SEEMA Cooks: Moreish Mango Curry, Indian Style

mango curry
Image courtesy of Bruna Branco via Unsplash

Ripe mangoes, flush with flavor and aroma, are succulent and sweet! It’s no wonder chefs the world over often add it to their culinary masterpieces! Enter mango curry, a lovely meal that incorporates this sweet fruit with a tangy, spicy chicken curry. To counteract the mango’s richness, mango curry combines ripe mangoes, coconut milk, ginger, curry powder, cumin, and vinegar. And the whole thing works around boneless chicken pieces simmering in a sauce for a few minutes until they’re barely cooked through. If you’re curious about mango curry’s history, why it’s so good, and how to prepare it at home, this guide is for you!

The Origin of Mango Curry

This dish, which comes from the Kerala state of India, uses ripe mango for flavor, yogurt for tartness, shredded coconut for consistency, and mustard seeds and chillies for spiciness and added taste. It’s the ideal balance of sweet and savory.

The Benefits of Mangoes

Health.com mentions the following benefits to consuming mangoes:

To maintain eye health

You may improve your eyesight by eating mangoes, which contain antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. In addition to increasing visual range, reducing glare pain, improving contrast, and speeding up eye recovery time after exposure to bright lights, these two naturally occurring chemicals have been demonstrated to preserve the retina and lens. Aside from preventing UV damage to the eyes, the pair also fights or delays cataracts and vision problems.

They may help with constipation

Eating mango was shown to be more beneficial than consuming a similar quantity of isolated fiber in a research on persons with persistent constipation. For people with inflammatory bowel disease or other digestive issues, mangoes, which are rich in FODMAPs (certain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in natural food), may cause gas and bloating.

They fight cancer

A dozen kind of polyphenols are found in the fruit. These antioxidants reduce cellular damage that may lead to degenerative disorders such as diabetes and cancer. In animal studies, antioxidants from mango were shown to inhibit breast cancer cell proliferation.

They improve complexion and hair condition

Mangoes contain a significant amount of vitamin A, which is necessary for the growth and maintenance of a variety of epithelial tissues, such as those found on the face, hair, and sebaceous glands. Helps maintain hair hydrated and healthy by attaching to hair follicles. Vitamin A insufficiency has been linked to hair loss in animal studies. Mangoes also contain around 75% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. Collagen, a form of connective tissue that makes skin supple and which helps prevent wrinkles and drooping is made possible by this vitamin. (no wonder we recommend this mango curry, but more on that in a bit!)

It boosts immunity

A mango provides a fifth of the daily need for vitamin A, which is vital for the immune system’s healthy functioning. A higher risk of infection has been linked to a lower intake of this vitamin.

It may help reduce blood sugar

A sugary snack might lower blood glucose levels. Health.com cited a study in which 20 overweight men and women were given a daily dose of 10 grams of pulverized, freeze-dried mango pulp (approximately half of a fresh mango) for three months. The subjects’ blood glucose levels were lower at the conclusion of the trial than at the beginning. It’s possible that bioactive components like antioxidants were a factor.

A Bit More on Curry

The following account inspired by Backroads.com reveals a bit on how curry has evolved.

Anywhere in the globe, you’re likely to have come across a curry dish on a restaurant menu or at a neighborhood table. For those unfamiliar with the term “curry,” here’s a brief definition: A little understanding about this delectable culinary heritage can enhance your travels and your taste buds as you start to enjoy everything that curry can provide. Help is at hand! There are several hypotheses as to how the term “curry” came to be used to describe so many distinct kinds of food from all over the globe. Most likely, the word came from the Tamil word “kari.” Also, it might come from “cook” in the French language. There’s little doubt that paneer butter masala or veggie korma is a meal that most people have had. Many Americans, however, are unaware of the origins of curry or the enormous diversity of curries that can be found across the globe.

Modern-day curries often feature some kind of sauce or gravy made from some combination of ground beef, cheese cubes, chopped veggies or lentils. In order to provide the dish’s well-known heat, curries often require curry leaves and chilies, which are pounded into a moist mixture in a mortar and pestle. There are a wide variety of spices that may be used to make curries, including cumin, ginger, borrie, garlic and chillies. Peppers were not originally used in Indian curries since they were not indigenous to the area. It wasn’t widely used in Indian cuisine until Portuguese spice dealers began bringing chili seedlings from Mexico to Asia. A more portable, powdered form of curry was developed by Indian traders in the eighteenth century and sold to the British, who then brought it back into European cuisine.

As well as being delicious, curry meals are a powerful emblem of cultural history and regional identity in South Asia, where they are most prevalent. Today, many of the complex spice combinations in cuisines throughout the globe can be traced back to early European merchants who were fascinated by the wide variety of spices available in India and found it to be extremely profitable. India, Thailand and Sri Lanka are just a few Asian nations that have their own distinct culinary traditions.

Moreover, the cuisines of India’s many states and regions have their own distinctive specialties. While seafood and coconut milk are easily accessible in the coastal regions of southern India, northern Indian recipes contain distinct combinations of spices, meats, vegetables, and fruits that are cultivated locally, as well as religious influences. It’s possible to find hundreds of distinct meals, each with its unique origin tale. It’s the greatest approach to discover these tales and better comprehend the roots of a cuisine to try something new!

There’s nothing quite like Indian curry prepared in India, even though it’s available practically everywhere. Please take advantage of the country’s cuisine if the opportunity arises; you will not regret it. Try something new. Your taste senses will thank you for it. Lastly, if I had any words of wisdom for you as you go on your culinary expedition into the realm of curries, it would be to bring along a few pals. It’s better to purchase “home-style” and receive one of each item on the menu. Try as many varieties of curries as your stomach will allow, and eat your curry “native style” by holding it in your hand, since many people feel this enhances the flavor even more. And now, back to our mango curry!

The Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 -3 mangoes
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 pounds deboned chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • Cilantro as a topping
  • Rice to serve the mango curry with
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (preferably the yellow variation)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

METHOD

  1. Using a medium-sized sauté pan, heat until it crackles. Add onions and bell peppers and simmer for six minutes, until tender.
  2. Cook for 60 seconds after adding the garlic and ginger.
  3. Sauté for a couple extra minutes before adding the curry and cumin.
  4. Make sure you don’t overcook your food by adding extra oil to the pot if you see anything sticking.
  5. Throw in the vinegar, coconut milk, and a mango to the mixture and mix well.
  6. Toss the diced mango with the vinegar, coconut milk, and some salt into the pan.
  7. Cook for approximately 16 minutes on low heat with occasional stirring, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon
  8. Puree the gravy in a food processor.
  9. Let it cool down a little before removing it from the heat source.
  10. Add the gravy to a processor and puree it up.
  11. Pulse the sauce until it is completely smooth. Put the gravy back into the pan.
  12. Throw in the raisins and chicken bits, before mixing it all together.
  13. Bring the pan to a moderate heat and add the chicken and raisins if desired.
  14. Let it simmer for 11 minutes, then remove the lid.
  15. When cooking chicken, it should be done but not overcooked.
  16. To check, cut the biggest chunk open using a knife.
  17. Incorporate the rest of the mango into the dish.
  18. Whisk in the cream, if using, and the remaining diced mango.
  19. A further minute or two of cooking at a really low simmer, with the lid off will suffice.
  20. Note that cream may congeal if heated to a rolling boil.
  21. Season to taste.
  22. Vinegar may be used to counteract the sweetness of the dish if it’s too overpowering.
  23. Sugar may be added if the drink isn’t sugary enough.
  24. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  25. Present the mango curry over rice and sprinkle with coriander, if preferred.

Some Tips:

  • Squeezing a mango before purchasing it is the best way to tell whether it’s ripe or not. If you can compress it with your fingers, it’s getting ready to ripen. If you don’t plan on making this dish right away, consider mangoes that are a little stiffer, so when you press them, they yield only a bit.
  • At an ambient temperature, unripe mangoes will continue to mature. Refrigerate them after they’ve reached the desired level of maturity to prevent them from continuing to soften.

The mango curry got more mango on your mind? Maybe Mango Sauce Pasta might cheer you up!