As a kid I looked forward to summers not because of the school break but because it was the season for my all time favorite fruit – Mangoes. Sweltering heat and power cuts did not bother me as long as there were enough mangoes, at home.
I ate mango in every meal: starting with mango shake for breakfast, sliced mangoes after lunch, and mango ice-cream for dessert after dinner. I miss those days when I never had to worry about the calories!!
My love for mangoes has only grown over the years because it is difficult to find good mangoes in the US. I miss India so much for the Oh! so delicious mangoes. Every summer my husband orders Alphonso mangoes from India delivered as my birthday present – I absolutely love this SWEET gift.
Moreover on one of my birthday a few years ago, he surprised me with a very special dish: Mango Chicken a.k.a Aam Murghi Bombay. It is simply incredible. Exotic, silky and creamy. Mildly spiced, with a hint of sweet.
We discovered this rare recipe in a precious compilation of recipes from the days of the British Raaj. The repertoire is called Curries and Bugles, a cookbook of the British Raj, written by Jennifer Brennan an Anglo Indian. She shares my passion for Indian mangoes and presented this recipe as one of her favorites. In her words, “Oh, the mangoes of India. Sonnets should be written to them, haiku praising their beauty.”
I have reproduced the recipe below with my minor touch ups. Prepare this mango chicken with lust for mangoes, and it will turn out heavenly good!!
3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
3 lbs chicken pieces, skinned (I prefer chicken drumsticks)
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled and finely chopped
3 large ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped, reserve half of one mango, sliced for garnish
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (jaiphal)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt ( adjust it as per your taste but keep salt on the lower side)
1/2 tsp turmeric
Zest of half a lemon
8 fl oz chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon
8 fl oz cream ( I substituted by adding 1/2 cup whole milk)
- Heat ghee in a large saucepan over moderate heat and saute chicken until lightly brown, remove chicken from the pan and keep aside
- Turn the heat down and add onions and garlic, saute until limp, add the chopped mangoes and season with turmeric, nutmeg and black pepper
- Add lemon zest, stir for 2 minutes and return chicken to the pan, pour in the chicken stock
- Cover and cook over low heat for 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender
- Remove the chicken and keep aside
- Reduce the mango gravy in the pan by half (let it cook for some more time), then take if off heat and gradually add milk/cream stirring to incorporate the milk/cream in the mango gravy
- Cook for another 5 minutes, add salt, followed by lemon juice
- Turn off the heat, let it cool and blend the mango gravy
- Reheat the mango gravy and add chicken and let it cook for another 10-15 minutes
- Serve hot and garnish with mangoes and fried cashews
Mango chicken tastes best with Jeera rice, topped with fried cashews and raisins