Two must-make recipes during mango season: Homemade Mango Chutney, which you can then use to make Mango Calamari!
It’s mango time
Currently it is mango season in the Philippines, and as promised I wanted to make more of an effort to bring focus to fruits in season. And I couldn’t be more excited with this one!
My tastebuds have changed drastically from how it was when I was a kid, but my love for mangoes have stayed the same. I am especially biased towards Philippine mangoes, which is kind of expected I suppose. I’m not the only one who thinks our mangoes are some of the best though. I once sat across a group of Korean ahjummas munching through a literal sack of fresh yellow mangoes in the airport. They were peeling the mangoes like bananas and munching excitedly, and while I tried to be polite and not look (lol) I was really happy to see this kind of blatant appreciation for something I also love.
I get you, dear ahjummas. I really do!
The recipes I’ll be talking about today are, in my opinion, some of the best things you can make with mangoes. The highlight recipe is actually the Mango Calamari, but since the ingredients list contained mango chutney, I thought of it as a good opportunity to try my hand at making some myself. I always like to try new things in the kitchen and I don’t believe I’ve made chutney before, so why not? Unfortunately, this also means I do not have any suggestions for store-bought chutney.
After some research, I ended up landing on the recipe from Daring Gourmet blog. Not only was it highly-rated, I saw that it made quite a lot of chutney as well. More chutney means more opportunities to make other recipes using it as an ingredient, and you can bet I made the most out of that situation! I’m pretty excited to share the other recipes I got to make, but let’s focus on this post first.
To make a long story short, the chutney recipe from Daring Gourmet was indeed absolutely delicious. I do not regret in the least that I decided to try making my own chutney. I love how the flavors of the spices complemented the sweet taste of the mango. They just really work hand in hand to create this delightful little condiment that I want to put into everything!
And as per the recipe, this chutney keeps a relatively long time because it uses a lot of vinegar. The acid is what extends the shelf life of the chutney. I ended up inadvertently testing this because I was unable to make the last recipe I planned for the chutney until about over a month later. Thankfully, it kept well in the fridge even without me doing any special canning techniques for it.
The best part about making your own chutney is that you can adjust the spices and the spice level to your personal taste. I held back on the chilis because one of my brothers is a bit sensitive to spicy foods. You can also adjust the spices, but I thought the proportions stated in the recipe are spot-on already. The original measurements create this really nice flavor for the chutney without a single spice being overwhelming or stealing attention, but neither were the spices drowned out by the mango flavor. I recommend trying the recipe as is first before making any adjustment.
Mango Chutney Recipe Notes
- Use ripe mangoes. To get the best mango flavor for your chutney, make sure to use ripe mangoes for the recipe. I used the carabao variety for mine.
- You can add more or less chilis depending on your tolerance. If you like a spicier chutney, then you can go over 2 chilies. However this is the only part I recommend making adjustments in if you’re making this recipe for the first time. The amount of each spice used in this recipe has been carefully studied to produce a really good-tasting chutney. I recommend trying the recipe as is on your first go, then adjusting the spices to your taste once you have a good idea of what the original tastes like.
- Mash the chutney if you prefer smaller chunks of mango. I kept mine chunky on purpose, but if you don’t like having big bits of mango in your chutney, use a potato masher to mash the cooked chutney into your preferred consistency.
- Cool chutney completely before storing. Preferably, store this in a sterilized jar.
- Chutney will only fully thicken once it’s been chilled. When the jam cools down initially, it’ll seem a bit runny. Don’t worry about that as the jam will continue to thicken the more it cools down inside the fridge.
- Chutney keeps in the fridge about 2 months. Due to high acidity content, the chutney keeps really well. It will keep longer when stored in the freezer, but I do recommend finishing it before the 2-month mark. Since this makes about 2 cups of chutney, you can also take advantage of all the available recipes out there that have mango chutney in them. Once you start cooking with this stuff, you kind of don’t want to stop…
Homemade Mango Chutney
- ½ Tablespoon neutral tasting oil
- 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1 to 2 red chili sliced*
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 large mangoes about 250-300 grams each, peeled and chopped/diced in desired size
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- ½ cup white vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté ginger, garlic, and chilies for a minute. Add in the spices and sauté for another minute, until aromatic.
- Add in the mangoes, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Stir briefly to combine. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Mixing occasionally, allow to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken and has reduced quite a bit.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. The mixture will not be jam-like yet, but it will continue to thicken as it cools and once it’s chilled. If you prefer smaller mango chunks, you may use a potato masher to mash the mixture to desired consistency. (I personally like it chunky.)
- Once cooled, transfer to a clean and dry jar with a tight lid. Due to high acidity content, the chutney will keep about 2 months stored in the fridge. It will keep longer if stored in the freezer. (You may use canning techniques to prolong the shelf life of the chutney, but since I have never tried, I cannot teach you how to do it.)
Cooking with mangoes is not anything new, but until this recipe, I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten a dish featuring squid and mangoes together before. This Mango Calamari recipe actually comes from the now fully-digital Yummy Magazine. When I was younger, I religiously collected this magazine; even saving up on my allowance just so I could subscribe to this lol. This particular recipe is one I cut out and filed under “to-make”, but it took me a while before I actually made it. Why on earth did I wait so long!? This is hands-down one of my favorite squid dishes now.
This Mango Calamari is such a great way to cook with squid. The playful flavor profile of sweet and fruity, spice-y and spicy, salty and tart, plays really well with squid somehow. My Mom taught me this neat little trick to help keep squid tender after cooking and prevent toughness, and that is the baking soda trick.
Basically you massage a bit of baking soda into the prepared squid then leave it there for 10 minutes before rinsing the squid clean. You want to make sure there’s no baking soda remaining after you wash the squid. The squid becomes almost crunchy to the bite and never gets tough even after reheating– even if you accidentally overcook your squid a little like I did!
Anyway, this Mango Calamari dish is really something that will make you end up eating a lot of rice. It’s incredibly well-suited to rice! The flavors have a way of waking up the tastebuds, and the effect is an increase in appetite. Sorry not sorry!
Mango Calamari Recipe Notes
- Clean and prep your squid before starting the recipe. You want to score the squid’s surface with crisscross patterns. The scoring helps the squid curl as it cooks, allowing the sauce to reach into the spaces between each crisscross. My mom taught me this neat trick that helps the squid stay tender but crisp after it’s cooked– massage with baking soda. You only need a small amount for 500 grams of squid. Massage the baking soda into each piece then leave the squid for 10 minutes. After that, make sure to RINSE THE SQUID CLEAN. Our squid is never tough around here thanks to this trick, not even when reheated!
- Marinade the squid at least 30 minutes. If you have more time, go for it! But if you don’t, make sure to at least give it 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Add more Mango Chutney to taste. It’s important to give the sauce a taste while you’re cooking this dish so adjustments can be made. Personally, I added 2 Tablespoons more of chutney even though the original recipe does not. After tasting this initially, I knew I wanted a stronger spiced mango flavor, so I added more chutney. Just note that when you reheat leftovers, the flavors do become bolder. I do not think it is necessary to add too much chutney.
- Serve Mango Calamari with lots of rice and more chutney on the side. In case you’re worried about whether the dish has been seasoned enough, simply serving extra chutney on the side allows the diner to add more as desired.
For the marinade
- ¼ cup mango chutney, homemade recipe above
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
For the squid
- 500 grams squid, cleaned
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 150 grams snow peas
- 2 bird’s eye chilis, or more according to taste
- 2 Tablespoons mango chutney, plus more to serve (optional)
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced
- Slice squid hoods in desired size and score in a crisscross pattern. (You can use all hood, or a combination of hood and tentacles as I did.) Place into a large bowl. Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl and use your hands to gently and evenly massage it onto the squid pieces. Leave for 10 minutes, then rinse the squid clean, making sure no baking soda is left. Drain the squid. This extra step will help keep the squid from becoming tough when cooked.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients until well-combined. Pour marinade over the squid and mix to coat. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes inside the fridge.
- When ready to cook, heat oil in a wok or pan over high heat. Take out the squid, reserving the marinade for later use. Start stir-frying the squid in batches. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, only until the squid is no longer translucent and is just cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside for a moment.
- To the same wok or pan, add in the garlic, snow peas, and chili. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add in the reserved marinade and any extra liquid produced by the squid, followed by 2 Tablespoons more of chutney. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 2 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Return the cooked squid to the wok and give it a little stir. Taste the sauce. If you want a stronger mango chutney flavor, add more chutney and mix.
- Finally, scatter in the mango slices. Gently mix to distribute the mango, but be gentle so the mango slices stay whole. Simmer for 1 extra minute just to make sure everything gets heated through. Dish and serve immediately.
- This Mango Calamari is best served with rice. I recommend plain rice or coconut rice because that way, this dish will really stand out and get the spotlight it deserves. Enjoy!
Watch how it's made
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