During one of my recent sweet cravings, my wife and I decided to learn more about asian desserts. One of my favourite asian dessert is sticky rice pudding with fresh mango! Hmmm yummy!! While we were reading and searching, we realised how there are many different types of mangoes as well as many other interesting facts.
Where do you think that mango originates from?
Well mango has played a large role in the day to day lives of Indians for centuries. The plantation of 100,000 trees was first planted by the Mughal emperor Akbar back in 1556-1605 CE in eastern India. Dried mango skin and its seeds were used in medicines whilst leaves were used to decorate archways during celebrations and festivals. Because of this, mango became the national fruit of India as well as in Pakistan and Philippines later. While in the West Indies, the expression “to go mango walk” is used when one intends to go steal mangoes. In Australia, the first harvested plate of mango was auctioned off for charity.
Mangoes are native to India - South Asia, from there, they have been exported to the rest of the world and have become one of the most widely cultivated fruits in tropics.
Mangoes are a type of stone fruit (drupe) that comes from numerous species of tropical trees belonging to flowering plant, and are now mostly cultivated for its juice edible fruit. During the blooming of the tree and growth of the fruit, the tree leaves changes colour and the flowers gives off a sweet odour similar to lily of the valley.
There are over 400 varieties of mango, some of them give double harvest during summer. Mango fruit varies in sizes and colour (yellow, orange, red or green) especially when it is ripe. Ripe, unpeeled mangoes have pleasant sweet smell.
Mango is widely used in cooking all around the world, in salads, desserts, snacks, chutneys as well as used in beverages - to make smoothies, juice etc. Mango contains plenty of different vitamins and some people even say it boosts your sex life ;-)
One of my most popular flavour combination for mangoes is with chilli, which I will share with you in a simple cocktail recipe.
Cocktail Recipe-Akbar Mary
50 ml good quality of 100% agave 25 ml fresh lime juice 5 ml sugar syrup 30 ml mango & chilli puree* A pinch of yellow curry A pinch of salt A pinch of white pepper Top up with tomato juice.
Combine all the ingredients in a tall glass over cubed ice and gently stir to mix all ingredients together. Garnish with lime wedge and chilli flower**.
* Deseed 5 “Birds Eye chillies” and add them to peeled and deseeded mango in a blender. Add a little bit of water and blend together into puree, add more water to dilute the thickness based on your personal preference. Once blended to your preferred texture keep refrigerated, it will last up to 2 weeks.
** Deseed “Birds Eye chilli” and cut half way through into 4 strings, while leaving the green stem together and keep in iced water for several hours to open up and roll into a flower.