I was 25 years old the first time I tasted a mango. A Pakistani friend I worked with invited me home to experience his wife’s cooking. I watched transfixed as she pulled dough balls from a warming cupboard and rolled out fresh naan bread. She stirred boiling pots on the stove and folded samosas for our dining pleasure and I felt something stir in my soul. It was a longing to know how to do what she was doing. It was a long time before I satisfied that desire but the universe delivered the ability I sought with its usual panache – a loving Indian cooking mentor in Noorbanu Nimji, seven trips to India now and this new adventure with Pauli-Ann.
I had brought a massive sourdough chocolate cake that I had made to my friend’s home. At the end of the meal, his wife peeled perfectly ripe mangoes and placed them in a bowl in front of me. I cut the cake and dished ice cream for their family. They enjoyed my cake but I’m sure they were also being polite. It was not something they would ever crave.
For me, with the big bowl of sliced mango, it was an instant and indelible love affair since the first whiff of their sweet nectar floated up to meet me as I took my first bite. Not expecting it, their juiciness dribbled down my chin, and I sat there smiling broadly. You might imagine how happy my friends were to learn they had introduced me to my first taste of the world’s most consumed and beloved fruit.
Now, like so many of my Indian friends, I wait for mango season and enjoy the miracle of a tree that can take earth and turn it into this sweet delight. When I saw this recipe, I made it and served it with a side of coconut ice cream. It’s a fun new way to enjoy this favourite fruit and it is very easy to make. Enjoy.