How Indians (at least we Indians) Cut, Serve and Eat Mango.

I’ve written about eating mangos before. I am Indian after all. There’s a reason mangos equate to thinking about the Indian subcontinent and its food. Mangos pervade Indian meals like breakfast tacos infuse Austin food culture. Mangos are often eaten WITH our meals and not only in-between meals, several times a day during mango season. They’re almost always unadulterated with any other ingredients. Just PURE mango ambrosia.

So this is a blog post about how to cut, serve, and eat mangoes with Indian food.

One must not cut a mango the way you are told on numerous YouTube videos and other short clips and magazine articles. I’m referring to how people here recommend slicing the mango lengthwise along the oblong large seed, then taking that large oval fleshy mango piece (with the skin on still) and making a grid-like pattern with your knife. Then the videos instruct you to invert the skin so that the now cut cubes of mango, which are still attached to the skin, stick out like a hedgehog’s fur/spines/skin whatever you call it. You then slice along the skin so that these neatly little perfectly cubed and firm mango squares fall off into a serving bowl. My problems with this method of cutting mango are listed below:

  1. If you proceed with this method all the way around the mango, you will not have uniform pieces of mango. And this seems to be the reason why this method is chosen (aside from being a generally clean and proper way to do it).
  2. You will waste the precious mango pulp on the pit, unless you eat the pit (aka got-lu) in a cleverly Indian fashion such as the photograph below.
  3. This method does not work well for fibrous mango varieties or very juicy mangoes. It seems to work OK for Kent and firm-fleshed Ataulfo mangos.
  4. It’s a lot of work. I’m a fan of doing things right in the kitchen, and though I may cut a mango this way for a fruit parfait or salsa or for entertaining, for daily use you need to try the “Indian” way.

The disadvantage to my method of cutting mango is that you absolutely need a sharp knife because you are slicing the slippery skin numerous times AND it’s messy. And if you don’t want to read these mundane steps, all you really need to know is that you slice the mango like you slice an apple.

Here’s How to Cut and Serve the Mango:

Hold mango upright

Hold mango upright

  1. Hold the mango standing up on its end so that it is long side is upright.
  2. Try to find the 2 flatter sides that correlate with the oblong seed.
  3. Slice along that side (as if you would for the “other” method) all the way to the bottom.
  4. Continue slicing all the sides in that fashion, much like when you slice an apple.
  5. You’ll be left with the seed with some pulp on it. Save that for eating!
  6. Take those slices of mango, which still have skin on, and place on a serving plate.
  7. Done.
Slice lengthwise, along flat side of mango seed/pit

Slice lengthwise, along flat side of mango seed/pit

DSC_0050

Now on to How To Eat The Mango (this makes sense if you’re already eating Indian food, with your hands and sans utensils):

Take one of those slippery slices of mango. Flip upside down so that skin side is up and mango flesh is down. Partially slide the slice into already salivating mouth cavity. Grip onto sweet flesh with bottom incisors, gradually pulling out a scraped clean mango skin. Pile up a discard stack of the skins and have your kids build a tower with theirs.  And then eat all the leftover pulp on the large mango pit. Sounds messy, uncouth, and ill-mannered, but it’s my tradition.

And that is how Indians (at least we Indians) eat mango.

DSC_0053

Comments

  1. Nilong says

    When I saw the title of this post, I got so excited bc I thought you would once and for all expose the way I have always cut a mango. Although I have tried it the ‘American’ way, that way always angered me bc you waste so much of this precious fruit. So what I do is I peel the whole mango while holding it firmly in my palm. Then slice into it lengthwise and then sideways each time your knife hitting the seed. Once you have a nice dice pattern and while the mango is still attached to the pit, you take your knife as close to the pit as possible and slice… As you do this, the diced pieces fall like rain into your serving dish. You are left with delectable, skin free, chucha (fibers) free mango. Then repeat on other flat side as well as the narrow sides. Then you suck whatever may be left on the seed.

    • says

      We have used that method too-in fact that’s my preference when I want cubes or pieces of mango. But for daily (or three times a day during mango season!), this is what we grew up doing and continue to do so in my family. Thanks for describing that method for other readers!

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