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Mango has as many names as is its mood. Badami, the Karnataka Alphonso, Chausa from North India, Dasheri from Uttar Pradesh, Kesar from Gujarat, Langra a delicacy in UP, Raspuri, Totapuri and the list can be endless. For Bengalis, Himsagar cannot be even mentioned in the same rank as others. It is a reflection of self-proclaimed Bengali supremacy just like in a lot of other things. In Kolkata, a quintessential Bengali aam admi Bhadralok is as finicky about his phish as about his Aam. Smell, shape, colour and pedigree, all checkboxes have to be tick marked before the final purchase happens. Have one as a whole or cut it into slices, use the pulp in cocktail or summer cooler or the thin slices in salads and not to forget the chutney as a dessert, the regal approach with multi-utility makes mango league apart. It is not only the ripe mango but the raw mango also finds its place as a favoured souring agent.
Come summers, Kolkata restaurants are incorporating mangoes in their menus in a various innovative way.
Crispy Lamb with Raw Mango - The lamb is lightly fried to attain a crispy texture, tossed with raw mango and then sprinkled with tasty toasted sesame seeds. It is placed on a bed of julienned salad which has raw mangoes. Use of raw mango in the salad is very common in South East Asian dishes and this is a testimony to that.
Cost - INR 575
Steamed Spicy Bekti with Mango and Mustard Sauce - This is a take on a Bengali favourite Shorshe Bhetki where the Bekti fish is marinated, steamed and garnished with kasundi or mustard, mango puree and red chillies.
Cost - INR 850
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It is Aam Party Season here. It may sound to have a distinct connection with ongoing elections but it is a celebration of mangoes here. Start with Nachos Mango, the classic nachos get topped with ripe mango and bhut jholakia cream. One can have chicken added to this on order. There is Sailor Mango, inspired from a popular dish down south Meen Kuzhambhu, the fish is steamed with spicy white kuzhambhu and mango salsa is added at the end. Two wonderful desserts to end the meal. Sweet Pie Mango is an almond tart filled with caramelised mango cooked with rum, topped with a vanilla and mango cream and there is Mango Party Starter. Mango Party Starter is a Mango - almond chikki ice cream sandwich with vanilla cake, with rose syrup soaked sev topped with passion fruit and mango gel.
Cost - Small plates is INR 230 plus taxes and this festival is on from 1st May till 31st May 2019
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The second season of Summer for this contemporary food with local produce restaurant, they have plenty of Mango dishes on the offering. If you are a mango maniac, then you can have an entire mango meal based on the dishes here.
You can start with Lentil Crepe, Grilled Veggies and Feta Wrap with mango Salsa Sauce or Mango and Micro Greens Salad. There is a Mango, Avocado and Cream Cheese Tartine and Mango Brie and Arugula Quesadilla. For the mains, there is Raw papaya, Pumpkin, Okra and Green Mango Curry with Coconut Rice and Chingri, Okra and Green Mango Curry with Coconut Rice.
In the desserts, there is Mango Mousse, Plum and Blueberry Coulis, Japanese Sponge Cake with Mango Sorbet and Ice Cream.
Cost - Avg price of a dish - INR 450 and the non-veg one is priced at INR 750
Mango Paka Aamer Ghol
Summer also brings with it the irresistible Paka Aamer Ghol. Made with ripe mango, yoghurt, sugar syrup with cardamom syrup, it is a thirst quencher. Kochi Aam Diye Mojito or Mojito with Raw Mango is another refreshing drink. There is also Mango Panna Cotta which is made with fresh mango along with condensed milk and icing sugar and Frozen Mango Salad.
Cost - Avg cost is between INR 199 to INR 249
Let us end this with a sweet dessert and check out the Mango Tart which is available at JW Marriott. Vanilla Ice cream with sliced mangoes is that perfect ending note of any meal or delightful companion with a cup of Darjeeling Tea.
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.