The food available during the season decides the menu for most festivals in Indian homes. For us summer is the mango season, the market is flooded with lots of varieties of mangoes. The fruit starts appearing first in the market as the suns intensity increases from end of February to early March. March month sees the Badam variety of mango starting to appear on the fruit stalls. The taste of the mangoes is best as the summer heat peaks up. In today’s times many fruit sellers resort to methods to quickly ripen the fruits, but that alters the taste. With the market flooded with mangoes, the different dishes or recipes of mangoes dominate the dining table menu :). The summer months also is time for school vacations, and it was the best time during my childhood to enjoy as many varieties of mangoes. Too much or over excess of mango eating results in the boils appearing overnight , but still one would not care as it was vacation time. Also we had many local varieties of the fruit available brought directly from the farms, something that is greatly missed now as an adult, something that my kids have never even got to taste, as we reside out and here the supermarkets have fruits supply coming from many countries. Still I try to make the dishes with whichever variety of mango is available in this region.
Aamras is the sweet dish made up of ripe mangoes. It is just mango pulp, sugar and little milk or water added to get a thinner consistency. It is part of the meals as a sweet dish. When the aamras is made, then the kurudi or papad are also deep fried to eat along with the Aamras. Also, boiled homemade Sevai or Vermicelli is eaten along with the Aamras. This becomes a part of the whole vegetarian meal or thali. It is a popular and delicious sweet dish. The many different varieties of mangoes can be used to make Aamras. The best taste would be from Alphonso variety of mangoes, but I equally prefer the Junagad Kesar variety of mango that I used to buy when I was residing in Gujarat, India. The Kesar mango that we get is Gujarat is my personal favorite.
Currently I reside in the UAE, and the supermarket or vegetable vendors have mangoes from many countries being sold here. As I visited my home country in the month of May I was able to relish the fresh mango produce of Alphonso mangoes and also the Aamras. This weekend I got the Chaunsa variety of mango, a produce of Pakistan from the supermarket, and decided to make the Aamras for this post. The taste of this Aamras is definitely different, but when Alphonso mangoes are not around then this or whichever variety is available would do if one craves for the Aamras, right?! 🙂
AAMRAS & KURUDI PAPAD
Ripe Mangoes : 500 gms
Sugar: 25 gms
Milk: 100 gms
Wash and dry the ripened mangoes. Remove the skin using a sharp knife and cut the mango into small pieces and throw away the seed.
Take mixer pot and put the cut mango pulp and sugar into it and whisk the mixer on high speed so that we get a smooth paste. Add milk to it and get the thinner consistency as desired.
The kurudi papad is deep fried in oil and served with Aamras.
NOTE: The amount of sugar used depends upon the sweetness of the mangoes.
The Chaunsa mangoes that I have used were extremely sweet and I had to add very little quantity of sugar for the mango pulp/cubes used to make the Aamras. Do use the sugar quantity as needed depending on the mangoes used and also the sweetness preferred.
Any traditional Vegetarian Maharashtrian or Indian meal for that matter is served in a thali form , a big steel plate with all the dishes for the day served in small portions along with the sweets that form as the dessert and served to the guests. It consists of two to three types of vegetables, curry, pickles, chutneys, papads, roti, rice & dal with ghee, and the sweets. When you serve the Aamras with the Kurudi, the meal served becomes a feast, the guests too are happy. This was the way we ate our meals in childhood, but now mostly only on festival days or special days, as any regular day it is usually not so elaborate but simple and more of regular kind of food.
Nowadays one mostly prefers to make mango milk shakes or smoothies, but do give this dish a try and serve it as part of a vegetarian meal or thali meal and enjoy the different flavors in your meal.
Wishing you all a good day.