Summer without mangoes is unimaginable! Last Summer when I visited India, I ate a ton of them from our backyard garden as we have the luxury of different varieties of mangoes from 3 trees. I can remember the mango bunches hanging from the branches of those trees and the gentle breeze that tickles their leaves. The deep, dark yellow of the sliced mango and its sweety sweet smell still lingers in my mind. It was the best sight and smell of hometown. Some of those mangoes were touching our rooftop terrace and I took this close-up shot.
Very early in the morning, like 4.00 a.m, a couple of Koels (cuckoos) that conceal behind large mango leaves, make shrill loud mating calls disturbing our sleep. They are never visible but hang around for the sweet mangoes to tune their songs and provide a background music for all our daytime activities. I have noticed that they are making their voices louder, on higher decibels, competing with the noisy clamour of our street and honking traffic. Those love lorn calls touch my heart and I pity them sometimes. Their life and procreation depends on our mango trees.
Many rodents also nibble their fair share at night and leave the fruit skins behind. There is one naughty crow that takes a single peck and drops the entire fruit down, wasting the yellow richness. It moves to taste the next one, as there is an abundance for it to splurge. We have to rush and hand pick some fruits that are fully grown, saving them from all those critters. Then, we place them in a bucket lined with burlap to let them ripen slowly and safely. Those mangoes were the sweetest and super organic because we totally know what goes into their making.
This summer we bought boxes of Keitt and Ataulfo mangoes thinking of home and the passionate songs of those cuckoos. I used pieces of mangoes in my cereal, made curry, chutney and pureed some for an instant juice. In my childhood, I used to eat a whole mango with its juice dripping through my fingers just for the kicks although it was messy. (Silly me!) I love everything about a mango: its appealing colour, its seductive smell and its irresistible taste!
Alphonso is the sweetest and very pulpy mango from Western India. I always have a few cans of Alphonso mango pulp at home, bought from Indian stores. It is very handy to make mango yogurt or parfait any time I wish. Recently, I froze some mango pulp and made Popsicles for fun and to experience its chilled sweetness.
- 2 big mangoes chopped or 4 cups mango pulp
- few crushed pistachio nuts
- Chop mangoes into small pieces after removing the skin.
- Whiz the pieces in a blender little at a time to get a smooth pulp or open a can of Alphonso mango pulp as I did.
- Crush pistachio nuts.
- Put the nuts at the bottom of paper cups and pour the mango pulp up to the rim.
- Cover with a piece of aluminum foil and make a slit in the center to insert the pop stick to use as a handle.
- Use Popsicle molds if you have them.
- Freeze for 4 hours or until frozen.
- Remove from the freezer and tear the paper cup to release the mango popsicle.
- Taste the Popsicle immediately as you have waited enough.
Right now, before posting I indulged in a mango pop, watching TV. It takes approximately 30 minutes to lick the stick clean. Isn’t that an exciting way to enjoy mangoes?