All products on this page have been selected by the editorial team, however Stylist may make commission on some products purchased through affiliate links in this article
If you love mango, you need to try these recipes – from a spicy-sweet chicken curry to a showstopping vegan cheesecake.
But then there are fruits that feel, somehow, glamorous – capturing some of the thrill felt in centuries past, when it was a genuine luxury to find yourself in possession of a pineapple in grey, chilly Britain. Mangoes are one such fruit. Thanks to their silky, succulent texture and syrupy citrus-edged flavour, eating a mango always feels like treating yourself.
Of course, the stone fruit (which originated in the region between Myanmar, Bangladesh and India, and is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines) is delicious eaten on its own. But if you want to try cooking with mangoes, we have five recipes to try below.
You may also like
Summer rolls: 3 ways to make this fresh Vietnamese hot-weather dish
Those who like to start their day with fresh fruit should try James Gould-Porter’s mango and ginger chia pots. Made with apple juice, cashew nut butter and toasted coconut, they’re a beautiful weekend breakfast dish.
Mangoes are also an excellent addition to some savoury recipes. Their bright, slightly acidic quality cuts through richer flavours, not unlike a squeeze of lemon or a dash of good-quality vinegar – and Nik Sharma’s paneer and beetroot salad with mango-lime dressing is a refreshing summer dish you’ll want to make on repeat.
Dan Toombs’ mango chicken curry, meanwhile, is the perfect balance of heat and sweetness. It’s not a quick recipe (Toombs, a devotee of British Indian restaurant or ‘BIR’ cooking, recommends making your own curry pastes and sauce from scratch) but it’s well worth the effort.
You may also like
3 cooling granita recipes from cult London gelato shop, Gelupo
Dessert-wise, mangoes go particularly well with creamy tastes and textures. The mango yoghurt cake by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards (of cult Australian cafe and culinary school Cornersmith) is an elegant, stress-free bake featuring almonds and citrus zest.
The cake nods to Alakija’s Nigerian heritage with a crust of crushed chin chin, a doughnut-adjacent snack popular across west Africa. Just make sure the mangoes you choose are perfectly ripe…
Mango and ginger chia pots
James Gould-Porter says: “This dish turns the ordinary chia seed into a tropical flavour sensation that is as kind to your body as it is to your tastebuds.”
- 60g chia seeds
- 200ml apple juice
- 150g mango flesh, plus extra to decorate
- 50g cashew nut butter
- 10g stem ginger
- toasted coconut, to decorate
Soak the chia seeds in 200ml of the apple juice overnight.
The next day, blitz the mango, nut butter and stem ginger together, then loosen with the remaining 2 tablespoons of apple juice.
Add the soaked chia seeds and mix everything together well, then spoon into four serving bowls or glasses.
Decorate with toasted coconut and mango cubes.
From The Island Poke Cookbook: Recipes Fresh From Hawaiian Shores, From Poke Bowls To Pacific Rim Fusion by James Gould-Porter (£16.99, Ryland Peters & Small), out now
Paneer and beetroot salad with mango-lime dressing
Nik Sharma says: “There is an incomparable joy that I find difficult to express in words when I eat ripe Indian mangoes. During ripening, the starch transforms and gives way to a soft pulp that’s sweet and sour, carrying an aroma that reminds me of warm summer holidays in Goa.
“While mangoes are delicious as a sweet treat, they also make an excellent addition to savoury applications. The fruity, sweet flavour of mangoes with lime gives this beet salad a refreshing taste.
“Try to use a good ripe mango without a chalky aftertaste. It’s no surprise that I recommend Indian mangoes, but champagne mangoes are a good option. You’ll find paneer in the cheese section at Indian grocery stores as well as most regular food markets.”
For the marinade:
- 240ml plain unsweetened kefir, buttermilk, or yogurt
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 400g firm paneer
For the beetroots:
- 4 medium beetroots (total weight 455g), ideally a mixture of red and yellow
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
- fine sea salt
For the mango-lime dressing:
- 140g diced ripe mango
- 120ml kefir or buttermilk
- 1 ½ tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp red chilli powder
- 60ml grapeseed or debittered extra-virgin olive oil
- fine sea salt
- 200g rocket leaves
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- fine sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp amchur
Whisk the kefir, salt, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Pour the marinade into a large resealable bag.
Cut the paneer into approximately 2.5cm by 5cm by 12mm cubes and place them in the bag with the marinade, seal, and gently shake to coat evenly.
Let the paneer marinate for 1 hour at room temperature. If you need to marinate it longer, leave it in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 205°C.
While the paneer marinates, prepare the beetroots. Peel, trim the ends, and cut into quarters.
Place the beetroots in a baking dish or roasting tray, drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until they are tender on the inside and a knife slides through the centre with ease.
Remove from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes.
While the beetroots roast, prepare the dressing. Place the mango, oil, kefir, lime juice, mustard, pepper, and chilli powder into a blender and pulse on slow speed until combined and smooth. Taste and season with salt.
Grill the paneer just before you’re ready to assemble the salad. Heat a cast-iron grill pan or a medium nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat and brush the surface with a little olive oil.
With a pair of kitchen tongs, carefully lift the paneer out of the bag and cook it in batches in the hot pan until it turns golden brown and slightly seared, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
To serve, toss the rocket in a large mixing bowl with the olive oil. Add the pepper and season with salt.
Add the warm grilled paneer pieces. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the salad dressing. Sprinkle with the amchur just before serving.
Serve the remaining salad dressing on the side.
Adapted from The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained + More Than 100 Essential Recipes by Nik Sharma (£26, Chronicle Books), out now
Mango yoghurt cake
Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards say: “This light and fluffy cake is super easy to make. Its beauty is in its simple flavour, which can be tricked up with the addition of a teaspoon or two of spices and herbs, such as ground cinnamon, wattleseeds, thyme or rosemary.
“Thinly slice whatever fruit you have to hand to make this seasonal. Instead of almond meal, you could use the same amount of a mix of rolled oats and desiccated coconut for the topping.”
- 3 eggs
- 165g caster sugar
- 125ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
- 250g natural yoghurt
- zest of 2 lemons, 2 limes or 2 oranges
- 1–2 tsp spices or herbs (optional)
- 225g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
For the topping:
- 1 mango, sliced into thin wedges
- 60g brown sugar
- 40g almond meal
Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3 and line or grease a 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper or oil.
Using a hand whisk, briefly mix the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until pale and a little fluffy, then slowly whisk in the vegetable oil, followed by the yoghurt, citrus zest and spices or herbs, if using.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then add this mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour into the prepared cake tin.
To make the topping, toss together the mango slices, brown sugar and almond meal in a small bowl, then arrange on top of the cake.
Bake for 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Rest in the tin for 5 minutes, then use a knife to slide around the edge of the cake and remove it from the tin.
Any leftover cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
From Use It All: The Cornersmith Guide To A More Sustainable Kitchen by Alex Elliott-Howery with Jaimee Edwards (£18.99, Murdoch Books), out now
Chin chin mango cheesecake
Zoe Alakija says: “This cheesecake is a concentrated dose of tropicality, thanks to its velvety-smooth mango and aromatic coconut filling. But that’s not all. Its base of chin chin (crispy pieces of deep-fried dough, so-called because of the sound they make, like ‘munch munch’) is so addictive that I strongly recommend you cook an extra batch just for snacking – and to save your cheesecake crust from nibbles.
“Chin chin comes in all manner of shapes, from chunks to snakes to curls. Let your creativity run riot, as long as the chin chin is small enough to cook through. The same goes for the toppings; I never do the same twice, but I suggest some favourites in the recipe. You can also knock up this winning dessert in no time using shop-bought chin chin.”
For the chin chin:
- 400ml can coconut milk, chilled
- 4 tsp coconut oil, melted
- 370g plain flour
- 140g granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
For the cheesecake base:
- 2 tbsp agave or maple syrup
- 100ml coconut oil
For the cheesecake filling:
- 500g frozen mango flesh
- 400ml can coconut cream
- 400g cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 ½ tbsp cocoa butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 7 dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
For the toppings:
- handful of fresh raspberries
- handful of fresh blueberries
To make the chin chin, start by scooping out 160g of the solid part of the coconut milk (you can use the liquids for something else). Mix it with the coconut oil in one bowl, and mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Then combine both and knead into a dough.
Dust your work surface with flour. Break off 80g of the dough, and roll it into several long rolls, around 5mm thick, then chop into ½ cm blocks.
Roughly chop the rest of the dough – it doesn’t need to be perfect as it will be crumbled for the cheesecake base.
Half-fill a large frying pan with vegetable oil and place over a high heat. Line a tray with kitchen paper.
Once the oil is hot, deep-fry the finely cut dough pieces until golden, turning halfway, and transfer to the tray.
Continue with the remaining ‘rough’ dough, frying in batches.
Transfer this to the lined tray too to drain, but keep the two sets separate. Don’t worry if the larger chunks break up a little when frying.
For the base, put the rough batch in a food processor with the syrup and coconut oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Blitz until the mixture becomes crumbly.
Line the base and sides of an 18cm springform baking tin with baking parchment, then press the blitzed chin chin mixture into the bottom of it. Put it in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.
Blend all the filling ingredients (minus the syrup) in a blender or food processor until thick and creamy. Add the agave (or maple) syrup and taste, adding more sweetness if needed.
Scoop the filling onto the cheesecake base, gently hitting the tin to help it flatten and release air bubbles.
Now for the toppings. Scatter the reserved (finely made) chin chin and the fresh berries on top of the filling, in a crescent moon shape, hugging the top corners of the cheesecake. My favourite extra toppings include crushed and dried hibiscus petals, fresh strawberries, lemon zest and quartered lemon slices. Whatever you include, try to keep all the garnishes within the crescent shape.
Place in the freezer to set for 4 hours, then transfer to the fridge for 1 hour before serving.
Cut with a warm and clean knife for a smooth slice.
From Afro Vegan: Family Recipes From A British-Nigerian Kitchen by Zoe Alakija (£25, Hoxton Mini Press), out now
Mango chicken curry
Dan Toombs says: “My friend Richard Sayce (AKA Misty Ricardo) records popular YouTube videos demonstrating his take on BIR cooking, and he sent me this recipe to try. This is my interpretation of it. It’s spicy and sweet. Richard adds large chunks of fresh mango to this curry, but I opted for small chunks. It’s a personal thing, so do what you think will taste best.”
Serves 4 or more as part of a multi-course meal
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste (see below)
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
- 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander stalks
- 2 fresh green chillies (bird’s eye or bullet), thinly sliced
- 600ml base curry sauce (see below), heated, plus extra if needed
- 6 tbsp coconut flour
- 4 tbsp smooth mango chutney
- 700g pre-cooked chicken (see below)
- 1 small mango, cut into bite-size chunks (tinned/canned mango can be used)
- salt, to taste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
- 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves, to serve
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium–high heat. When visibly hot, stir in the garlic and ginger paste and let it fry for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the curry powder and chilli powder, along with the finely chopped coriander stalks and fresh chillies.
Stir these ingredients really well into the hot oil, then add about 250ml of the base curry sauce. Let this come to a rolling simmer, stirring only if it is sticking to the pan.
Add the coconut flour and mango chutney, followed by another 125ml of base curry sauce. Stir in the chicken and heat it through for about 1 minute in the bubbling sauce.
Now add the mango chunks and the rest of the base curry sauce. Let the curry cook for another 4 minutes or so until it has reduced down to your preferred consistency.
You can always add more base sauce or a little water if it becomes too dry.
To finish, season with salt and sprinkle the garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) over the top.
Give it a good stir and garnish with the coriander to serve.
Garlic and ginger paste
Dan says: “This paste is used in almost every curry. It’s so simple and tastes far better than any shop-bought alternative. If you want more control over how much garlic and ginger go into your dishes, make separate pastes for each using the same method.”
Makes 15 generous tablespoons
- 150g garlic, roughly chopped
- 150g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor or pestle and mortar and blend with just enough water to make a smooth paste. Some chefs finely chop their garlic and ginger instead, which is a good alternative to making a paste.
Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and use as needed.
Base curry sauce
Dan says: “This smooth curry sauce ‘gravy’, more than any other ingredient, is what gives BIR-style curries their distinctive flavour and texture. A base curry sauce is essentially just a slowly cooked onion stock with a few other veggies and spices thrown in.
“The sauce is quite bland in flavour but it does taste good. It needs to be bland as it is used in everything, from the mildest korma to the spiciest phall. The magic happens when this bland sauce is used in the different curries and cooked with the ingredients called for in those curries.”
Makes 3 litres or enough for 10–15 servings
- 900g (about 7 medium) onions, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 250ml rapeseed oil
- 110g carrots, peeled and chopped
- 60g cabbage, roughly chopped
- 85g red pepper, deseeded and diced
- 85g green pepper, deseeded and diced
- 200g tinned chopped tomatoes, or about 4 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 5 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 ½ tbsp garam masala
- 1 ½ tbsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tbsp ground coriander
- 1 ½ tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp ground fenugreek (optional)
- ½ tbsp ground turmeric
Place the onions in a 3-litre stockpot over a medium heat and add the salt and oil. Give it a good stir, then add the remaining vegetables along with the garlic and ginger paste and just enough water to cover. You will simmer this for some time, so do not fill the pan to the rim. The water level should be about 5cm from the top.
Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for about 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, your vegetables will be much softer and the liquid will have reduced somewhat. Add the remaining ingredients and top up with water so that the water level is again about 5cm from the top. Take this as a guide; if you don’t need to add water at this time, then don’t.
Simmer for another 30 minutes. When the oil rises to the top and your veggies are good and soft, you’re ready to blend. Skim the seasoned oil carefully off the top for use in your curries or leave it in the sauce if you like.
Using a hand-held blender, blend for about 4 minutes until the sauce is super-smooth, with no chunks and not at all grainy. This step can be done in batches in a blender. If you have a good blender, you might not need to blend as long to achieve that smooth consistency.
At this stage, the blended sauce might be quite thick. Add water until the sauce is about the same consistency as whole milk or stock. Sometimes I need to pour the sauce into a larger bowl to do this.
Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze in small portions of between 500ml and 750ml for use later.
The sauce can be frozen for up to three months.
Pre-cooked stewed chicken and cooking stock
Dan says: “Pre-cooking the chicken until it is just cooked through makes cooking in most Indian restaurants not only faster, but tastier too. The cooking stock can be added to chicken curries and gives a fantastic flavour.
“Both the chicken and the stock can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months without much loss of flavour. Always defrost both and heat the stock before using.”
Makes enough for about 10 servings
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 5 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
- 10 black peppercorns
- 2.5cm piece of cinnamon stick or cassia bark
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 3 Indian bay leaves (cassia leaves)
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 2kg skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (tikka)*
- water, to cover
- 1 tsp garam masala
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium–high heat until small bubbles form.
Add the whole spices and bay leaves, and stir continuously for about 30 seconds to release their flavours into the oil.
Add the onions and stir regularly for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Sprinkle the salt over the top; this will help release moisture from the onions.
Now spoon in the garlic and ginger paste, followed by the turmeric; the pan will sizzle as the paste releases its moisture. When your kitchen becomes fragrant with the magnificent aroma of garlic and ginger, tip in the tomatoes.
Reduce the heat to medium and let the ingredients simmer and get to know each other for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and just enough water to cover the chicken.
Reduce the heat and let the stock softly bubble until the chicken is just cooked through; don’t overcook it.
Stir in the garam masala and, using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken pieces for use in your curries, reserving the cooking stock. A little of this added to your chicken curries makes them even more delicious.
Adapted from Curry Guy Bible: Recreate Over 200 Indian Restaurant And Takeaway Classics At Home by Dan Toombs (£25, Quadrille), out now
Photography: Cath Muscat; Mowie Kay © Ryland Peters & Small; © 2020 Nik Sharma; © Zoe Alakija; © Kris Kirkham