Although the season for Alphonso mangoes is cruelly fleeting, there is hope for those of us who believe true happiness is a turmeric-yellow mouth and a trickle of mango juice down the forearm. The canned purée – available in most Asian grocers and the World Food aisle of some supermarkets – captures the sunny sweetness of the fresh mango, and is conveniently suited to swirling through thick Greek yogurt for luscious ice that tastes of tropical summers. A hint of cardamom and a spritz of lime enhance the musky Alphonso aroma, but you can omit the cardamom if you’re not a fan.
What Ingredient You Need
This recipe makes 1.5 liters of sorbet, but it’s easily halved if you don’t have space in your freezer. You can also buy 400g cans of Alphonso mango pulp, so use this if halving the recipe.
Makes 1.5 liters
145g caster sugar
seeds from 6 cardamom pods, finely ground
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus extra juice to taste
850g can of Alphonso mango pulp
500ml thick, full-fat plain or Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon salt
Put the sugar, cardamom, and lime zest in a large bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the sugar is fragrant and starting to moisten and turn light green.
Add the mango pulp, yogurt, lime juice, and salt. Whisk everything together and taste – remember, it will taste slightly too sweet, but freezing dulls flavor, so err on the side of slightly over-sweetened. However, add a little more lime juice if you want it tangier.
Place the mixture in the fridge for at least 4 hours, before churning in an ice-cream machine until thick and set. You may need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your ice-cream maker. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. Eat within 1 month.
Chickpea, spinach & mango curry
This curry delivers a double whammy of mango – good news for those who are as mad about this luscious botanical as I am. As well as using the fresh fruit, it also contains, a powder made from sun-dried, unripe mangoes that is used predominantly in Indian cooking to deliver a hit of acidity. The earthy chickpeas and iron-rich spinach are balanced perfectly by a thick, fragrant sauce, and chunks of fresh mango deliver a welcome burst of sweetness. It’s also a very good, simple curry for a weeknight or for vegetarian or vegan guests. If you can, make this with Alphonso or Pakistani honey mangoes in late spring or early summer.
Also You Need
1 tablespoon grapeseed or coconut oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cardamom pods, bruised using a heavy knife or pestle
2 cinnamon sticks (each about 8cm)
4 plum tomatoes, roughly diced, or 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
½ teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste if necessary
3 tablespoons (dried mango powder)
3 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon light brown soft sugar
2 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained
500ml hot vegetable stock or water
2 large handfuls of coriander, finely chopped
100g baby spinach leaves
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, stoned, and cut into 1.5cm dice
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over medium heat and sauté the onion for about 10–15 minutes, until softened and golden. Add the cumin, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks and cook for 1 minute or so, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt, ground coriander, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, and sugar. Part-cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10–15 minutes on medium-low heat, until the tomatoes have softened and thickened.
Add the chickpeas, stock or water, and half the coriander. Cook over medium heat, covered, for 25 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. If too runny, cook uncovered for a few minutes more. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute or so, until it wilts into the sauce. Season the sauce to taste – you may need more salt if you used water as opposed to vegetable stock. Stir in the mango, and serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining coriander and with steamed basmati rice.
with tofu, greens & toasted cashews
During a hair-raising trip through the stunning scenery of Vietnam on the back of a motorbike several years ago, we stopped for lunch at an unassuming little hut by the sea. It was there that I began a love affair with stir-fried pineapple. The Vietnamese often incorporate it in light seafood dishes, but it also works beautifully with an assertive blend of ginger, chili, and brown sugar. Substitute the fish sauce with soy sauce for a wonderful vegetarian or vegan main course.
Wait Is More Ingerdients
70g cashew nuts
2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
250g firm tofu, cut into 2cm cubes
½ pineapple, peeled, cored and flesh cut into 2cm chunks
a couple of large handfuls of baby spinach leaves or shredded kale
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded if you prefer less heat)
3cm piece of ginger root, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or 1 tablespoon soy sauce if you’re vegetarian)
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light muscovado, palm or coconut sugar
juice of ½ lime, plus lime wedges to serve
a small bunch of Thai basil or basil leaves picked, or 20g roughly chopped coriander leaves
Heat a large wok or frying pan over medium-high heat and toast the cashews in the dry pan until golden – about 5 minutes. Toss them regularly and watch them like a hawk so they don’t burn. Set aside.
Add half the oil to the pan and sauté the tofu cubes over medium-high heat for about 5–10 minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan. Sauté the pineapple over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5–10 minutes, until golden and sticky. You may need to turn up the heat a little if the pineapple looks like it is steaming rather than browning. Add the greens and cook for a further 1 minute, until they are softened. Lower the heat slightly and add the garlic, chili, and ginger. Cook everything, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning, for 2–3 minutes, until fragrant. Return the tofu to the pan.
Mix together the fish sauce (or extra soy sauce if making a vegetarian or vegan version), soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl or jug. Add the mixture to the pan and let it bubble and coat everything, stirring for a couple of minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cook for another 30 seconds. Tip in the cashews and stir well. Remove from the heat.
Serve the stir-fry with the basil or coriander scattered over, and extra lime wedges alongside. Serve with some steamed jasmine rice or boiled rice noodles.