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More than pulp fiction

india Updated: Jun 25, 2011 01:21 IST
Shreya Sethuraman

It is that time of the year. The monsoons are round the corner and the mangoes are ripe to be sliced, diced and slurped. It could, perhaps, then be the right season to indulge in some mango madness.

The king of fruits may be a hit with the aam aadmi, but there are ways that make it special (khaas) for chefs who like to experiment with its presentation and preparation.

Ever since Floyd Cardoz, a Mumbai-born chef, reinvented the south-Indian staple upma and won the Top Chef Masters, the American culinary competition, the improvisation bug appears to have bit the city’s foodies.

So, HT Weekend hopped across to top chefs in the national capital region, to learn how we can reinvent the king of fruits, mixing it with the choicest of ingredients available, dishing out some fun, out-of-the-box recipes.

Arun Kala, pastry chef at the Claridges, Aurangzeb Road, suggests cooking the mango pulp slightly to remove any bitterness that might arise. He likes to play around with cinnamon for that edge in his desserts. “For desserts I prefer using the alphonso mango, but my second choice would be the daseri for its colour,” says Kala.

Niranjan Chauhan, head chef at Gurgaon’s Mozart Café, is another alphonso fan. “It lends just the right amount of sweetness and texture to my dishes,” he says.

However, Kishi Arora, food consultant at Godrej Nature’s Basket and owner of Foodaholics, says the alphonso is highly over-rated. “Daseri, langda, kesar are great to work with,” says this chirpy pastry chef. “If you want the dish to be super sweet, use kesar.”

If you are in the mood for something light, try the mango-sago martini, a delicious blend of milk, cream, sabudana and of course mango, dished out by Arora.

If Italian cuisine is your favourite, try Chef Bakshish Dean’s mango ravioli. It hardly takes any time to prepare, and is the perfect pick-me-up.

Market Café at Khan market serves the humble khaari biscuit with a sweet and sour mango chutney. For spice-lovers, the curried-mango dish with sea bass, from Mozart Café is a must-try. Mangoes served sunny side up or in a crumble form from the Claridges are another fun delicacy that deserves a shot this rainy season.