ASIAN FOOD

How to preserve mangoes beyond the summer season

“How many have you eaten today?” is the first refrain for mango lovers around the country. They wait in anticipation all year, for the fruit to arrive, and when it does, show their love for it in multiple ways. Eat it with ice cream, custard or with curd rice, as is done in some homes. Or relish it on its own, as a fruit chopped and chilled. The combinations for mangoes are a dime a dozen, but only for as long as it is in season.

When the mango season is over, what can one do?

As it turns out, one can do a lot, especially when you need mango purée to make your speciality mousse, or for your secret cheesecake recipe. The first step to follow while freezing mangoes, always, is to wash and wipe them without peeling.

Vishnupriya Bhandaram has blended some aamras

Tips and tricks:

Frozen whole: If one does not really care for the looks, then mangoes with the peel can be shoved into the freezer in a ziplock bag. It will lose outer appeal and take up a lot of space. This can be done if you are freezing one or two mangoes only.

Frozen raw: A lot of people use raw mangoes as a souring agent in their curries while cooking or for desserts. The best way to freeze raw mangoes is to cut them into slices after peeling and let them sit on a tray covered with a cloth or parchment paper to soak the extra moisture.

When you do this, make sure that the pieces either overlap or touch each other. After about 20 to 30 minutes have passed, place the tray/plate in the freezer. Let them chill for two or three hours. After they have chilled completely, gather the pieces and store in a ziplock bag or airtight box.

Mango cubes: Cut them into cubes of required size. Spread them on a tray such that the cubes do not stick to each other. Place the tray in the freezer and freeze for 3-4 hours. Once frozen, gather them all and gently place frozen mango cubes in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer.

All-time purée: For the purée, take firm yet ripe mangoes. Peel and chop them, blitz them in a food processor with sugar. Let it cool at room temperature, then transfer to airtight containers. Sugar acts as a preservative and allows you to scoop out the required portion once it is frozen.

Pro tip: When storing mango purée, add two or three tablespoons of sugar per mango.

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