This silky mango curry is a delicious memory of growing up in India’s sultry summers. Each year, when May rolls around, Indian markets are overwhelmed with a flood of mangoes, lovingly referred to here as the “king of fruits." Mountains of mangoes in every shape and size add brilliant orange color to an already colorful mileu and their heady fragrance hangs thick in the air. No matter how much of this delicious fruit you eat, it seems you can never have enough. But mangoes are not just eaten as a fruit in India. Raw mangoes are pickled or curried and ripe mangoes are often cooked up into sweet — and more rarely savory – dishes. It’s one such savory dish I have for you today: a mango curry that goes, in my native tongue Konkani, by the name “Ambya Sasam.” Here’s the recipe, then, and trust me, it’s fabulous. Better still, it comes together in no more than 20 minutes which, in my book, makes it an all-round winner. Serve it up with some bitter gourd subzi and rice for a delightful dance of flavors.
Mango Curry [Vegan]
- 3 ripe champagne mangoes. Make two clean cuts on either side of the seed. Make criss-cross cuts in each slice of mango, the way you would to dice an avocado, and slide them off the skin with the help of a spoon, again just like you would an avocado.
- 1 cup canned coconut milk (the thick part). If you’re using fresh coconut milk, use two cups of the first extraction and skip adding any water.
- 2 dry red chillies, like arbol or Kashmiri chillies.
- 1½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- A generous pinch of asafetida or hing (optional)
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 2 tsp grated jaggery or sugar
- Grind together the coconut milk, ½ cup of the mango flesh, chillies and ½ tsp mustard seeds. Set aside.
- Heat the oil and add the remaining mustard seeds. When they sputter, add the curry leaves, turmeric and asafetida, if using.
- Add the mangoes and the ground coconut milk paste. Add a cup of water and stir the jaggery or sugar. Add salt to taste.
- Heat through until the coconut milk barely simmers. Turn off the heat and serve hot or warm with rice.