Why step out this season when you can get summer’s favourite fruit delivered home.
IT’S that time of the year when the king of fruits gets its maximum due. Farmers across the country are busy harvesting mangoes and are careful not to pluck them too soon. Popular food writer Karen Anand says that the best mangoes are those that are plucked when they are around 80 per cent ripe. According to the National Horticulture Board (NHB), of the thousand mango varieties in the country, only about 30 varieties are grown on a commercial scale in different states, like the alphonso, banganapalli, totapuri, imam pasand and kalepad. Of them the vanraj is found in C Ramakrishna’s farm in Pondicherry, the city-based lawyer who owns over 3,000 trees. “I have been growing organic mangoes for the past 20 years, with help from a specialist in Pune,” he shares. The NHB also lists foreign exotic varieties like fazli from Pakistan and Bangladesh that are available on IndiaMart through a Rajasthan-based supplier.
Hunt for the exotic
At Mumbai’s Crawford Market Anil Karale’s organic alphonso mangoes (up to around `3,500 a dozen) from Devgad and Ratnagiri attract the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar at his 60-year-old shop, Rajaram Laxman and Company. Mera Kisan has around five varieties including kesar, which is grown in the Konkan region of Maharashtra and also delivers to Karen’s Gourmet Kitchen. The popular imam pasand is found in Trichy’s Sri Maan Thatachariar Gardens, at `120 per kilo. For the mallika variety, Malnad Mangoes from Bangalore supplies them to the city at `350 per kilo. “Since the flowering was delayed this season due to excess rains last November, the harvest is only going to start next week,” says founder, Mamum Raheel, who has a six and a half acre farm near Shimoga. “I already have pre-orders from Chennai,” he shares.
Regulars will be glad to know that Ramakrishna’s shop on Taylors Road in Kilpauk will open for business on May 17. Stock upon Ratna, Kesar, Mallika, Imam Pasand, Jawahar and of course, the Banganapalli.
At your doorstep
Mumbai-based website MangoUncle offers to deliver a crate of organic payari mangoes (from `900 per dozen) across the country. The fruits are packed semi-ripe in crates filled with hay. Meanwhile you can get the mallika (a hybrid of neelam and dasheri with fibre free flesh and traces of honey in its flavour), from AR4 Mangoes that will deliver at `200 a kilo. At Big Basket, varieties like kala pahad (`69 per kilo) from Andhra Pradesh and sindhoora, known to be fibrous and juicy, are popular.
— Karan Pillai