It is mango season! At least it is on the Subcontinent, which means that our grocery shelves are lined with a plentitude of choices for these fleshy, delectable fruits. Though thick-skinned varieties of mangoes are generally available year-round, the majority of Indian and Pakistani mangoes have a delicate skin and a short shelf life. Varieties to look out for now include the perfumey Alphonso, the green-skinned Chausan, and the tiny Kesar, and the sweet-tart Badami. Mangoes are ripe when they gently give at their stem end, color isn’t a reliable indication of ripeness because some varieties remain green. They should be kept at room temperature, rather than chilled, to maximize their flavor.
When experimenting with mangoes, you may find that you’ve cut one too early, or have a variety you’re less fond of, or that you’ve let a few get overripe sitting on the counter.
Rather than tossing them in the bin, I chop up the mangoes, puree them with a bit of sugar, fresh mint, a chili and some lime juice and then pour the mixture into ice trays. When it’s time for sundowners, all you have to do is pop out a few of the cubes, pour on some soda water, sparkling wine or ginger ale for a drink that instantly make you feel as if you’re on holiday.
- 2 overripe, underripe, or in any way less than ideal mangoes
- 2 tablespoons of sugar (adjust for taste)
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 small bunch of fresh mint
- 1 Red chili, de-seeded
Puree all ingredients in a blender. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. For serving, pop out 4 cubes and top with soda water, sparkling wine, or ginger ale.