Missing the Mango Mania

So I am out of Gujarat..for six years now..well a little more than that…During winters, I seem to miss the undhiyu and ponk and Garbas while during summers I miss the mangoes.

There is something about the mangoes in Gujarat, somehow I am not able to feel in Bombay…which of course RD doesnt agree, he thinks mangoes in Bombay are the best πŸ™‚ On Friday when I went to the market I saw the yellow fruits all over..it was as if a wave of yellow had replaced the greens in the market..every guy had Alphonos all over the place...

While Alphonos are considered the king of the king of fruits, I beg to differ. No, dont get me wrong, my Appa and I are the only ones in the whole world who would be thinking that the alphonos are over rated. Of course, that doesnt stop me from buying and eating them heheheeh πŸ™‚

In Gujarat, the mango season meant a lot of work infact. Amma who has adopted a lot of Gujarati culture, would use every type of mango in the kitchen. As soon as her school closed the start of May, we could expect a mango mood everyday.

First, the Totapuris made their appearance. Β  TheyΒ are among the first mangoes Appa would buy. Now those of who know my Appa via the blog would realise that he cant buy vegetables and fruits in small quantities. So he will get huge amounts of totapuris and Amma would fume and they would have their usual love talk and then Appa would tell her ‘Kannamma I will cut for you na’ and he would set off to cut the totapuris. He would make thin slices and then cut the slices vertically in such a way that the slice wouldnt be cut completely but there would be small idendantions in it so that if you folded the slice it would resemble a flower and I would eat that with a bit of salt and chilly powder πŸ™‚

Two things amma would make out of it.

1. Totapuri Peruku.

Recipe from my memory. and I am a horrible cook so please dont take it at face value. Google it πŸ™‚

Small minutely Appa cut Totapuri
Take some coconut, green chilly and grind it.

Add this to the totapuri,some salt and put a tadka of kadipatta, mustard, oil and hing. Before serving add some curd to it. This tangy tasting stuff was a pretty much a favorite among our Gujarati friends.

2. Totapuri Achar

Again, recipe from my memory.

Small minutely Appa cut Totapuri.
Take til oil, mustard, hing. Put tadka in the totapuri and then add salt and red chilly powder. Mix well and eat with everything under the earth. Need to be kept in the fridge though after a couple of days.

Finally all the totapuris that Appa bought would end and Amma would heave a sigh of relief. Until….

….until Appa would make a trip AGAIN to the market to get the chotu chotu mangoes to make vadu mangai. Now Amma would just give up and say okay okay I will call your aunty and get the recipe. So then the small mangoes would be soaked in brine (Err..thats so chemical engineeringish!) and then after some days Amma would make the vadu mangai after the brine managed to shrivel the cover of the mangoes completely πŸ™‚

Recipe – I dont recollect from memory but Appa’s chitti is an expert in that. If anyone wants the recipe I will ask my chitti (Appa’s chitti’s daughter in law)

And then as amma would threaten Appa that she would boycott the kitchen if there were any more mangoes to be done, our maid C ben would remind amma that its chundo time. Now chundo I must tell you is a Gujarati speciality and there are two varieties I am aware of. You would need the special Rajapuri mangoes which are these huge green mangoes used to make varieties of pickles like avakkai and stuff.

But, RMB and I were chundo freaks. Again, we both liked different varities and Amma would make both. Did I mention I was a difficult kid πŸ˜‰

Another thing about the chundo was that my cousins in Calcutta LOVED it….so much that my brothers would eat them even with curd rice! and our going to Calcutta every year in the vacation meant that Amma needed to make a minimum of 10 kgs to last us for the whole year as well as last everyone in Calcutta for at least the end of summer. And we were 9 cousins put together in Calcutta, (My mom is the only sister to three brothers :))

So then of course, the starting of Chundo involved Amma and C ben sitting and grating the 10 kgs of Rajapuri mangoes. RMB and I would try and help but often, we would stop after 1 because its pretty difficult to do. The rajapuris were bought by Appa and C ben who would check if they were of right quality. The selection of the mangoes is important. It should neither be too pakka nor too kacha πŸ™‚

Anyways, so after the grating the mango was divided into two

1. Yellow chundo. This would involve heating the grated mangoes, sugar, salt in the gas and the mixture would be yellow in colour. RMB being the nicer baby, would prefer eating that.

2. Red chundo. Now this is a bit complicated. First to take a grated mangoes and equal amount of sugar. and then add some salt to it. put this mixture in a wide mouthed vessel and tie the top of the vessel with a thin muslin cloth. Keep the vessel in the sun. EVery morning, RMB would take it up the terrace and in the evening bring it down. After about 10 days of sun, (you shouldnt add any water, the sugar will melt and make the mixture like a thick viscous fluid (Aiyo, why am I getting so chemical engineerish I have no clue!)) Amma would check the consistency. Then our neighbour aunty would come and buy the fresh jeera and roast it and grind it. Then she would buy the fresh Kashmiri mirchi powder. She would add both of that to the chundo and the yummy concotion would be ready. Appa would pack up for Calcutta and the rest we would store it through the year. I must admit the chundo made by my Amma, neighbour aunty, C ben and RMB is the best I have ever tasted till date πŸ™‚

Then of course, it would be the time for Aamras by then. Appa and I both are of the opinion, that in ripe mangoes, the Junagadhi mangoes (ETA:Β These areΒ known as Kesar infact, thanks Hitchy)Β taste the best. Whether eaten just like that or converted into aam ras. Once I grew a bit older, taking out ras was my job. Amma appa found it too cumbersome. So I would sit on the dinning table with the washed mangoes, a big bowl of water. Slowly slowly I would start pressing the mangoes and it would become really soft. then I would remove the head of the mango (the place where the mango is attached to the tree) and the ras would flow out. It would slowly seep out and then my patience would run out. So I would start fighting with the cover and then finally remove every inch of the cover and the pulp from the seed. Since my hands would be covered with the yellow coloured pulp I would lick them properly clean :), wash the hand in the bowl of water and then start out with the next. It used to take about an hour but I loved the combination of bhindi roast, pulkas with ghee and aam ras. Its still my favorite.

And then we would always have curd rice and totapuri pickle to finish off the meal.

Ah! I am missing Gujarat so much!!

Alphonos were bought once in a while because they were 10 times the cost of Junagadhis. We would end the season with the Langda variety.

All in all, our entire summer was filled with mangoes. Of loads of types, from raw to ripe, we would do it all.

I dont get time for all this now in Bombay but this sure triggered a long long post eh.

Inspired by the Tulika I-heart-mangoes-summer-Blogathon.

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101 Responses to Missing the Mango Mania

  1. next time you come ot uk.. make sure you get me some .. this article has made me sad
    I so want to go home and eat lots of them

    😦 😦 😦 😦

  2. Tanishka says:

    I also love totapuris too… They are my fav… And you and RMD are not alone in thinking that Alphonso are overrated… πŸ˜€

  3. chattywren says:

    Loved your post!! Really miss the mango season back home! I also think Alphonso is a highly overrated mango and overpriced too ! Here, I pay a little more than 1 euro for 1 small one. Enjoy!!

    • R's Mom says:

      chalo one more person to believe alphonos are over-rated…I think even we pay that much…it now costs about Rs.400 a dozen in bombay!

  4. anisnest says:

    wowww.. so much about mangoes.. I am somehow not liking the mangoes these days because of its heat 😦 but have eaten bags and bags of mangoes during summer at school age.. patti or mama used to bring the bags from my village all home grown ones… my favorite was to make a hole at the edge and then suck the pulp through that hole.. yummy.. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  5. loved the mango musings πŸ™‚

  6. PNA says:

    I love mangoes…not too good with the names, but I relish all of them all the same πŸ™‚ Good day to you.

  7. The Bride says:

    I have not had a mango for sooo long. And I am probably the third person in the world – after you and your Appa – to say that Alphonsos are not all that. My favourite are a variety called Benishan (not even sure how to spell it), they are the huge ones.

    • R's Mom says:

      oh..you dont get mangoes in HK??? Benishan..errr..never heard of them..the big ones I know of, are the Rajapuris..may be a different variety

      • The Bride says:

        This is a term from my mother who grew up in Hyderabad. I’m sure they are called something else in other places.

        No ya, unlike the US which has sizeable enough Indian population to make importing mangoes viable, here I am only seen boxes in the Indian store and I suspect they are of questionable quality. We get mangoes from Thailand, Malaysia etc. but they are not the same. 😦

  8. hitchy says:

    Junagadhi Mangoes nahi… Kesar Mangoes that come from Junagadh ! πŸ™‚ they are the best for Aamras… but then Aamras from langda (gujarat) and dussheri that comes from UP are also good…

    Our’s is a mango maniac family… we made subzi from raw mangoes, the totapuri fresh pickle is made every other day… Baafla (the summer cooler) is made from raw mangoes with jaggery its best for beating the summer heat… the chunda’ mangoes were just bought yesterday from a farm me and Mom visited yesterday ! She selects them from the tree which one to pick.. she firmly believes if you make pickle from mangoes that fall on the ground your pickle will not last the year ! πŸ˜› I doubt that but dont argue ! We get them hand picked from the farm and some of them she and I me myself picked from trees !!!! (yea that was to make you that much more jealous)

    Now I dont agree that you can miss out on the Mangoes in Mumbai I was born there and brought up there… all varieties reach there ! and most of the gujjus there make all the chunda’s !!! i remember in Mumbai on the terraces we would open people’s chunda and eat them !!!!! no they didnt taste so good but the fun in stealing was awesome !!!!

    Please excuse if this becomes a post in itself… !

    The Ratnagiri Alphonso is a dear favourite in my house… but I agree they are overrated… ! They are heavenly in taste but there are others too πŸ™‚

    I have heard that the Chausa that comes from Malihabad is a far superior mango in terms of taste but it has a poor cosmetic appearance and low shelf life which has ensured it is not as famous as the Alphonso !!!!

    But hey in mumbai you get the Payeri a mango for Aamras… I love it most… My mom just got it for us last week when she came from mumbai ! Its the most tangiest mango I have tasted !

    err… not to mention the shredded kacha mango with onion or the kacha mango kachumber or the shredded kachan mango on sev puri and in bhel !!!!!!!!

    sigh…. !!!!

    • R's Mom says:

      yes yes..those are Junagadhi Kesar..will change it thanks for the right name…Appa always called them Junagadhi and I stuck to that name πŸ™‚

      you and your mom pick it off the tree…Am I jealous or what..ask aunty to pack some chundo the next time you come to Bombay…I will promise to come and meet you then πŸ™‚

      I dont think I get good mangoes in Bombay..and I doubt except in old buildings, the terrace is used for any such stuff 😦 Damn, I am missing Gujarat!

      I dont thinkI have had the Chausa ever

      I am not a big fan of payeri..it has too much fibre in it na?

      err… not to mention the shredded kacha mango with onion or the kacha mango kachumber or the shredded kachan mango on sev puri and in bhel !!!!!!!! – I wish I could come to Bharuch and strangle you for making my mouth water like crazy here πŸ™‚

  9. Amit says:

    I cannot distinguish one type from another. Its yellow and juicy and thats that. πŸ™‚
    I have fond memories of drinking mango shake in breakfast during summer holidays.

  10. Actually, you and RD are in good company :-)–everyone in my family has long held the opinion that Alphonsos are overrated and not really worth all that money. My favourite is a variety called Jardalu which is grown in and around my native village in Madhubani, Bihar–it is unbelievably sweet when ripe and fairly sweet even when unripe. Good thing the foreigners have not discovered it yet πŸ˜‰

    • R's Mom says:

      You are from Madhubani that place famous for its painting is it? do you paint?

      Errr…I have never heard of that variety earlier..this post is definitely increasing my mango knowledge πŸ™‚

  11. Chaitali says:

    Yeah its mango season… n here in goa we relish the taste of goan mankurad πŸ™‚
    My home is strewn with mangoes..
    Hey how is R?? How was da homecoming? awaiting for a post on that ..

    • R's Mom says:

      I should tell Appa about this variety..thanks for telling this…Appa can go to Vasco and pick it up πŸ™‚

      Errr..R is perfect, homecoming post tomorrow pakka

  12. garima says:

    I looovvee mangoes….yesterday night I had mango milk shake and after reading your post I want to eat it again…

    @ani:To reduce the heat of mangoes (and to avoid outburst of acne) you need to soak them in water overnight (unpeeled) and in the morning remove them from water.This way the heat factor is minimized.

  13. Uh?! Sooo much on mangoes? I can only say I LOVE mangoes and rest my case! Ofcourse loads of memories of summer holidays involve mangoes :-D…
    Eaten Mango srikarni? Yummmm stuff – Cut Mango, Jaggery powder, grated coconut and elaichi – yummm… I bring it to office every other day and it gets over in a jiffy πŸ™‚

    About Alphonso – I second you- there are other varieties that I like better…

    • R's Mom says:

      hahah..what I said in like a 1000 words, you just said it in three…so much for me trying to be good in precise πŸ™‚

      Err…I would be too lazy to make that srikarni…I would just gobble down the mangoes πŸ™‚

  14. Nithvin says:

    You have made this a Mango Monday RM πŸ™‚
    Loved your post and coincidentally made mango seera this morning for MIL’s birthday.
    We used to fight for the ‘mampazham kottai’- mango seed with pulp as kids. Now can’t even think of it!

    • R's Mom says:

      Mango Monday heheheh πŸ™‚

      How do you make Mango Sheera…wishing aunty a happy wala mango filled birthday πŸ™‚

      oh in my case, thankfully RMB didnt like it too much so I had full rights over it.though Appa and I used to fight over it hehehehe

      • Nithvin says:

        Thanks RM..
        Mango Sheera..ahem..got a call from my mom yesterday and got blasted for that..it was just not good it seems ..she said i should have let MIL prepare some sweet instead preapring something like this on her B’day:( But V and MIL were very nice about it..they said it was not bad ..I think they don’t have a choice πŸ˜‰
        I just added beaten mango pulp to the regular ‘rava kesari’..that’s what the recipe in some magazine said..

  15. Loved this post, RM. πŸ™‚ And the OH and I think that alphonsos are over-rated too. We do buy them, but then, we buy the other varieties of mangoes too. We try to ensure that we taste as many different kinds of mangoes in each season as possible. πŸ™‚

    I also feel that the mango season in Bangalore does not hold as much charm for me as in Ahmedabad. Well, markets here too are full of mangoes now, but it is not just the same. It could be that I am missing the aam ras, chundo, murabba and mango kachumbar, and the eating of mangoes with my family. 😦

    This post brought back many fond memories, RM!

  16. Visha says:

    Wow!!

    Wish I could have chundo with puris now 😦

    RM..how could you miss mentioning Kesar mangoes here..or are Aamras and Kesar one and the same πŸ™„

  17. Mathangi Vijay says:

    Oh my God what a mouth watering post!! I am sure even in my dreams I would now be able to only see mangoes. Already I was cribbing to my mom yesterday that the Mangoes here in Singapore are not as good as what we get in Chennai.. Now, I am doomed.. Please someone from India send me a basket of Mangoes 😦

    • R's Mom says:

      Awww! like I told the Bride, I wish I could courier some across to you..big hugs

      • Preethi says:

        Sorry, I used your blog to reply to Mathangi but have never commented on your posts. I was just too lazy. I am not a very regular reader but I like your updates on R.

    • Preethi says:

      You must be kidding right…try the Benishan(which are called Banginpally in the south) which are available in Cold Storage(very very sweet) or in Mustafa or Fair Price as well . So far, the best were the ones that we bought in cold storage. In Mustafa, you can even get the Kesar and Chausa mangoes ( the Aamras varieties). I even saw a new variety ‘Mallika’ but I haven’t tried it.

  18. DI says:

    I LOVE mangoes. Last year, this time, I must have eaten a grand total of a min 500 mangoes (raw and fruit put together). I am not exaggerating. It helped that I was in the indulge phase of pregnancy, so I couldn’t care πŸ˜€ I LOVE the first recipe you told, my mom made so much of it and I had it every day with rice. My mouth waters thinking of it!
    This year, there is a supremely controlled intake though 😦 Thanks to last year’s over indulgence!

    • R's Mom says:

      Lucky gal! I didnt any mangoes at all when I was pregs with R (the brat is born in end of may so you can imagine my situation, 9 months pregnant and not eating mangoes) because our maid in Brc scared my amma saying its too much heat etc..of course amma appa would steal in bits of pieces once in a while when C ben was not around :):)

      I love that peruku as well

      But that was last year na..why arent you eating this year (Confused)

      • DI says:

        To make up for the awesome calorie gain 😐 Go on, call me shallow!

        • R's Mom says:

          yes yes..dont do that…eat one mango between meals…you shouldnt miss out all the potassium, and calcium, and stuff tthat a mango provides..upar se, come on DI, you dont want to miss out on a fruit that comes only 3 months an year and tastes like nectar eh?

  19. Smita says:

    Sigh!!!
    I hated mangoes or you can say I was scared of them because they used to give me phunsi’s!
    And then Gujarat Happened!
    In 1998 we moved to Jamnagar and I was introduced to Kesar, I ate some and realised they aren’t worth hating!
    Then in 2002 when I shifted to Ahmedabad a colleague of mine called me to a place and handed me over a cartoon of Veraval ke Mango. I refused to take them but he insisted. I said bahut zyada ho jayega, he said nothing doing take them and you will eat them. And rest as they say is history! I am back to eating mango’s!!!
    And Alphonso Vs Rest of the Aam’s is an evergoing argument at our place also. My In law & hubby say that Alph are over rated & over priced. Humari side main Dussheri is the best!!!
    I used to eat the red chundo!!! Sigh!!! Good old Gujarat times!

  20. My Era says:

    I am huge Mango fan, love all varieties and I enjoy making lots of desserts with this yummy fruit.
    I missed them a lot during my stay overseas, so these days you can see me indulging in these golden beauties a lot (mainly in cooking variety of desserts)
    As far Alphonsos, well they make an excellent ingredient for many many recipes given to their rich flavor and color so I don’t mind them being overly expensive. Though if I were to rate the Hafus only as a fruit I’d agree with you that they are indeed over-rated πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  21. RM !!!!!!!!
    Loved the mango-ey post !
    I looooooove them (period)
    Here in Singapore I sometimes crib about not finding enough variety – I mean the first few days all I coudl see were a malnourished longish thingy that totally destroyed teh definition of a mango. I tasted some alphonso here lately and they were yummy yum yum. No idea about over-rated RM – I just go ga-ga with any type and try all the varieties πŸ™‚ But yes, alphonso is on the expensive side.

    I miss sitting in the backyard with family and sipping them, slurping them and ah !
    I’ll buy some tonight if that’s all I can do about it πŸ™‚

  22. ashreyamom says:

    //Totapuri Peruku.// peruku is curd is it?? i still have problem with recognizing the mango and its names.. but yes, grandma makes pickle every year and send its.. vadu manga is another favorite pickle is mine.. luckily i have proper iyer friends who keep giving me.
    all summer vacation menu ha only mangoes in my house, it used to be mango-rice, mango pickle, mango-coconut chutney, mango curry, mango shakes and lot more. of course fight with cousins to have full ripe mango all by ourselves and elders not allowing.
    after reading the post, only one thing is going in mind, after office, i have straight got o market, but mangoes and eat them tonight..

  23. Jas says:

    I hate totapuris and I also agree that Alphonso mangoes are overrated… why are they sold for 300 rs a dozen is a baffling question… Thankfully I shopped for mangoes yesterday… now I am off to raid my fridge… πŸ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      you hate totapuris 😦 😦 kyun kyun? try either of the recipes with them..may be you will like..

      go on raid your fridge while I sit here all jealous!

  24. Ramya says:

    I want the vadu maangaai recipe… and ur combination with aamraas, phulkas bhindi roast 😦 u r making my mouth water 😦 curse u πŸ˜‰

  25. Swaram says:

    Whr is today’s post ?:P R is bk na? Must be narrating so many of those travel tales πŸ™‚

  26. SM says:

    drool and more drool…what a mangolicious post! I read all these recipes online determined to make at least one — then I see the mango, determination and patience run away, cut it up and eat it right away, just like that πŸ™‚

  27. Vidya says:

    Brings back sweet mango memories! Sigh!!! ghee roti and aamras is one of my fav. combos too:-) I don’t know if Junagadhi is same as ‘rasaalu’ of Andhra Pradesh, but the process of squeezing out the juice is the same. πŸ™‚ And it tastes yummy too.. Somehow, this season seems to be pretty lean in Chennai this year 😐

  28. techie2mom says:

    Modha ma ane aankh maa paani aavi gayu πŸ˜‰
    Me too am missing the season big time….I love all things mangoes so so so much that my first post was on Chundo πŸ™‚
    PS. mom sent me Chundo for the year, get jealous….

  29. Seema says:

    I am not reading this post until you post about R! Lambi judaai ho gayi yaar 😦

  30. RS says:

    Oh..awesome mangoey post… My mom usually used to do most of the above except she does not eat any mango except langda..and we used to have the thanda aam ka panna concentrate prepared and kept in the fridge to protect us from the Mumbai heats….

    • R's Mom says:

      oh even Amma made Aam Panna..forgot to write about that πŸ™‚ I love that one…am going to make it over the weekend pakka..thanks for reminding πŸ™‚

  31. Ritika says:

    I loveee Hafus ,they are my total favourite
    And since you reminded me of mangoes ,I have to go eat one πŸ˜€

  32. kayemofnmy says:

    Absolutely droolworthy Mango post. I had a gujju friend and had chundo at her place. I really loved it but can’t eat sugar now. I wonder if there’s a sugar substitute that would make it as thick and viscous.

  33. summerscript says:

    I loveddddd this post.. my fav ones are banganapalli..can eat it as breakfast lunch and dinner πŸ˜€

  34. Ashwathy says:

    I think you just need to get your mom to Mumbai and you can relish atleast some of these all over again.
    For me, I am happy with alphonso! πŸ™‚

  35. Smitha says:

    You’ve made me yearn for mangoes! The best mango times we had was when we lived in a house with 2 mango trees. The tasties mangoes, and we would get sackfuls of it. We would distribute to all our enighbours, friends(and mum and dad had loads of friends), and still have loads left over! We never needed to buy mangoes in those days!
    These days, we need to go to the Indian store and hope for a decent box of mangoes!

  36. You don’t think Alphonso is the best???!!! :O Shocked! I’ll have to agree with RD there…must be something to do with growing up in Bombay…

  37. sandhya says:

    What an absolutely mouth-watering post. Lovely, R’s Mom! Congratulations on your win.

  38. choxbox says:

    RMBen!! Tame toh maaro divas sudhaari didho!!

    You so need to come to my place now. Mom is here and doing full and full justice to the mango season – you forgot keri ni lonji? How about fajeto?! What about ras-puri?!

    And, just had truckloads of chhundo with my dinnner!

    • R's Mom says:

      oh my God! Choxbox on my blog *Does a nice virtual dance*

      WHAT WHAT WHAT?? Keri ni lonji, fajeto, ras puri…you know what Chox, I am just coming there and asking your Amma to adopt me RIGHT NOW! Damn! I miss baroda all the more now!!!

      70 mangoes…you wrote SEVENTY Mangoes…forget it, I am catching the next train RIGHT NOW!!!

  39. choxbox says:

    And a friend just got us 70 mangoes – straight from their orchard! They are variety called bemisaal. Sachmuch bemisaal hai!

    Now at least come?!

  40. Pingback: The Sweetest Mango | R's Mom

  41. Pingback: Book Review Monday – The Sweetest Mango | Indian Moms Connect

  42. v. says:

    You have a lot of readers! *envy* I am so glad R like the mango book so much.

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