Mango basket: Daseri, Lalbaug, Langda, Totapuri, Rajapuri, Alphonso, Kesari. Photo: Mahafreed Irani

Here’s an old photo of mangoes we had bought in Mumbai. I did not know how to identify the various types available in the market, so mom helped me label them. Now I am quite the mango expert. The most popular of these is the Alphonso, known as the king of mangoes in the Konkan region. Its origins can be traced back to the Portuguese who introduced it in their colonies while in India and its name is credited to Afonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese general.

BUT I think mangoes are delicious in all forms. They come in different shapes and different shades of yellow, green and red. Each variety has its own distinctive taste- ranging from sour to sweet and texture – rough or soft and mushy.


Getting your hands on the first mangoes of the season is an issue of prestige among some circles in Mumbai. They herald the start of the summer season and I would say, make it more tolerable. There are different mangoes available on different days through summer.


Mango treats like aampanna (a green drink made with raw mangoes) and aam ras (the sweetened pulp of a yellow mango)  are served at restaurants during this period. I miss those so much.