripe mango – 2
- Red chillies – 4-5 (adjust per taste)
- Fresh coconut – ½ cup
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Jaggery – 1 tsp (if the mango is not sweet enough)
- Salt to taste
- Coconut oil – 2 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Red chillies – 1-2 broken into pieces
- Curry leaves – 4-5
- Extract the pulp of the ripe mangoes removing the skin and seed. Mix well adding a little water to ensure a thick, pulpy consistency.
- Grind coconut, mustard seeds and red chillies to a smooth paste and add to the mango pulp.
- Add salt and jaggery (if required) to the mixture.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the pieces of red chillies and curry leaves and pour over the mixture.
- Tastes best with hot rice and shavige/idiyappam/string hoppers.