I have been resisting mangoes for a while. Actually, since Dada passed away, nobody in the family has been enthusiastic enough. The picture of a freshly bathed Dada examining each fruit in the library-cum-mango pantry, carefully selecting the just right fruits for the ensuing meal is hard to erase from one’s memory. This season, Amma’s just coming out of a long illness and no one’s really been in the mood so far.

But away in my own home, I have finally given in to the call of memories and indulged in a small treasure of miscellaneous mangoes—raw and ripe, expensive and cheap. I wanted to start out with the most comforting recipe that this fruit offers—a Goan specialty called Mango Sasav.


I know a lot of people who’re apprehensive to try a curry made from ripe mango; why would you insult a mango so, they seem to ask. And yet, every mouth that I have ladled this into has sighed and smacked lips in delight. The pungency of the mustard and the sweetness of the mango are a marriage simply blessed by the coarse coconut sauce. I urge you to try this recipe.

Mango sasav

Ingredients

  • 6 small mangoes (the juicy kind work better than the pulpy kind)
  • 1 large coconut, grated
  • 4-5 dried red chilies
  • 2 tbsp. mustard daal or powder
  • 1 lemon-sized ball jaggery
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • a pinch of asafetida
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Peel the mangoes. Reserve the skins. Soak these in recently boiled water and give them a good massage to obtain a golden mango liquid. Keep the mangoes whole.
  2. In a large pot, heat some vegetable oil. Crackle the mustard seeds in the hot oil, followed by one or two red chilies (halved), asafetida, turmeric, and curry leaves. Fling the mangoes in along with their liquid and the tamarind pulp. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, grind into a coarse paste: the coconut, remaining red chilies, and the mustard daal. When the mangoes are cooked through, tip the paste in along with the jaggery. Simmer for a few minutes until you begin to salivate.
  4. Serve hot with steamed rice.