oi, where did all the green mangoes go?

green mangos, yellow bowl

before i left on my little manila jaunt, we were at the height of green mango season--people were dumping bagfuls of these little greeny gems on my desk everyday, and i was like "hold on, cowboy!" i have a mountainful at home that are untouched, what am i supposed to do with all of these?! unfortunately, the fruit ignored my slothy slothiness and continued on their ripening path, so that by the time i was worked up enough to experiment with them, they were beyond ripe. sadly, the local variety of mango has a large pit and very little flesh, and what flesh is there is better somewhat unripe (the ripe fruit lacks the flavour of larger varieties we can get from hawaii, mexico, and the philippines).

anyway, now that i'm back, the green mango mountain has disappeared, and the fruitful bounty (bountiful fruit) has ceased. damn, skippy. i was all het up with a fistful of recipes ready to go.

green mango chutney

luckily, i did manage to scrounge up enough fruit to try two new things for me. one was a green mango chutney, based on a recipe from madhur jaffrey's "quick and easy indian cookery". green mangoes were combined with green chilis, fresh ginger, orange peel and a bunch o' spices to make a sweetish, spicy compote. as i rather like the colour of the chartreuse mango flesh, i tried not to use anything that would interfere with the colour, but i still wanted to add maximum flavour to this indian condiment. as i cut down the traditional cooking time considerably, the ginger still retained quite a bit of bite, as did the mango. i could (and did) eat spoonfuls of this without anything, but i can imagine it alongside my next indian meal, or even as an exotic condiment to a well roasted chicken.

grilled salmon with  green mango achara

i stuck a little closer to home for the second recipe and based it on a filipino pickled relish called achara. pretty much any vegetable can be made into achara, but probably the most popular traditional recipe uses green papaya. i went from that, and used shredded green mango, carrot and red sweet peppers, then brined them in a coconut palm vinegar sweetened with palm sugar, and spiced up with thinly sliced ginger, shallots, garlic, and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. it wasn't as good as some of my family's recipes (check out ate karen's ampalaya-kangkong creation), but as it was my first try, i was pleased. the green mango was a fine substitute for the papaya that still managed to hold on to its uniqueness in the spicy sour brine. next time i might make it slightly sweeter, but as a condiment to a simply grilled slab o' salmon, it provided a nice textural and flavour counterpoint to the tender, mellow fish. i will try this again, if those darned mangoes show up again....

green mango chutney

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1 to 1 1/2 cup water
zest from one orange
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 pounds green mangoes, peeled and cut into strips 1/4-inch thick and 2-3 inches long
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into slivers
1 green chili, cut into slivers
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

heat a saucepan over medium high heat. add the cumin, fennel seeds, and mustard seeds to the dry pan. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the ginger. cook for about a minute, then add the water, orange zest and turmeric. bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. add the mango, salt, sugar, ginger, chili, and cayenne. simmer for 15-20 minutes, uncovered, or until chutney has thickened, and the mango has become translucent.

green mango achara

1 pound of green mangoes, shredded to preference
a couple tablespoonfuls of rock salt
1 large carrot, shredded in equal size to the mango
1 red sweet pepper, cored, de-seeded and cut into slivers
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced as thinly as possible (use a mandoline if you dare)
2 large shallots, peeled and sliced as thinly as possible (again, use a mandoline if you aren't freaked out by one)
1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or slivered finely
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup coconut palm or cider vinegar

shred mangoes, then sprinkle the rock salt on them and combine. let sit for about a hour, then squeeze out most of the excess liquid from the grated mangoes. combine with the carrot and red sweet pepper; set aside.

place the garlic, shallots, ginger, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan. bring to a simmer on medium heat, and cook gently until the garlic and shallots have become translucent, and the sugar has dissolved. take off of heat and cool thoroughly.

once the liquid has cooled, add to the mango mix, and combine thoroughly. pack into a glass jar or dish and leave to marinate in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours before using.


Hi Santos - how green does a green mango have to be? I'm relatively new to mangoes, but it is of course something I have to buy in the grocery store and I'm pretty sure the only green ones I might find are those that are just a little underripe. Though, I suppose the Indian grocery might have them.

hi cathy! check your asian store for a variety that looks sort of like this one, and not the big hayden-type mangoes from mexico (although those should work, i don't see why not). the ones that are only a little underripe will work fine. otherwise, you'll want to get them when there's a little bit of give to the flesh when you press down--not a whole lot, but definitely not rock hard. if they are too hard, then they are too acidic and you'll get a nasty furry mouth feeling. colourwise, look for green fruit with the slightest red blush on it.

beautiful pictures, as usual.
i tried the scones recipe and it turned out great. i threw in some craisins to make them more appealing to my mom.

Hi Santos, I do remember making Achara for home economics but i don't remember what i did or how i did it - i just remembered taking the big jar to school and coming home with it empty! lol.

That's a good question. Since "civilization" has hit most of Oahu everyone asks that as many of the common mango trees have been cleared. Pickled mango is the popular recipe for those green mangos here. Chutney is great, too.

try making preserved mangoes next time. i've always loved the way the sugar-salt brine keep the green mangoes crunchy. =D


That green mango chutney looks so good right about now. I wonder what I could do with a few green mangos? hmmm, pickled mango with li hing mui? or just a few slices with some shoyu, vinegar and pepper. *sigh* I need to get out "the pole" now. =P

I'm hoping my manila mango tree will finally fruit this year. Any idea when they start blossoming?

hi acornbud! there are a row of houses next to the waimalu shopping center i always see when i go to get oxtail soup that have the biggest, lushest, mango trees dripping with fruit. gaaaaaaah! so tempting! that's pretty much the only street that still has a mango tree on almost every lot, but i don't dare try to take any fruit :P

kayenne, are preserved mangoes the same as pickled ones? we do that a lot, but it's not my favourite thing. i don't know what to eat it with, and i can't eat them alone.

reid, when we pickle our mangoes we usually add champoy/kiamoy/preserved plum with li hing mui, but it doesn't have a lot. maybe i'll try doing it hawaiian style next time. do you eat them just like that?

our tree leans at a 45 degree angle from typhoon winds, so i don't need a pole :P

jonny, manila mango trees usually don't blossom until 7 years, but if there's a trauma (usually typhoons, although maybe frost in your case), it might take a little longer. how old is your tree? once it starts blooming, there are usually two seasons a year--sometime around march (this is the end of the first season), and then later in the year around october. i don't know if that will hold true on the mainland.

man, that green mango achara is so delectable!

let's go to the aquarium! e-mail us offline for your availability.

someone from pampanga gave us about 10 kilos of mangoes...and we're just only three average sized earthlings to finish them. trying to beat time before all of them get over riped, i removed the pits, chopped the meat into chunks, added cream, milk and sugar and dump everything in the freezer. yeah! home made gelato! we finished all of them in just 2 days!!!!

Scrummy, love the look of that green mango chutney as well as the achara, will have to get my hands on some and give them a try now that I am in Singapore and mangoes are readily available and reasonable, unlike in London!

yummmm! i love green mango chutney. my mom used to make it when i was a kid, goan style (she's indian)

send some green mangoes this way please!!! here in the land of the rising sun it's rare and pricey to even find a ready to eat mango or dried mangoes. :((((

i love achar, my family used to make it really often (with no mangoes, just lots of vegetables).

try making mango pomelo (or mango sago) dessert and i'll really turn green with envy!

hi maria, will do!

tommytommytommytommy why you don't have diabetes, i'll never know. eat the gelato instead of chocos during your korean soaps!

vivi, how are you doing in sunny singapore. hope all is well!

kishko, i'd love to see a post about your mum's chutney sometime, i'll bet it's delicious.

tabehodai, no mangoes! sad. i will try to make mango pomelo soon.

Santos, I think my manila mango is about 1-2 years old. I guess you answered my question... I have a while to wait. ;-)

you might as well pull up a chair--you'll be there for awhile ;)

the common Indian word for pickle is 'achaar'! Coincidence?