Mangoes. Mangoes. Mangoes.
It is summer and it is raining mangoes here in Pune. I hope you are not tired of hearing about them yet because this is just the beginning. I have a series of luscious mango recipes lined up.
As regular readers know, I just attended a Master Class at the Hyatt Pune that featured mangoes. You should read about it if you haven’t yet. I also just blogged about a super simple mango froyo. Today’s recipe is even simpler.
Yes. These almost instant mango preserves are easy but they come with a catch. They are not an exact science. Well, they may be, but I haven’t perfected that science yet. So it is sort of trial and error until you get the recipe absolutely perfect and are able to store it. But that’s just it. They are instant for a reason. As long as you make just a little and eat them warm and fresh with your toast or pancakes, no worries.
The catch? You might just petrify them!
I kid you not. Cooking with sugar is complicated. I don’t have a candy thermometer. I am a ‘bit of this and dash of that’ girl. If you over cook the sugar, these preserves will turn into a solid rock when they cool. And you don’t want rock candy, do you? Especially if you just had that crown fitted. Ha Ha!
Year 1991. Jamuns – purple Indian berries that ripen in June -July – are in season, and we get plenty from the market. A neighboring aunty and I hit upon this fabulous idea to make Jamun Jam. In went the jamuns and sugar in a pot. We stirred it, laughed and gossiped, and then transferred it to a glass jar. We each got our share and off I went. A few hours later, aunty comes rushing down the stairs calling to me – dagad jhaalai jam cha – ‘the jam has turned to stone’. We were sad, to say the least. We wracked our brains to figure out how to salvage the jam. The grandmas told us to put the jars in a pot of hot water. That didn’t work. We tried to scoop it out but the spoon just bounced off them. After many attempts, we gave up.
I still remember how depressed we were for a few days thinking of the jam that no one could eat.
The ‘jar’ was some used glass coffee bottle. The jam was maybe a cup or so. But it never crossed our minds to throw away the bottle.
That is just an example of Indian culture, or maybe Maharashtrian culture. Maybe it is because people had so little, or because wasting food is a sin, we were always brought up to be frugal. Throwing good food away just to get an easy solution to a problem was never an option.
So anyway, history lesson apart, that is what you have to watch out for with these preserves.
As you add the mangoes and sugar to the pot and start stirring, the mangoes and sugar will liquify first. Gradually the mixture will start thickening. Stir clockwise around the edges. When you start seeing the edge as the spatula leaves it, stop. If you see the bottom of the pot when you run the spatula through the center, you have gone too far.
The preserves or jam will look semi liquid when hot but it will thicken up as it cools. I say, eat it up while it is warm and you won’t have any issues :).
This is a 2 ingredient vegan recipe. Use hapus or Alphonso mangoes or any kind of mango.
Mango Preserves Recipe
- 2 cups mangoes chopped
- 1.5 cups sugar
- Add mangoes and sugar to a thick bottomed stock pot.
- Stir on low heat.
- As sugar dissolves, mangoes will also cook down.
- Stop when mixture starts coating the back of the spoon or 'ek taari paak' consistency is reached.
- Cool and eat within a day or two.
- You can also store in airtight jar in the fridge for a week or so, or even more.
- Great with pancakes! Or layered between a simple cake.
Try this simple recipe and tell me how it worked for you…More mango recipes coming up!!