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Simple ways to add raw mangoes to your daily summer diet

Come summers, fall in love with raw mangoes for the cooling properties, amazing taste and health benefits they lend to your food

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

Popularly known as ‘Kairi’ or ‘Kachcha Aam’ in India, the summer fruit- raw mango compliments the hot weather exquisitely with its tangy flavour. The vibrant green colour and sourly taste lend a refreshing hue, tempting tang, and enticing aroma to any recipe it is added to. According to Ayurveda, unripe mango is a powerhouse of cooling properties and is best used  in prevention and cure for heat strokes.

We all are aware of health benefits of raw mangoes but when we add a few more healthy ingredients to it, it not only boosts the taste of  food but also works wonders for many health issues. Raw mango can be grated, cut into wedges or chunks, boiled and blended, added to curries and vegetables, salads or simply made into a chutney. It can also be dried to make amchoor (tamarind).

Do not hesitate to bring it into your kitchen while its short season lasts. Besides the refreshing drink ‘Aam Panna’ which is a great home remedy for heat strokes, you can add raw mangoes in various day to day recipes which would make you fall in love with it.

Here are few dishes which use raw mangoes and offer a burst of flavours and health:

Raw mango sweet and sour chutney: This chutney is prepared by steaming raw mango pieces in its own juice. Seeds and spices, such as nigella seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander powder and turmeric powder added to this chutney make it more healthy and tasty. It is the perfect accompaniment for your summer meals and it is a typical side dish that can enhance the taste of any Indian meal. This chutney is beneficial for protecting us from scurvy, stomach related disorders and indigestion related issues during summer. It can even help from sun stroke.

Fresh coriander, mint and kairi spicy chutney: This green chutney is quite healthy. Being loaded with vitamin C, it immunes us from many diseases. It helps combat diarrhoea and dysentery and many other stomach problems. This yummy chutney can be relished with myriad of snacks, such as, pakoras, tikki chaats, cutlets, paneer tikka, vegetable kebabs and so on. It can also be served as a side dish with any meals and also goes well with Indian style sandwiches. Besides the amazing health benefits of kairi, this chutney contains the goodness of cumin seeds, asafoetida and green chillies.

Unripe mango rasam: The sourness of raw mangoes blends well with the sweetness of tomatoes and pungent flavour of ginger. The use of choicest unripe mangoes for preparing this rasam, gives it a nice, tangy flavour which tamarind cannot replace. Rasam powder and black pepper powder are added to this rasam for a flavourful spicy kick. You can add few mint leaves after turning off flame to add some more inviting flavour. This rasam turns out to be very refreshing and satisfying. Undoubtedly, it is packed with the healthiness of kairi.

Raw mango salad: To prepare this salad, the pulp of raw mangoes should be towards yellowish. This salad is a combination of spring onions, tomatoes, cabbage, bean sprouts, pineapple, pomegranate, lots of cottage cheese cubes and grated flesh of raw mango. Freshly chopped green chillies, black salt, rock salt and honey are the taste boosters. Sprinkle roasted peanuts, basil and toasted thin slices of coconut over the top. Put together all the ingredients, toss and eat fresh. This salad displays mixture of textures and contains taste buds awakening flavours. It is low in calories and fats and as a bonus, it is very healthy and filling. It can be eaten as a snack or meal too.

Kachche aam ka meetha lachcha: Sweet and spicy raw mango lachcha is a pickle recipe that is a great variation to the authentic mango pickle. Spices like black salt, black pepper powder and cumin seed powder make it a healthier pickle option with super delicious taste. Addition of jaggery is a total win-win for both the facets. This pickle has its own distinct flavour and can be eaten immediately after its preparation. You can serve this zingy-spicy and sweet mango preparation as a yummy accompaniment with your meals. You can simply serve it chapatti, paratha and poori.

While buying unripe mangoes, make sure that they are not soggy around the stems and give off their distinct tart smell. Store them in refrigerator and they will stay fresh for a week to 10 days.

So kick start your summer food recipes using this wonderful real ingredient. It is the season of mangoes and you get unripe mangoes in plenty. Do not forget to make these simple kairi food preparations. Savour them soon!