Green or orange, mango is the fruit with which to spend the hot weather. Native to tropical regions, in Israel it is abundant in the summertime. Its great advantage, in addition to its wonderful taste, is the variety of dishes that can be made from it. These include skewers of mango on the grill, amba, chutney, various salsas, fish and meat dishes, salads, sticky rice with mango, desserts and more.
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The green mango, which is not yet ripe, has a firmer texture and is somewhat more tart. It is particularly suited to salads (like green papaya, incidentally). The ripe mango is usually orange, very sweet, with a more tender flesh. When shopping for mangoes, we recommend selecting those that are not overly ripe and somewhat firm.
It’s fun to combine mango with contrasting flavors and textures, and in the summer you can find lots of these. For example: meatballs in a sweet mango sauce with cubes of cooked pumpkin, served with raw zucchini that has been cut julienne, or matchstick, style, plus spicy chili; and a colorful salad with roasted eggplant and a lime and garlic seasoning. For cake lovers, there is a lactose-free mango-cashew cake that takes advantage of the fruit’s natural sweetness and its texture; when mashed, mango is as thick as yogurt, and actually serves as a substitute for it in the cake.
Ingredients (use a 20-22 cm. round baking pan):
100 gr. coconut oil (preferably not liquid)
3/4 cup (about 150 gr.) sugar
1 cup (140 gr.) flour
pinch of salt
1 packet (10 gr.) baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup (150 gr.) cashews
1 mango (about 400 gr.)
a handful of dried cranberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. In a mixer with a pastry hook, or manually, mix coconut oil with the sugar. In a separate bowl mix flour, salt and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the coconut oil and sugar while mixing. Beat eggs and add gradually while mixing, until medium-sized lumps of dough are formed.
Grind cashews finely in a food processor and add to the dough. Peel and pit the mango, grind the flesh in a food processor, add and mix until a very soft dough is formed. If you want a more dominant mango taste, take another whole mango, peel and remove the pit, cut into small cubes and add to the mixture. If you like, dried cranberries can be added.
Lightly grease a 20 - 22 cm. round baking pan and pour in the dough. Place in the oven and bake for half an hour to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the cake comes out smooth and moist. Remove from oven. When the cake cools, sprinkle on some powdered sugar and serve.
Mango and roasted eggplant salad
A summery salad with a festival of flavors: the slightly smoked taste of eggplant, sweet mango, scallions, garlic and the fresh, tart lime.
1 medium-sized eggplant
1/2 cup kosher salt
5-6 cherry tomatoes
2 scallion stalks
zest of 1 lime (or lemon)
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil
leaves from 2 spearmint stalks
Rinse the eggplant and cut into 1.5 cm. slices. Line a baking pan with baking paper and place the slices on it, then sprinkle on the kosher salt to remove the liquids. This ensures that the eggplant flavor will be more concentrated after roasting. Set aside for about half an hour. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Rinse the salt off the eggplant slices and dry slightly. Place in oven and roast for about 40 minutes, turning the slices over after about 20 minutes. Remove when the eggplant is slightly crisp and golden, and soft on the inside. Set aside to cool.
Peel, pit and cut the mango into 2 cm. cubes. Peel the shallot and slice into thin rings. Rinse the cherry tomatoes and slice into thin rings. Rinse the scallions. Chop the white part finely and chop the green part coarsely (or slice into thin “hairs” lengthwise).
Put the eggplant slices on a wide serving plate. Scatter the mango cubes, shallot slices, cherry tomatoes and scallions over them. Pour the olive oil and soy sauce, lime zest and juice over everything. Then scatter the crushed garlic and spearmint leaves. Place the salad in the center of the table so your guests can serve themselves.
Meatballs inmango sauce
Ingredients (makes about 18 balls):
4 tbsps. olive oil
1/4 kg. pumpkin, cut into 2 cm. cubes
1 Tamar tomato
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery stalks
1 mango (about 400 gr.)
2/3 cup water
pinch of salt and ground black pepper
For the meatballs:
1/2 kg. ground beef
1 small potato
1 small onion, peeled
1/2 bunch coriander (or parsley)
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
a pinch of salt and ground black pepper
To serve: 1 chili pepper sliced into thin rings, 1 zucchini sliced into thin matchsticks, fresh coriander leaves
Peel the pumpkin, rinse and cut into cubes. Heat olive oil in a wide, shallow pan and lightly sear the pumpkin cubes in it. Grate in the tomato, stir and lower heat. Rinse the celery stalks and slice into thin rings. Add to the pan and stir. Peel and pit the mango and grind it finely in a blender or food processor. Add to the pan together with the water. Season with salt and pepper, stir and cover the pan.
To prepare the meatballs: Place the beef in a bowl. Chop the coriander, garlic and onion very finely and grate the potato. If you have a food processor, grind these ingredients to a paste. If not, chop manually and grate the potato on a grater. Mix into the bowl with the meat, add the seasonings and knead thoroughly for 5 minutes. With wet hands, form meatballs from the mixture and place in the sauce. Cover the pot and continue to cook for about 25 minutes. Toward the end, remove the lid to reduce the liquids and thicken the sauce. Serve on white rice and scatter zucchini matchsticks, coriander leaves and chili rings over all.