I see mangoes everywhere I go, mangoes hanging down from homegrown mango trees, farmer’s market, grocery stores and on the home front too, T who loves mangoes, is always tugging at my sleeve asking for a Mango Milkshake or a Mango Lassi or maybe even a Mango ice cream, whenever we step outdoors. In fact, she gravely announces to me yesterday “Maa, I think I have ‘Mangoes going extinct’ phobia”. Are those fantasy fiction library books to be blamed?!
A tough ask now would be, to think of anything but Mangoes!, this reminds me of ‘The Popular Hilsa fish Story’, an interesting story, that I would like to share with you.
Once upon a time, Hilsa fish, being available only once a year had everyone’s attention and interest. Come Hilsa fish season, house wives exchanged recipes, shopkeepers haggled with customers over the latest price of Hilsa and fishermen talked about catching the biggest Hilsa of the season.
The then ruling King, Krishnadevraya was surprised to see even his ministers discussing Hilsa fish rather than important state issues, unable to bear this anymore, he announced a reward to anyone who could bring to the palace, a big Hilsa fish from the market, without a soul talking about it.
Tenali Raman, the court jester takes up the challenge. Next morning, shaves off, half his beard, dishevels his hair, covers himself with soot, wears torn and tattered clothes and walks out of the house looking like a tramp but please note, royally jostling a Hilsa fish in his hand. People, shocked by his appearance wonder, if he had finally gone mad. The palace guards, who hardly recognised him, went inside to inform the king. The king summoned Tenali. One look at him and the King laughed and announced Tenali, the winner of the challenge. No one had noticed the Big Hilsa Fish, in the hands of his clever and witty court jester.
Forgot about the mangoes for a while, did we? Maybe a reward for me would be in order, right?!
Coming back to our subject, a trivia on mangoes is that, the lovely colour of the mango is called ‘Mambazha colour’ in Tamil and is a very popular colour choice for the famous South Indian traditional Kanjeevaram Silk Sarees.
Personally, love to gorge on the juicy mangoes, as is, but if you are toying with the idea of civilizing them, Mango Milk | Mango Smoothie is the way to go.
Prep time : 15 mins; Serves : 4
- Mangoes ( Alphonso | any variety, fully ripened) – 6
- Milk – 1 Liter
- Brown Sugar – 8 – 9 tbsp s
- Green Cardamom – 1
- Saffron – 3 – 4 strands
1. Peel and crush the cardamom to fine powder in a mortar and pestle
2. Boil the milk, then add add sugar, saffron and cardamom powder when hot. Let it cool down then strain the milk with a strainer.
3. Chop the mangoes into small pieces and puree them in a blender. Add the cooled, boiled, strained milk to the mango puree and mix well.
4. Refrigerate for 4 hours or more before serving it chilled.
1. You can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the Mango Milk and call it Mango Milkshake.
2. Vegan version – Blend Almond Milk, sugar and the mango puree. Chill and serve.
To make your own Almond Milk, soak about 250 gm of Almonds in warm water overnight. Peel and blend them with about 4 – 41/2 cups of water, adding the water gradually, in installments, to get the required consistency.
This ‘Mango Nectar’ must be savoured slowly, spoon by spoon!