Mango is one the most popular and abundant tropical fruits in Mauritius. This sweet, luscious fruit is a favorite of many and is never refused when offered. It is cultivated mostly during the Mauritian summer season and has several uses- it can be consumed either raw, ripe or blended as a juice.
Mauritians almost always demand pickles when having their meal. There are several ways of making mango pickles. Some people prefer it grated, known as “ Kutcha” by the locals, or diced into small pieces and mixed with all the required spices known as “Achard”. Another style of pickled mangos is drying diced and salted mangoes in the sun, before being mixed with oil and other spices and then preserved in a pot for further use.
Kutcha -Pickled Grated Mango
Kutcha is very famous in our traditional Mauritian food. It is a kind of mango pickle where raw green mangoes are peeled and grated. It is then squeezed in a kitchen towel so as to remove all the excess water. Once it is dried, hot oil along with a mixture of ground red chili, garlic, turmeric powder and mustard seeds are added to the dried grated mango. Salt is then added and it is conserved in a jar. It is worth noting that the pickles should be refrigerated for longer use and that instead of grated mango, crushed small pieces can be used.
Achard - Pickled Mangoes
Pickled mango is the easiest way of conserving the mangoes. This can be done by simply cutting the mango into small pieces without peeling the skin off it (in this manner, the skin can also be consumed). Then, in a pan along with heated oil add mustard seeds, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Once the spices are well roasted in the oil, add the diced mangoes, stir well and then add it to the jar for it to be conserved for future use.
Dried Mango Pickles
Pickled mangos can also be done with dried mangoes. The procedure of roasting the spices as well as the mangoes will be the same. Mangoes should be diced, salted and dried (usually sundried). Once the mangoes are dried, it can be mixed with the spices and conserved in the jar. Alternatively, mangoes can be dried and salted before being simply mixed with chili powder and little bit of sugar, if you find it too bitter.
Refreshing Mango Juice
When the Mauritian summer kicks in, it can get very hot and there’s no better way to quench your thirst then with a refreshing tropical drink. It is very simple to make, so grab a blender, a few ice cubes, sugar, water and a couple of ripe mangoes. All you have to do is peel off the ripe mangoes and cut them into pieces. Then add water, the ice cubes, the diced mangoes including sugar, as per your preference, into the blender. Blend until you get a sweet, smooth drink and enjoy!
Confit- Spicy Mango Salad
A combination of raw mango and pineapple along with cucumbers mixed with salt, chili powder and vinegar is known as “confit” by most of the locals. It is one of the most popular street foods on Mauritian streets. It is a real feast to the mouth!
Mango can also be used to make fruit salads and be eaten along with your meal. It can either be served chilled and diced, consumed using a small stick or it can also be mixed with other exotic fruits. Sometimes diced mangoes are mixed with fresh cream or ice cream for extra flavour.