Friday

Amba Murammba-- Mango Preserve.

I grew up practically eating Amba muramba or mango preserve. As a child I absolutely hated( Hate is a strong word, so will not use it again)  disliked my veggies. I grew up in Mumbai and my mom worked Full time adding more than 40 hours plus the commute to her weekly work schedule, so I am not amazed that eating veggies was not a battle she chose with her kids...although she insisted that we do eat our veggies..I have an awesome Mom in a way.. she let us have our share of Junk along with a good share of nutritious and fresh food. Even after  a long days hard work, she cooked FRESH each meal, something I still am struggling with.. I do cook everyday, but only in the evenings, I only cook my kids lunches in the Morning, I and Mr. Ash take leftovers for lunch, but I am still trying, maybe someday I will be an Awesome Mom too!!!!

Summers in India are from March to June and Mangoes are in season from April to May. A special type of mangoes are the BEST which come from a region in Konkan  in Western Maharashtra are Alphonso mangoes.
As per Wiki;


Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in western India. It is in season April through May and the fruit weigh between 150g and 300g each.

The mango is often referred to as the king of fruit. This is because of its taste, color and beauty. Mangoes are among the most popular fruits worldwide and are especially popular in South and Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Hawaii. Mangoes are a seasonal fruit and are available only during late spring and early summer.
Haapus is used to make sweets, candies and smoothies - Mango Milkshake, Mango Lassi (both smoothies), Aamba-Wadi (a somewhat chewy sweet), Aam-Ras (Mango pulp which is eaten with puris - an Indian Bread), Sakhar Amba (Marathi word for a home-made mango jelly/jam), Mango barfi (see Barfi).

Alphonso mangoes are also eaten either sliced, or pureed with hot poori's or Phuklas, or by making various preserves like amba poli, amba saathe or methiamba or amba muramba.


I am posting this simple yet divine recipe of Muramba just like my mom makes it. I have my mom with me this summer and although we did not get alphonso mangoes in NJ, she prepared this for my kids with the regular mangoes we get here, no harm done but the beauty of alphonso is not matched.. if you have ever ever tasted an alphonso mango, you will not like any other mango, rest all are SIMPLY ADJUSTMENTS you make with food and life.

You will need;

4 Cups Mango diced
2 cups sugar
1 Tsp Cardamom Powder-Optional
1Tsp Lemon Juice

In a wide bowl, take the diced mangoes and add sugar to it. Keep aside for an hour or so.. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the mango and sugar mixture, and one tspn lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often. When Cooked and the jam starts sticking to the sides of the pan, remove from heat and cool.


It is optional to add little cardamom powdered( elaichi) after ist cooked but while still warm, gives a nice aroma and taste. Most Indian sweets have elaichi in them, it's almost mandatory to have cardamom in sweets for indian sweeets. Transfer to hot sterile jars and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate after its cold enough.

**This lasted for 1 day at my home. No Kidding guys, My Kids were sugar high for most of the day, but since it is summer vacation now, it was still Ok. They ate it with bread toast for breakfast as a spread, with phulka for lunch and just like that as a snack, by dinner we were licking the inside of the bottle....

Make some while you still have fresh mangoe's available, you will not be disappointed.

Love Ash.

** Know more about Hapoos Amba--Alphonso Mango

The Alphonso Mango is named after Afonso de Albuquerque. This was an exquisite and expensive variety of mango, that he used to bring on his journeys to Goa. The locals took to calling it Aphoos in Konkani and in Maharashtra the pronunciation got further transformed to Hapoos. This variety then was taken to the Konkan region of Maharashtra and other parts of India.

The southern district of Ratnagiri and south northern parts of Sindhudurg in Maharashtra state, including regions around the DEVGAD' and Taluka, produce the finest quality alphonso mangoes in India. The southern districts of Valsad and Navsari in Gujarat state and particularly Alphonso mangoes from the Amalsad region (including villages such as Dhamadachha, Kacholi, and all villages of Gandevi) produce Alphonso mangoes as well. Southern States in India are also major mango producing areas. From north to south, climatic changes occur which result in differences in the quality of the produce. Even in Ratnagiri and Devgad the finest fruit comes from a patch of 20 km from the seashore.

The variety grown in Devgad in the Kokan region of Maharashtra is supposed to be the best. It's also the most expensive amongst the sub-breeds of Alphonso. In most of the Indian market sub-varieties are fetching the price of good quality alfonso. These varieties neither have the sweetness, nor have the flavour of hapoos.**

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