Mango delights

It’s the season of the King of Fruits and this is the best time to make a meal out of them by adding mangoes in starters, main courses and decadent desserts! 

Their delectable taste apart, mangoes offer many health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants and help to fight colon, breast and prostate cancers and leukaemia. Rich in vitamin A, this succulent fruit improves eye health, preventing night blindness and dry eyes. It also improves skin tone and its high fibre content aids digestion and weight loss, while its iron content helps to fight anaemia. Moreover, mangoes contain 25 types of carotenoids, as well as vitamin C, which boost the immune system and vitamin B6, which improves brain function and memory. 

Are your mangoes artificially ripened?

Artificially ripened mangoes cause a lot of trouble, from stomach upsets to diarrhoea. The calcium carbide used to ripen mangoes can exacerbate hypothyroid, diabetes and cancer. Here are some ways to check whether your mangoes are naturally or artificially ripened.

* Artificially ripened mangoes have patches of green that are clearly distinguishable from the yellow. In naturally ripened mangoes, the green and yellow blend.

* When you eat an artificially ripened mango, you may experience a slight burning sensation in the mouth.

* When you cut an artificially ripened mango, it will be light and dark yellow, as it is not fully ripe. 

Choose fruit vendors who stock mangoes that are of irregular size, shape and colour, and/or sell organic mangoes.

Mango Chicken Curry

* 2 tbsp vegetable oil
* 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
* 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tbsp fresh minced ginger
* 2 tbsp garam masala
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
* 2 tbsp cider or white vinegar
* 1 cup coconut milk
* 1.25 kg skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1/3 cup raisins (optional)
* Salt and pepper
* Coriander leaves 

Preparation guide

* Heat oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add onions and bell pepper, stir occasionally for about five minutes until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for another minute.
* Add garam masala and cumin, cook for a few more minutes. 
* Add the vinegar, coconut milk, and one of the two chopped mangoes. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
* Remove pan from heat. Scoop the sauce into a blender and make a purée, pulsing until smooth. Return sauce to the pan.
* Add chicken and raisins.
* Cover the pan and simmer for 8-10 minutes. 
* Now add remaining chopped mango. Stir in the cream, if using. Let it cook at low temperature for another minute or two, uncovered. Do not let it boil, or the cream may curdle.
* Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.


Mango Prawn Avocado Salad


* 8 tbsp olive oil
* Juice of ½ orange
* ½ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves, arugula (optional) and walnuts
* 1 ripe mango
* 2 ripe avocado pears
* 300 gm cooked and peeled large prawns with tail-shells

Preparation guide 
* Mix the olive oil, orange juice and chopped coriander, arugula and walnuts in a bowl to make a dressing. Season and set aside.
* Peel, de-stone and slice the mango and set aside. 
* Halve, de-stone and peel avocados. Slice the flesh and divide between four plates, together with the mango and prawns. Season to taste.
* Drizzle each serving with the dressing.

Mango Cheesecake


* 100 gm thick cream
* 1 cup mango purée (use two medium sized ripe mangoes)
* 225 gm cream cheese (at room temperature) 
* 1/4 cup sugar (+ 2 tablespoons)
* 1 tsp vanilla essence
* 1 cup muesli
* 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
* Chopped mangoes and other fruits for topping

Preparation guide

* Beat the cream in a hand mixer until smooth. * Once the cream is smooth and soft, add mango purée, cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla essence. 
* Pulse the muesli in a food processor till it resembles bread crumbs. Add butter and two tablespoons sugar. Set aside.
* Divide the granola/muesli mixture into six small glass jars/bowls. Press down. Pour the cheesecake mixture into each jar, equally divided. Refrigerate for two hours. Top with chopped mangoes and other fruits before serving.
* Note: Use mangoes that aren’t too soft. If you want your cheesecake sweeter, sprinkle with raisins. 


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