An Unusual, but Delicious Pairing.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been cooking up a storm in order to use the green and underripe mangoes on my tree. I have a huge bounty this year and wanted to take advantage of the green ones before they all start ripening.
Green mangoes make wonderful chutneys, pickles, and salads. They’re bright, astringent and firmly textured, so they maintain their structure when cooked, unlike fresh mangoes. My son suggested making a chutney using dried hibiscus flowers * and I thought it was such a great idea, we got right on it. This recipe is what we came up with and it turned out splendidly.
I only used a couple of savory ingredients because I wanted this to be basically tart and sweet. But I think it’s important to balance out the sweet with some earthier flavors, so I did add a couple garlic cloves, some mustard seeds, and chipotle morita flakes.
Sugar, cane vinegar, fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, plenty of green mangoes, and a full cup of dried hibiscus flowers were the basic ingredients. But then we decided to chop up two limes, and add a cup of fresh shredded coconut, in order to add some real interest to this chutney.
After simmering for a couple of hours and adding additional water along the way, what you see here is what we ended up with. What a flavor sensation this is. The limes give it an almost marmalade element with their bitter skins, while the fresh coconut cooks up soft and unctuous. Those hibiscus flowers * produce the most gorgeous color, while also contributing a hit of sour earthiness, and adding to the overall texture.
We’ve spread it on toast and eaten it as a side with pork, but I think a truly splendid way to enjoy it is with aged cheddar. I had a couple different kinds of cheddar, so I baked a few baguettes, served it as you see here, and wow, was it ever good.
I think it’s important to feel free to fool around with these kinds of ingredients. Green mangoes aren’t the only fruits you could use here. Other firm and underripe fruit would also work. I can see how underripe peaches, nectarines, and other stone fruit would be very good treated in this manner.
There’s really no reason you need to restrict it to green mangoes. So, with that in mind, I won’t save this for green mango season. I will definitely make it with other underripe fruits, too.