Monday, 21 February 2011

Food addiction alert

Mangoes originated in South east Asia about 4,000 years ago, and India is still the major producer, growing more mangoes than all other fruits combined. In the 10th century, Persian sailors are said to have taken the mango to East Africa and, some 600 years later, travelers from Portugal took them to West Africa and South America.It seems nowadays that Portuguese travellers are  bringing back the dried incarnation of this fruit from the Americas I was recently given a bag of fair trade chilli spiced mango. It is an acquired taste, but once that taste has been acquired it is positively addictive, so rather than snacking on it I  put it to the test in a fantastic sounding chutney recipe from Hugh Fearnley - Whittingstall. Please, beg borrow or steal a packet of this addictive eating sensation if you possibly can.These little gems have so much going on that some people can't handle it. They are hot, sweet, sour, and salty. If you're a fan of Korean or Thai food you'll probably love them. you'll either love them or hate them.The mango is sweet and chewy but the twist is, is that is dusted with a chili powder mixture. This product may be too hot for some but if you enjoy sweet and spicy this is a nice alternative.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall´s dried mango chutney   
I make a Goan style mango chutney using fresh mango. This interpretation however is delicious and some other interesting differences are in the addition of onions, the orange zest and juice. There are further additions in the extra spices he uses- Ginger, black pepper, coriander and cumin. Because I was using chilli spiced mango I adjusted the chilli content in the recipe.
Makes five 240ml jars.


500g dried mango slices 
(roughly chopped, if on the large side)
4 onions, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
250g raisins
350g light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp mustard seeds
2 small red chillies, halved, 

membranes removed, finely diced
500ml cider vinegar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 small orange
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin



Put the mango slices in a bowl, pour over 1.5 litres of water, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Tip the mangoes and their soaking water into a large, stainless-steel saucepan or preserving pan. Add all the other ingredients and, over a low heat, stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring up to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour and a half. You should stir the mixture frequently, particularly towards the end of the cooking time, to ensure it doesn't stick – it's done when a spoon drawn through the centre of the chutney leaves a clear line for a second or two before the chutney comes back together.
Pour into hot, sterilised jars and seal with vinegar-proof lids. Store in a cool, dry place and leave to mature for eight weeks before using. Use within two years.

In researching this post I stumbled across this interesting sounding recipe from Portuguese Mozambique.

Peixe assado com manga seca (baked fish with dried mango slices)

This recipe can be prepared with either fresh or dried fish. Although the dish has long been a part of traditional Mozambican cuisine, the mango was introduced to Africa from India. The dried mango slices can be found in many health food stores.

2 pounds fresh or dried fish fillets
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 large onions, chopped
2 teaspoons crushed hot red peppers
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces dried mango slices

Heat oven to 350°F.
Butter a 2-quart casserole and layer the fish fillets on the bottom. Top with the chopped tomatoes, onions, red peppers, salt, and dried mango. Add 1 cup water, cover, and bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with white rice, black beans, collard greens, or Rice with Split Peas.

Source : Cuisines of Portuguese Encounters : Recipes from Portugal, Madeira/Azores, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Brazil, Malacca, East Timor, and Macao / Cherie Y. Hamilton 
 This book alas is now out of print and commanding a high price second hand on Amazon.

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