"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Monday, 11 June 2012

Nadan Pazha Manga Curry (Traditional Keralite Ripe Mango Gravy)

You may be wondering why I opted for 'ripe mango' curry when I could just eat the mango as is. The answer is we (me and 'A') simply loved it when we had it last at my mum's place. My mum's part-time maid cooks up a mean mango gravy(mmmm...my mouth waters when I just think of it). To top it 'A' got a neat batch of mangoes from his dealer as they do along with a jar of Andhra mango pickle (delicious!)  every year before the monsoons. I saved four of these that were naturally semi-ripened. This curry is best cooked with firm ripe mangoes. I believe its called Nadan Manga (literally translated Country Mango) or 'Chandrakaran' as I recently learnt on an image search in Google. My parents have a nice tree in the front yard that delivers some lovely raw (which we have as a starter with coconut oil, salt and chilli powder -  I know! We cousins and (I recently learnt) my aunts(dad's sisters) have this tradition where we sit around in a circle with a platter full of cut and marinated raw mangoes which is gone within seconds) and ripened mangoes. P.S. for those of you not from India, pre-monsoons are the best time to have the best supply of mangoes and its a game with kids too where they have mango-plucking and eating contests, etc.

Nadan Pazha Manga (Mango Curry)

Of course my mum dearest told me how to make this one but since I didn't have that type of mango here in Hyderabad, I tried it with the ones I got in this batch.

Mangoes I used for this recipe

I also added my own twist (as I always do - always wanting to experiment) to it to get the right outcome. I suggest if you are taking semi-ripened ones you follow through with the 'mash' process that I went through. If you are doing it with the smaller ripened version, avoid the 'mash' process.

You need:

  • 4 semi-ripened (or firm fully ripe) mangoes (mum used the ripened version of Chandrakaran) -skinned and retained in full
  • 6 cloves of garlic - chopped
  • 2 " ginger -chopped
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves (mum didn't add this)
  • 4-6 green chilis (depending on how spicy your chillis are - mine were not the spicy kind) or kandhari (chilis of kerala - super exquisite for this recipe - I didn't have any :-( )
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt - to taste - about 1 tbsp should suffice
  • 1.5 cups of grated coconut
  • 4-6 shallots (small onions)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil or coconut oil
The make:

Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes| Preparation Time: 10 minutes|Serves 4-6 adults

This is how I made mine since I used the semi-ripened version. Since I did not follow the traditional route that mum follows, mine took longer to make (as mum says you always have to follow complex ways). 

Ginger, Garlic and Chilis with my pestle
1. First soak your curry leaves in lukewarm water (remember I mentioned in my last post that since there are a lot of chemicals sprayed on leaves and veggies these days, I make sure I soak them in lukewarm water with vinegar, turmeric and salt before using. In this case just lukewarm water).
2. Grind the coconut, garlic, green chillies or kandhari and ginger. I reserved half the chopped ginger and crushed them with my manual pestle and diced it fine. Set aside. I did this because I always feel that mango has a good flavour with ginger. (I like this combo so much that I found AVON had one of its shampoo products with mango and ginger. I very much liked it and so did my hair. Alas, I never found it again. Wish I bought a few bottles:D I know I am silly. I go by  flavours and smell a lot). Mango-ginger also has a cholesterol lowering function. (Mum did not set aside any ginger by the way)

Ground mixture of coconut, chilies and ginger-garlic

3. Take the mango in a pot with salt and water (enough to just cover the half of the mangoes (as it would be bobbing over the water. Do not add too much water or else you would not get the right consistency for the gravy). Cover and boil for 10-15 minutes until the mangoes are soft,first on a medium flame then lower flame to avoid it boiling over. (If using the fully ripe mangoes, you need only 7-10 minutes.

Mangoes set to boil with salt

4. In a separate skillet or flat pan, add the oil and heat. Splutter the mustard seeds and then add the drained curry leaves. Add the ground mixture, turmeric powder, crushed ginger and saute on a medium flame.

Sauteing crushed ginger, turmeric with the ground mixture

5. Next you would normally add it to the boiling mangoes, allow to mix in for 5 minutes and then turn off. But because I took the semi-ripened version, I took out one mango at a time on a plate and then using a knife, I knived out the sides of the mango and then added it back to the pot along with with its seed (still having some of the mango flesh on it). You can also do this with a wooden spoon. My mangoes were too large to do that with the risk of burning myself. Repeat for each of the 4 mangoes.

6. Then I added the ground mixture to the pot containing the prepared mango and left it on for 5 minutes allowing it to just bubble and turned off the heat.
    Mango Curry ready to be served

    7.  Serve hot with rice and your favourite dish (in our case it was Ayla Fish Curry). Some people also adds spices such as chili powder, cumin powder etc when doing their saute but I think that would not be as authentic with the coconut as with just the green chilies or the kandhari chillies. That is just my personal view.

    'A' thoroughly enjoyed his lunch today with a good combination of dishes! Good luck and hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Bon Appetit!


    1. i understand how much effort ur putting to run this blog...it will be appreciated if ur pictures are clear

      1. Thank you for the feedback Anonymous. A reader of the blog has brought the same to my attention and provided some tips as well. The recent ones are being taken under a different camera setting. Thanks once again, I will try my best although I do not have good photography skills:)


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