Summer’s here… and if you can’t tell by the soaring temperatures and the steadily increasing electricity bills, then surely the fruit vendors selling green raw mangoes in your neighborhood should have given you a clue. While most of us dread summers, thanks to the heat and strong sun that mark the season, there are a few things we do look forward to this time of year. And on the top of that list would definitely be mangoes! This delicious fruit is rightfully called the king of the fruits and is a universal favourite.
Available only during the dry summer months, since the tree requires hot and dry conditions to bear fruit, mangoes are one of the only blessings this harsh season affords. One has to wait till the very peak of summer to taste the sweet, juicy ripe mangoes. But before that… we have raw mangoes!
Considered by some to be quite a delicacy, green raw mangoes are a popular snack in the summers. Often served sliced with salt and chilly powder sprinkled on top, this green, thick-skinned fruit is as popular as the yellow, ripe mangoes. For many, these unripe mangoes are reminiscent of lazy childhood summers when one could happily laze around and bite into a yummy salted green mango to beat the heat!
But other than the delicious tangy taste, there are a number of reasons why raw mangoes are a good choice this summer. One reason is that raw mangoes are a natural cure for heat stroke. A drink made from raw mangoes, called aam panna, is considered a great remedy for heat exhaustion. The high Vitamin C content, as well as the acids it contains, make the green mango a great option this summer.
Another way to incorporate the green mango into your diet is to grind it, add a few spices and make a chutney out of it. Used as an accompaniment to many Indian dishes, the sour and spicy green mango chutney is very popular. There are a number of innovative ways to use the green mango. In Indian kitchens, the raw mango is sometimes finely chopped and added to yoghurt, along with some spices to make a delicious side dish. Mango Dal is another popular dish that each state in the country has modified to suit its palate.
Green mangoes are also a great source of pectin, and contain a lot of antioxidants which are great for the skin. They also contain cancer fighting antioxidants which can be extremely beneficial. But do remember that too many mangoes can leave you feeling rather sick. Stick to one or two a day to avoid the ill effects of overindulging in this delicious fruit.
With so many different ways to have it, green mangoes are certainly the flavour of the season! So the next time you feel the summer heat getting to you, just indulge in some raw mangoes and you’re sure to feel all charged up!
Chef Bapi Raju from Sweet Nirvana shares with us a recipe for Aam Panna, made from raw mangoes, that is the perfect way to beat the heat!
Raw mangoes: 500gms.
Sugar: to taste
Rock salt: to taste
Ground Jeera powder: 1/2 teaspoon.
1. Peel and wash the mangoes.
2. Cut the mangoes into pieces.
3. In pressure pan, put in the mango pieces along with the seeds and boil for 5mins.
4. Let it cool and then strain.
5. Add sugar, salt and jeera powder.
6. Cool in fridge.
7. Serve chilled in tall glass with a few mint leaves floating on top.