Come summer and one can only think of the King of Fruit: Mango. It is the national fruit ofIndia,Pakistanand thePhilippinesand is now grown in, if not exported to many parts of the world. Most of our childhood memories of hot summer days would be of slicing and eating raw mangoes and gorging on ripe ones with names as diverse as they are exotic: Alphonso, Malgoa, Benishan, Jehangir, Himmayat, Dusseri, Langra, Badami, Kesar, Pairi, Suvarnarekha, Rajapuri, Bara Mansi, Totapuri, Gulab Khas, Neelum, Mallika, Amrapali, Zardalu and K.O. 11 to name just a few. The most expensive being Alphonso which is wrapped in tissue paper, packed in wooden boxes and sold by the dozen or per piece. There are supposed to be at least 500 varieties of mangoes inIndiaalone. Buddhist monks and Persian scholars have taken it to other parts of the world, as have Portugese explorers.

In Hyderabad, we swear by our Rasals and Baiganpallis. A mango called Gadhemar also used to do the rounds in hand carts when we were children. The story behind the name was that one of these gigantic mangoes was large enough to kill a donkey when it fell on the hapless animal slumbering under this tree. Although I have eaten mangoes grown inSpain,Florida,Brazil,Australia, South East Asia andSouth Africaon my travels, I still love the mangoes growing in and aroundHyderabadthe most. As for mango pickle, it has to be made from the ‘avakai’ mangoes.

Mango leaves are used to decorate doorways, mango motifs are used in embroideries and the blossoms and fruits are used to worship several deities. Mirza Ghalib was also said to be very fond of mangoes.

The fruit pulp is high in dietary fiber, vitamins E, C, K, B6 and A. Mango contains essential vitamins and dietary minerals; potassium, copper and amino acids.

Mangoes are used to make juices, mango nectar, smoothies, ice cream and sorbets. Aam Ras and Aam Panna are perhaps the most popular. It is used in desserts and salads, to flavour lentils, rice and even soups. Aam chur can be used to good effect in a variety of dishes. My mother makes a wonderful mango sauce too.

Two of my favorite recipes are included here.

Mango Barfi

4 cups mango pulp
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup ghee
A few Cashew nuts
1 teaspoon cardamom powder.



In a thick bottomed vessel, put mango pulp, mash well with ladle and stir. As pulp starts to boil add sugar and stir well.

Fry cashew nuts in ghee. Add into the mixture and mix well. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mixture starts to thicken, add the cardamom powder. Stir and add ghee gradually. When mixture starts leaving sides of the vessel, remove from fire and pour it onto a greased plate. When cool, cut into pieces.

Mango Lassi


1 cup plain cold yogurt,

1/2 cup cold milk

1 cup chopped and peeled mango

4 teaspoons sugar; more or less as per one’s taste.


Put mango, yogurt, milk and sugar into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses and serve.






25 responses »

  1. Dear Beyniaz,

    No edition of Write Space is complete without your delicious recipes. Unfortunately, I am unable to eat mangoes this season, a fruit that I really love. Yearning for it really and your article made me oh! so 😦

    • Beyniaz says:

      Dear Shail,
      Why are you mango-less this year? Hope it is not due to health reasons. 😦

      • Dear Beyni,

        No, it is not due to health reasons fortunately. But due to the fact that a lot of mangoes in the market are being artificially being ripened and many people are falling sick. How, I miss the delicious mango!

  2. Indrani Talukdar says:

    Yummy blog, Beyniaaz! Very informative at the same time.

  3. vimala madon says:

    We used to buy Pakistan mangoes
    in Paris – huge and rasalu-like and absolutely delicious.

    Sad that Indians are the most diabetes prone people in the world, my family among them. Whereas at one time I used to finish a kilo of mangoes a day today I have only half of one mango with the rest of the family looking on accusingly at me for my indulgence.

    Only yesterday I heard of a recipe said to be delicious. Make buttermilk and season with salt and haldi only. Peel totapuri mango and cut long slices and put them in the buttermilk. Keep in the fridge for an hour or two. Both buttermilk and the mango taste absolutely yummm according to 2 friends who told me about it.

  4. Beyniaz,

    Thanks for the nice write-up on Mangoes and the recipes. There is one more very popular mango called “MALGOVA” from Salem – this particular mango is exported a lot – in this variety, the skin REMAINS green!

    Last year, I had a bitter taste of chemicals being used in mangoes – I had bought a few mangoes and eaten them too, after which I developed very severe toothache – when I went to the doctor, the first question he asked me was, “Did you eat mangoes recently?” – It seems they use a chemical to ripen the mangoes which affects the quality of the mangoes and cause health problems like teethache. We keep hearing stories (alteast in TN) about artificially ripened mangoes being seized and destroyed. The only way is to buy unripe mangoes, and ripen them at home!

    • Beyniaz says:

      Om, i have cartons full of malgobas in my house. All you malgoba fans living in Hyd’bad …come and get some.
      The best way is to grow your own fruit. Calcium carbide used in artificial ripening can result in serious health hazards.

  5. deepika says:

    Thanks for recipes.

  6. National fruit of Bangladesh too! We enjoy mangoes hugely though I must confess to not realising there were so many varieties. I have no idea which type we eat here in the north-west but I shall try to find out!

    • Beyniaz says:

      I have had the fazlee and the langra exported from Bangladesh while we were in the UK.You probably have dozens of other varieties too.

  7. aaftaab says:

    Delicious 🙂

  8. Shernaz says:


  9. isabel says:

    A second favorite fruit of mine…love it green dipped in soysauce with brown sugar or our popular condiment called “BAGOONG” [it’s a fermented baby shrimp or fish]. Love to eat it fresh and crispy until my lips gets super sensitive and sore… but worth it! 🙂

    When I see or eat mangoes… it never fails to put smile on my face and think of good old days gone by.

    P.S. We also use the young tender flower bud for salad. Just add chopped tomatoes, red shallot, cucumber, lemonsito juice and bagoong. A perfect match for crispy fried fish just caught from a nearby river and a clay pot of steamed Jasmine rice with Pandan leaves. Served in banana leaves family style… and eat under the shade of a Mango tree.

  10. seema moghe says:

    oh so now the temptations increase, articles with luscious illustrations too? Beyniaz you sure are torturing every reader!

  11. vimala ramu says:

    It is always a pleasure to enjoy mangoes, either directly or through Beyniaz’s article !

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