The best thing about the summers in India is the abundance of mangoes. There are almost 70 varieties of mangoes cultivated across India. In Gujarat, the mango season starts as early as mid March and goes on till the first few weeks of July. The kesar is my favourite one, which is as good as the famous Alphonso, but not as exorbitantly priced..
I love eating mangoes as is, but a favourite combination is Aamras (Aam - mango, Ras - Juice) with puris. This is quite a popular dish in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The thali places in Ahmedabad have aamras on their menu every summer. In addition to all the little bowls of vegetables and kadi, there is a bowl of aamras, which is filled every time you are nearing the end. My son is too small to have an entire thali, so he always gets a little plate for the puris and a bowl for aamras. The people serving are extremely attentive to him, despite the unending rows of people seated to eat and they fill up his bowl with aamras every time they pass by. He is always overawed with their service.
Here's a picture of a regular Gujarati thali. You will have more farsaan and sweets, in a fancier looking thali, if its a more upmarket restaurant
Pic Source: Sanjiv Khamgaonkar for CNNGo.com
My little fellow has been having mangoes after every meal these last few weeks. Ma made aamras puri when my cousins came over for lunch last week. He had that and then mango ice-cream for dessert. He is on a mango diet these days and totally loving it !!
The Raspuri variety is the best for the pulp, or you can use Alphonso, or a combination of the two. This time we used one Alphonso to add to the sweetness.
What you need -
(Serves 4-5 people)
8 ripe raspuri mangoes
1 alphonso mango (This adds to the flavour, or you can just make do with the raspuri)
1 tbsp sugar, if required
1/4 cup water
1 cardamom (optional)
What you do with it -
Soak the mangoes in water for about half an hour - this makes it easier to remove the pulp
Peel the skin off the mangoes and soak in the water
Remove as much pulp as possible from the mango as possible, using your hands
If using the cardamom, peel it and add the seeds along with the pulp
Blend the mango pulp with sugar. Use as much sugar as required
Squeeze the remaining pulp from the skin of the mangoes and add to the blended pulp
Blend once more for a smooth consistency
Serve with hot puris, or refrigerate for an hour and serve cold as a dessert