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Mangoes, Mangoes, Mangoes

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Mango vert, Mango teen,
Mango vert, Mango teen,
Ah want a penny to buy mango vert, mango teen,
Gimme ah penny to buy mango vert, mango teen,
Mango dou-dous, sou se matin
Savez-vous all for me, Mango dou-dous, sou se matin
Savez-vous, all for meeeeeeee!”
Lyrics from the folk song, “Mangoes” by Olive Walke
Years ago, I met a foreigner at a lime; he had come to this country to take in the sights and enjoy his well deserved holiday (plus catch up on some good Trini food). The conversation soon turned to our local fruit and the mango, a favourite of his, soon took centre stage. He jocularly asked the small crowd, “Do ya know the best way to eat a mango?” Everyone had their methods, which ranged from squeezing the fruit in its skin and sucking out the juice from a small hole to peeling and slicing off each ‘face’. He said, “No, no... that’s not really the best way.” Intrigued, we begged him to tell us. He laughingly said, “The best way to eat a mango is sitting on a stool in the shower with a bucket of them in front of you, and wearing nothing but your knickers and a grin!” (I can still hear the laughter.) But seriously, who doesn’t appreciate a good, ripe, juicy mango? Brought across from India, we celebrate the fruit in every sweet, hot and savoury Trini creation from kuchela to punch. We’ve preserved them in salt, stewed them and coloured them red to be sold in packets. Whether it’s chutney, ice cream or cake... you name it, a mango has been in it. To name each type would take up more than the current space on this page, so instead I’ll share two quick mango recipes you can try yourselves, namely Curried mango and Mango ice cream. Have fun!
Curried Mango
6 half ripe vert mangoes, washed, chopped into small pieces and the white inner seed and membrane removed
1 potspoonful of vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 heaping tablespoons of curry powder, mixed with a little water to form a paste
1 cup water
A pinch of salt
A hot pepper (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or to your taste)
2 leaves chadon beni, minced fine
1 teaspoon geera
Black pepper
Heat your oil in a heavy pot and add in the garlic. Cook until it browns, then discard.
Pour in the curry paste and stir quickly. 
Add in the cut up mangoes and stir again. Add in the water, salt, sugar and geera.
Cover the pot, lower the flame and let it cook for about 5 to 8 minutes until the mangoes are tender.
Check the consistency, then add in the chadon beni. Taste for sweetness and heat. 
Put in the hot pepper, and stir gently. 
Add in a little more water if the sauce has evaporated; cover and cook for a couple more minutes.
Taste again and adjust seasonings.
Mango Ice Cream
1 cup ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
A tin of condensed milk
2 cups evaporated milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice (NOTE: The lemon juice is added to enhance the flavour of the mangoes. If you find that the mangoes you're using are more sharp than sweet, do not add the lemon juice.)
Blend the mangoes with the sugar into
  a purée in a food processor.
Combine the condensed milk, milk, puréed mangoes and a little lemon juice (if you need it) and mix well. 
Pour the mixture in a shallow container. 
Cover and freeze until slushy. 
Divide the mixture into 2 batches and blend each batch till it is smooth and creamy. 
Transfer both the batches into a shallow 
container. Cover and freeze until it is firm. 
Scoop and serve. 



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