Noted Benagluru chefs tell us about their favourite lesser-known mango varieties
Anthony Huang, consultant, F&B
The seasoned chef, who has worked at JW Marriott and Sheraton, recalls a reddish gold mango he had the opportunity of sampling during his stint in Bengal, years ago. “It’s called Lakshmanbhog and grows in the Malda district of Bengal,” he shares, and explains that it is firm and has a texture that’s smooth and non fibrous. “It is extremely fragrant and sweet. The best way to eat it is as it is. Cooking or baking it doesn’t allow you to savour the rich flavours,” he tells us.
Seemanta Baruah, The Bier Library
Chef Seemanta Baruah loves to play around with flavours from the east and northeast of India and blend it with global cuisine. His taste in mangoes is similar as well. “The 50-plus local varieties of mango that
are grown in the Brahmaputra valley region include Ghila, Bogi, Jurkota Mitha, Jurkata Gulapiya, Ghuroniya, Bhitar-Poka and many, many more,” he tells us. A popular dish from Assam that he loves and recommends is Tenga Aamor Daail that translates to raw mango lentil curry. “Raw chunks of Seujiya mango are simmered and used as a souring agent. The dish resembles south Indian sambar in many ways. Another seasonal dish is smoked mango relish, Pura Aamor Chutney, that is found in most of the Assamese kitchens and is made with mati-mitha aam, due to its earthy notes,” he adds.
Mako Ravindran, co-founder, Chefs-à-Porter
The noted chef, who is the name behind popular Asian restaurants like Harima and 1Q1, shares that this season his favourite has been the Imam Pasand mango. “It has a complexity of flavour that is so delicious, and the amount of flesh on it gives you more bang for your buck. It’s the only fruit I’ve been eating all season, apart from Alphonso, which I buy only if I can’t find Imam Pasand,” he reveals, adding, “I like to eat it straight up because I prefer not to dilute its flavours. But I do think it will taste great in spicy salsa, as it will offer intense sweetness to balance the chilli heat.”
Sombir Choudhary, culinary consultant, Raahi Neo Bar and Kitchen
Chef Sombir is known for his experimental take on Indian cuisine from different regions. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he tried creating a Mango Kalakand earlier this year with his most favourite variety of mango, the Himam Pasand (also known as Imam Pasand). “The fruit that most of us relate to emotionally is the mighty mango,” says the chef, adding, “Personally, I prefer the lesser known and hard to get Himam Pasand — a mango variety exclusively grown in Andhra Pradesh and Trichy. The beauty of this mango is its size. And if you think the seed adds to the weight, you will be surprised to discover that the seed is really small, so there’s more flesh for you to devour. The mango is less fibrous, creamy and every bite is a dream.”