Summers in India are so synonymous to mangoes. Everyone waits for the mangoes to enter the market so that they can savour on to their heart’s content. The summer heat is beaten by digging in the yummy and refreshing mangoes, till the juices trickle down the hands and plates are licked clean. May it be raw or ripe, the sweetness, tanginess, juicy pulp is relished by one and all. Mango recipes, ranging from pickles to desserts and everything in between begin to dominate the kitchen to cater the never ending demands and cravings to smack of this seasonal delicacy.
A gift for India, this king of fruits is grown abundantly in all regions of India and available in great quantities. Each having its own speciality, we bring you a list of most famous and enjoyed varieties of mangoes throughout India.
I. Alphonso (Hapoos/ Hapuz/ Apoos)
Brought in by the Portuguese, it is now grown in Konkan belt of Maharashtra, like Raigad, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Goa. The bright yellow-golden colour, with tinge of red spread on the top are the signs of it being fully ripe, filled with rich, creamy, tender, non-fibrous juicy pulp. Known as the king of mangoes, it is the most expensive mango variety, exported to countries like Japan , Korea and Europe. Its sweet taste, spirited colour and fragrance makes the Alphonso mango a flavoured cultivar.
Known as the Alphonso of Karnataka, Badami is a close cousin of Alphonso as they are similar in taste and texture. Grown in the Karnataka region, its unpredictability is what distinguishes it from its Maharashtrian counterpart. Each fruit tastes completely different, counting on when it’s plucked. If plucked early, it is inedible, and if late, it turns very mushy from inside. But the perfect pick can give one great pulpy and sweet taste, therefore heart filling and satisfying.
Rated as one of the top five mangoes in India, Himsagar is the speciality of West Bengal and Orissa. This medium-sized fruit has a yellow to orange coloured, fibreless pulp. Indigenous to Bengal, it has gained great popularity because of its good keeping quality and considerable pulp content. This variant maintains the green colour even after its fully ripe.
Called as “sumer bahist”, Chaunsa originates in Multan, Pakistani Punjab. A fully ripe one has a golden yellow colour and a great aroma with soft, richly sweet and nearly fibreless juicy pulp. The Indian counterpart, grown in the Northern regions of India though, is a little greenish in colour, with a red tinge to it, but equally sweet and having great nutritive value. A well-known mango cultivar, it’s distinctive taste and richness in the flavour has made it a worldwide favourite. Heavily exported to the Middle East and Europe, Chaunsa is one of the best mangoes.
A mango cultivar majorly grown in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, giving it the name of “Banarasi Langra”. The bright lemon flesh of the Langra is super juicy, flavoursome and scarcely fibrous. The flesh gives a strong smell when ripening. Naturally very soft and sugary, Langra retains its green colour after it gets ripe, unlike the other mango variants which turn yellow-reddish colour. This aromatic delight is very succulent, leaving one asking for more.
Originating from the village of Kakori in Lucknow, Malihabad in Uttar Pradesh is now it’s highest producer. Known as the “mother” to several other northern varieties, they are considered as “table mangoes”, meaning eaten fresh, from the hand. It is squeezed to soften the pulp and then poked in the skin to release the yummy juices. High in vitamin C and fibre, this sweet and fragrant mango variety is exported to many South-East Asian countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia Philippines and many more.
“’The South Indian King of Mangoes”, Benishan mangoes are cultivated in the Banganapalle town of Andhra Pradesh. Large in size and pretty heavy in weight, With thin, smooth and yellow skin, the flesh is a firm, meaty texture, sweet in taste and lacks fibre. The unblemished golden-yellow skin of this mango is edible.
This “Alphonso of the South” is grown in the regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Roundish- oblique in shape, it retains the green colour after ripening. It has a Floridian brother which is more yellowish with a crimson blush. One of the best mangoes of South India, this mango is less fleshy as it has a bigger seed and smaller size. But this does not compromise with its sweetness and delicious flavour. The pulp is fibreless, soft and the taste is rich in sweetness and a tinge of spiciness.
“Queen of Mangoes in India”, Raspuri is the first variety of mango to hit the market. It is extremely popular in Karnataka. Known as the sweet mango, the skin of the fruit is reddish yellow in colour. Juicy in texture, the mango has a warm sweet taste, pleasantly tart sometimes, with aromatic flavour. Grown widely in various pockets of South India, the fully ripened mangoes can have hues of orange, red, green, mixed colours and yellowish orange pulp. They work as great source of Vitamin A and carotenes.
Famous for their beautiful shape, taste and divine floral aroma, Neelam is a popular choice across the globe and renowned for its availability. Primarily grown in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, they are also favourite in Hyderabad. Bright yellow in colour, it is big in size, giving more sweet and juicy pulp to relish on.
Imported from Florida in the last century, it is now grown extensively in the regions of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. One of the main cultivars grown in India, they are greenish yellow fruits known for their sweet and filling pulp. The name “Totapuri” literally means a parrot’s face, as the mango’s slender shape resembles a parrot’s beak. This variety is best eaten raw, or just short of the full-ripe stage to enjoy the pleasant blend of sweet and tart taste in the pulp.
They are called as “Gir Kesar” as they are cultivated in the foothills of Girnar in Gujurat. Known for its orange coloured pulp, thick and juicy, the sweetness of a fully ripe Kesar mango, is so alluring and mouth-watering . Little towards the greenish side, with tints of red, the aromatic mango variant has got the name kesar- from its orange pulp, Hindi word for saffron.
Introduced in 1971, it is a hybrid variety of ‘Dasheri’ and ‘Neelam’, grown on a large scale in various farms and orchards across India. Regular-Bearers, this trees is dwarf, with clusters of small fruits hanging on to it. The flesh is deep Orange and red in colour, a perfect blend of its parent breeds. Sweet and succulent, this variant has a shorter shell life.
Do enjoy them to the fullest before the season ends!
If you liked reading this article, we suggest you to read: