Beyond Curry: Aamrakhand (Mango-Flavored Yogurt)


[Photograph: Prasanna Sankhe]

India's mango season is coming to a close. It will be another year before the sight of golden yellow Alphonso, Kesar, and Payri mangoes fills our home. But that doesn't mean their delicious flavors can't last a little longer.

A few hours away from us, there's an organic farm that produces some of the finest mangoes of the season. Their heady aroma is still wafting through every corner of my house, where they sit patiently ripening on burlap sacks. This year we celebrated our love of mangoes with the launch of our organic store, Curldd & Happy.

Aamrakhand, or mango-flavored yogurt, is one of the first dishes prepared at the onset of mango season—a short-lived two to three month period to begin with. The yogurt is best when made with Alphonso mangoes (they have the most unique taste), but any sweet, ripe mango should do.

Sweet and tangy, it's flavored with floral saffron, nutmeg, and cardamom. I prefer to have it for dessert, but in many homes it takes center stage as a main course, eaten with an unleavened deep-fried bread called puri. The combination of the crisp salty puris and sweet-tart yogurt is always eagerly anticipated.

I do just about everything to make sure I have enough of my favorite fruit to carry me into the next season. Jams, preserves, panha (a green mango drink), muramba, and pickles—I've covered them all. So, till next year, this is my very reluctant farewell.