Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 15 , Tuesday April 17, 2007

 

 

Spotlight
Mango magnifique

Winter has slipped by under our noses without much hubbub. Yet come summer, the heat waves have been embraced with open arms and more than a few drum rolls. And speaking of drum rolls, the celebration is already well under way in the hearts of Bangladeshis. Boishakh has officially stepped into the picture with much fanfare. The painted faces, the flamboyant masks, the songs of the season sung in chorus, the rallies, the ladies draped in red and white… yet amidst all this, there seems to be a void. Without a doubt it can be said that nothing resounds of Boishakh as much as green mangoes.

Green mangoes are, literally, a delight to those who interpret life through the stomach. Given the fact that the sun is at all its glory during the season, the heat can often become difficult to tackle. These are the times when a pitcher of chilled green mango sorbet is like ambrosia- beads of condensation dripping down the side of the glass, and half-crushed ice cubes crowning the bittersweet drink.

Even then, it is not enough. This is the season for green mango dishes like 'aam' daal. What more, this time of the year when unripe mangoes weigh down the tree branches, mothers and grandmothers tend to celebrate by preparing 'aachar'. Preparing green mango pickles is an interesting process altogether- there is all that running around with peeling and chopping the mangoes, drying them in the
sun, tossing them in a pot full of curious-looking ingredients.

This way or that, green mangoes are what a substantial part of Boishakh is all about. They grace our main courses, our beverages and sometimes even our desserts with their tangy-sweet flavour. So, get on with the mango fest while it lasts…

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky


Spring has left the throne to Summer. Summer- the season of flowers and fruits. Summer- the season for mangoes, the king of all fruits. Just the mere thought of mangoes brings the song to mind…

"Jhor aelo, aelo jhor
aam por aam por
Kancha aam, dasha aam
Tok tok mishty ....

Mangoes are now in abundance: in a fruit vendor's basket or in kitchens all around. But don't convince yourself that mangoes are only meant to be eaten as fruit. They can be prepared in various ways. Here are just a few of those recipes:

Raaita

Ingredients
5 or 6 green mangoes, finely sliced
2 tbsp white curd
½ tbsp fried cumin powder
1 tbsp finely chopped green chillies
½ tbsp white mustard powder
Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Salt as needed

Method
Beat the white curd and salt in a bowl. Add fried cumin powder, green chillies, mustard powder and mango slices. Mix these together. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Green Mango Bhorta

Ingredients
2 small green mangoes, finely chopped
2 tbsp kasundi (mustard and salt mix)
1 tsp fried red chilli powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black salt
Sugar as needed

Method
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Green Mango Chutney

Ingredients
4 green mangoes, each sliced into quarters
1 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp chopped red chillies
1 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp mustard oil
1 cup water
Pinch of sugar or molasses as needed

Method
Put the mango slices and water in a pot. Boil till the mango becomes soft. Strain the mango and mash with hands. Heat a pan with the mustard oil. Then add all the spices to this pan and sauté till browned. Add the mashed mango and sugar/molasses. Stir-fry the whole mixture. Remove from heat. Cool and serve.

Aam daal

Ingredients
250 grams moshur daal
1 green mango, thickly sliced
2 green chillies
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tbsp chopped garlic
½ tbsp chopped onion
3 tbsp oil
2 tsp salt
3 cups water
Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Method
Pour the water into a pot. Add the moshur daal, green chillies, salt and turmeric powder to this pot. Bring to a boil and then stir well for a few minutes. Add the mango pieces to this mixture. Heat a pan with the oil and add the onions and garlic. Stir-fry till they are golden brown. Add this stir-fry to the daal and mix. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

By Sultana Yasmin

On The Cover

Season of storms and mangoes, songs and poetry. Celebrate the tumultuous weather, the tangy fruits, and let this mood carry you through the year. Come, fall in love with Boishakh as we bring you the best of this season.


Essentials

Beat the heat

Summer is officially here and so is the heat. It will be no surprise if the season turns out to be another jumble of long-hour days wrapped in sweltering heat. And chances are that no matter how fresh you are at the start of the day, when you come back home in the afternoon, you will look like a wilted flower. So save yourself some heartache by taking the necessary precautions to beat the heat.

Gearing up

This is the season to become re-acquainted with sunscreen lotion. Don't count on fair and lovely results- just thank your lucky stars that you might not get skin cancer.


It is also the season to become best friends with facial re-hydration sprays and mini packs of tissue paper. Be sure to carry all these items with you at all times.

Better safe than sorry

Who said umbrellas are only there to shield you from the rain. They can come equally handy in protecting you from the sun. But do choose a light coloured umbrella because dark colours tend to absorb heat. A foldable fan and a pair of shades will be equally useful. But most importantly, always carry water with you. If anything will get you down this season, it's dehydration. So be prepared.

It's bound to be a broiler. So pace yourself accordingly. Wear light colours in natural fabrics. Don't just zoom in and out from extremely hot places to extremely cold ones. Let your body adjust to the temperature change gradually. And try to get all the pertinent things done early in the day so that by the time the sun is really raging down, you are safe and cool inside.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob

 

 

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