It’s mango, mango, mango time. Big, juicy varietals like Honey, Alphonso, Tommy, Kent and Hadden are in peak season. Ready to be devoured straight off the skin like an artichoke and into my belly. Mango juice dripping down the sides of the mouth, hands getting stickier with every bite—tie your hair back because there’s nothing like the first mango of the summer!
Mangos are not just any ol’ summertime fruit—they are an event. Uprooting nostalgic sensations that ignite all of my five senses. Upon seeing, touching, smelling and eating a mango, I tumble down the rabbit hole hearing ancestral voices echoing pleasure.
Prior to sometime in the late ’90s, we had to journey to what felt like far away lands just to acquire mangos. It required a road trip down the 405, to the 91 and sometimes it was the 110 to the 10. Nonetheless, freeways were in order if we wanted mangos. So, after an all-day excursion, when that case landed on the kitchen counter it was always happy, happy, joy, joy!
Every night after dinner my Dad would check on the mangos. Touching and smelling each mango for the edible factor. Then the stories would begin about dark closets filled from floor to ceiling with mangos, the hours spent by my Grandmothers and Great Aunt’s preserving, pickling and making mango chutney for the rest of the year, and on, and on.
Out of all the fruits, mangos were the ones that brought nostalgic joy and excitement. It was the only fruit my parents bought by the case, and the one we waited for all year-long that lead to adventures, stories, and happy eating!
Prior to my Dad recognizing the difference in varietals, sometimes we’d come home with a case of fibrous mangos. No one wants a fibrous mango—I prefer floss, thank you very much. So, what do you do with a case of fibrous mangos or mangos that have over ripened? Make Aam ka Raas or as it literally translates to mango juice. However, unlike juice served in a drinking glass and is made with water, Aam ka Raas, in our home, is made with milk and sipped like a soup with something spicy. It goes something like this:
A spicy-salty bite—then a sweet sip or a spicy-salty bite—then a sweet dip. Repeat and repeat and repeat. Dessert with your meal—the taste of summer. Happy, happy, joy, joy!
This is my no frills recipe. There is nothing extra fancy about it. No spices—can you believe it? Don’t worry, I’ll get spicy when we talk Mango Milkshakes. This is just pure, sweet mango with some milk to cool it’s warming quality and create a thinner yet. creamy consistency.
Season: Pitta or Summer
Time to Make: 20-25 mins
You Need: a blender and clean hands that are willing to get mango-y
- 3 SWEET, RIPE mangos
- 1 1/3 cup cow’s milk*
- Sugar to taste (if mango is not sweet enough)
Step 2: Pour the milk into a medium-size bowl set aside.
Step 4. Gently squeeze to release the mango from its skin and into a large bowl—hold the mango with the seed side facing the bowl. Using a spoon, scrape the remaining mango pulp off from the skin and add the scrapings to the bowl.
Step 5. Get your hands ready to squeeze some more. Squeeze the skinless mango as you rotate it with your hand until all the mango meat falls off and you are left with just the seed. Add the seed to the bowl of milk.
Step 6. ‘Massage’ the seed in the bowl of milk to squeeze out any remaining mango. There’s still quite a bit of mango—get every drop if you can!
Step 7. Blend the mango pulp with a hand blender or with a regular blender. Once smooth and fiber-less, slowly start to incorporate the milk (add sugar if needed) until well blended and the consistency is like a nice creamy soup. Serve immediately or let cool in the refrigerator for a little bit. Happy sipping!
Tastes: Sweet (milk, mangos)
Quality: Heavy, Moist, Soft—serve as a beverage-snack, or a first course and enjoy with bitter & astringent greens like spinach, collard greens, kale, and chard—the lighter qualities will help balance the meal.
Notes: *Kapha imbalances or kapha predominant doshas eat in moderation. Water or almond/coconut milk can be substituted.
How to pick a mango
Sight: are the colors vibrant? Yellow, Orange, Red (black spots, just say no)
Touch: firm but not hard, slightly soft to the touch
Smell: is it releasing mango pheromones? Fragrance should be oozing from its pores. If you can’t smell it after a few sniffs, pass and wait another day or two.