Friday, November 13, 2009

Mango-ginger? What's that?

by Janaki Krishnan

Yesterday, my daughter's maid rang me up.

"Amma" she said, "Deepa tayi has bought something that looks like ginger. But she has asked me to turn into a pickle. What
shall I do? It's a little like ginger, a little like tumeric."

"Ah, it must be Manga inji (mango-ginger)," I said.

Pale coloured mango-ginger in the foreground. To its left is raw turmeric, yellow-orange in colour. To the right is regular ginger.

Mango-ginger, a member of the ginger family, is closely related to turmeric. It looks like ginger - knobbly on the outside, pale yellow on the inside. It combines the zing of ginger and the coolness of sweet, sour, raw mango. Aside from this, the mango-ginger's got nothing much to do with an actual mango.

So I told the maid, "To make the pickle, cut it into small pieces, add salt, red chilli powder. You can also add a little bit of lemon juice if you like. It's delicious, and can be had with curd rice. Wait and see, Deepa will eat twice the amount of curd rice that she usually does!"

The pickle after it was made. Unlike other pickles which require to be stored or put away for a while, this one can be eaten immediately after preparation.

Mango ginger can also be used to make a chutney along with urad dal (black gram or black lentil), red chillies, hing (asafoetida), grated coconut and a bit of jaggery. This chutney is eaten with dosas, idlies and even rice.
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The Gujarati word for mango-ginger is "amba harad". My Gujarati neighbour cuts it into small bits, adds salt and lemon to make a simple pickle to be eaten with chapatti. Sometimes, she also adds slices of raw turmeric to this pickle. A Parsi friend cuts it into thin strips and uses it in salad. Another lady we know dices it into little cubes, along with similarly diced cubes of carrot and cucumber. She adds coriander, lemon and a little salt to make a fresh and delicious salad.
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Mango-ginger has excellent medicinal properties and finds extensive use in the indigenous system of medicine. It is an appetizer, aphrodisiac, laxative and an antipyretic as it cools down the body in case of a fever. It is effecive against bronchitis, asthma, hiccough and inflammation due to injures.
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It's too bad that this spice is relatively unheard of. When you get a chance, please try some of the pickle... there's hardly anyone I know who doesn't like it!

With inputs and edits by Aishwarya

18 comments:

Sunil said...

Very Interesting.....

Aishwarya said...

Thanks!

Super Babe said...

Thank you for this! Can't wait to try and find some mango-ginger! And thank you for allowing me to learn that turmeric is "like" ginger! I had wondered where it came from!

ssstoryteller said...

Naaku oorarthu...hahah
I love manga Inji, and esp. the one my mom makes, before that my grandmom....
yum yum...

Roopa said...

Its the best. Absolutely mouth watering ... I want it now!

Roopa said...

The best pickle ever..I want it now!

Pramod said...

It may even be one level better than gooseberry pickle - can't make up my mind :)

The Girl from Lokhandwala said...

This is a really good idea. Must try it sometime.

Anonymous said...

Hello

Mangai ingi is also eaten often with kuru molagu (raw green pepper) , it is a popular combination in kerala.

thnx
-Aarthi

Deepa said...

oh, I love it a lot. and also manathakali and sundai soaked in curds !! waiting for the time when US markets would carry it.

Blogeswari said...

Looks yummy. Recipe please!

btw is that pic from one of the Matunga roadside stores?

Deepa Krishnan said...

The photo is from the spice market near Masjid Bunder, but yesterday I was in Matunga and saw it there as well.

anbohs said...

I waited for this one. I like to mix equal amounts of manga inji with haldi add sliced green chilli, salt and lime. Is there any info about this being unsuitable for arthritis and similar ailments?

Anonymous said...

Good morning from Sydney Australia. I just stumbled on you blog and love it.
My husband and I have visited India many times in the past 15 years. We know Mumbai but I feel only superficially (at a tourist level) and would love to have your advice on the best way to do a more in depth tour such as Historical Jewish, Parsi etc. My husband's background is Italian Catholic mine is Jewish Austrian/Philippino.
We will be in Mumbai from 222nd Dec.

Aadil said...

Would love to try out the pickle. I know Amba Halad which has a lot of medicinally curative properties but did not know it as manga-inji.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I was wondering what to do with the Mango Ginger that I harvested!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I was wondering what to do with the Mango Ginger that I harvested!

Anonymous said...

I have to do experiment BT m nt getting the sample for the same