Raw mango: A tangy twist to curries

A few slices of raw mango can bring a tangy surprise to coconut based gravies in both veg and fish curries. The sourness increases the next day, if you happen to have leftovers; which is a good thing. And people sometimes let the dish sit for a night in the fridge so as to enhance the sour kick.

Yellow cucumber and raw mango in coconut gravy
Yellow cucumber and raw mango in coconut gravy

Yellow cucumber (sambar vellarikka) is a common vegetable found in the local grocery shops. It’s relatively cheap, easy to prep and cook and is often used as a vegetable to make a coconut based gravy to go with rice. But when cooked on it’s own, it’s a bit insipid, not very inspiring. Though meek in flavour, it has the ability to bond peacefully with other vegetables and imbibe the favours of the gravy. It is most often used as one of the vegetables that goes into the popular south Indian sambar; it cooks fast and absorbs the tangy spicy flavours of the sambar.

Yellow cucumber (sambar vellarikka)
Yellow cucumber (sambar vellarikka)

Yellow cucumber and raw mango coconut curry

Here we are using the yellow cucumber with raw mango in a coconut based gravy to make a simple curry to go with rice. Coconut based gravies and rice are a winning combo and here the raw mango lends a tangy sourness to the dish while the coarsely ground coconut gives it richness.

[1] The yellow cucumber (half in the above picture) has been peeled, seeds removed and cubed. Here I have used only half a raw mango, peeled and sliced. Add two green chilies slit across.

Peeled and diced yellow cucumber and raw mango slices
Peeled and diced yellow cucumber and raw mango slices

[2] Cook the trio adding a little water adding salt, turmeric powder and Kashmiri red chilli powder. This is not a spicy curry, the green chilies provide the heat (If you want it to be more spicy, you can add a bit of normal red chilli powder into the mix).

The Kashmiri red chilli powder brings on the bright golden yellow colour for the gravy, The vegetables cook fast, hence only a little water is required; too much water will make the gravy runny.

Yellow cucumber, raw mango, green chillies in water with salt, turmeric powder and Kashimiri red chilli powder
Yellow cucumber, raw mango, green chillies in water with salt, turmeric powder and Kashimiri red chilli powder

[3] Grind together grated coconut and jeera(cumin) seeds into a coarse paste and add it to the cooked vegetables in the pot. Check seasoning, add salt if needed. Let it simmer and then switch off the flame. (We don’t have to use onion here for the gravy, in fact no onion, ginger and garlic is used.)

Coarsely ground coconut and cumun added to the vegetables
Coarsely ground coconut and cumun added to the vegetables

[4] The last step is tempering the gravy.

For tempering - hot oil, mustard seeds, sliced shallots, curry leaves and dried red chillies
For tempering – hot oil, mustard seeds, sliced shallots, curry leaves and dried red chillies

Heat oil in another small pan, add mustard seeds, wait till it splutters; then add curry leaves, dry red chillies and sliced shallots; sauté and pour this mixture on the coconut gravy in the pot. Close the lid for a few minutes to lock in the flavours.

The dry red chillies used here are the gundu (meaning small round fat) red chillies, because I happen to get only these in the shop amidst the lockdown; the usual long red ones were out of stock. But they will do.

Serve hot with rice and enjoy the rich gravy with a hint of sourness.

Yellow cucumber and raw mango coconut curry
Yellow cucumber and raw mango coconut curry

🥥🥥🥥

Raw mango and dry fish coconut curry is a celebrated combo. But here I have used prawns instead of dry fish. Tamarind has always been the source of sourness in the almost all the Kerala fish dishes except fish molee, which uses a tsp of vinegar. In this dish, we replace the tamarind with raw mango.

Raw mango and prawns coconut curry with rice and pappadam
Raw mango and prawns coconut curry with rice and pappadam

Raw mango and prawns coconut curry 

[1] The prawns have been shelled and deveined🍤.

Raw mango, peeled and sliced
Raw mango, peeled and sliced

Place the prawns and raw mango slices in a chatti (the clay pot for cooking fish), adding water, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and Kashmiri red chilli powder. 

[2] Also add green chillies slit, finely sliced onion, ginger and garlic and a few curry leaves. Close with a lid and let it cook.

Raw mango and prawns before adding the ground coconut paste
Raw mango and prawns before adding the ground coconut paste

[3] When the prawns are cooked, add the coarsely ground grated coconut mixed with a little water. Let it simmer and the gravy thicken.

[4] The last step is tempering. As usual, heat oil in another pan, add mustard seeds, wait till it splutters; then add curry leaves, dry red chillies and sliced shallots; sauté and pour this mixture on the coconut gravy in the pot. Close the lid for a few minutes to lock in the flavours.

Enjoy the curry with rice😋.

Raw mango and prawns coconut curry
Raw mango and prawns coconut curry

When you spy raw mango in the grocery store and wonder how to cook them, think of the above curries and try them out !!

Till next post, take care !!

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