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Make the most of mango season with these mouth-watering recipes

Beyond being delicious and nutritious, mangoes are incredibly versatile so you can enjoy them for breakfast, lunch and dinner — or any time in between

21 December 2021 - 11:25
Grilled cauliflower steak, crispy chickpea and mango salad.
Grilled cauliflower steak, crispy chickpea and mango salad.
Image: Supplied/SAMGA

Mangoes are fruits with a vibe — a happy holiday vibe.

The local mango season kicks off in December and, as SA grows 15 different varieties, will happily continue until the end of April so you can look forward to feasting on these tropical beauties all summer long.

Tommy Atkins mangoes, which are medium to large in size and have thickish orange-red skins, are among the first to make their appearance on supermarket shelves each year. For many, a juicy bite of one of these fruits marks the real start of summer.

Smaller Zill mangoes also make an entrance early in the season; these are beautifully sweet with skins akin to an artist’s palette of greenish-yellow and red.

Peach and Sabre come next; both are fibrous (good for purées) and yellow with blushing red cheeks. 

Then midseason, from about February onwards, you’ll find Sensation — small and oval, firm and stringless, with a delightful green and purple colouring — and the famous yellow and red coloured Heidi mangoes which are medium to large heart-shaped fruit.

Mangoes are in season from December until the end of April.
Mangoes are in season from December until the end of April.
Image: Supplied/SAMGA

But don’t get hung up on the colour of a mango’s skin when it comes to gauging ripeness as there are a couple of varieties that appear midseason, namely Kent and Keitt, that remain green or greenish-yellow when ripe and ready to eat.

Along with being tasty, mangoes are nutritious: they’re high in vitamins A, C and B7 (biotin) as well as the mineral potassium.

Best of all, they’re incredibly versatile so you can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner — or any time in between.

Blitz the fruit and freeze the pulp for the most sensational sorbet or make a cool mango ice cream.  

End your festive meal on a high note with a decadent vanilla cake dripping in mango curd or serve warm mince pies with few slices of blue cheese and fresh mango — it may sound like an odd combination but it’s pure bliss. 

Chicken and lamb love a mango braai basting, while a salad of charred cauliflower, roasted chickpea and mango will go down a treat no matter what you’re cooking over the coals.

You also can’t beat a spicy, herby mango salsa for burgers, wraps or a chip dip.

In fact, it’s hard to think of a meal that wouldn’t be made more mouth-watering with the addition of fresh mango. Try the recipes below and visit mango.co.za for more.


(Main image above)

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 40 minutes


1 head cauliflower, thickly sliced into steaks

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed 

1 mango, sliced 

1 red chilli, seeded and sliced

60g shelled almonds, toasted

½ cup fresh mint leaves

1 lemon, quartered to serve

For the dressing:

½ cup thick Greek-style yoghurt

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ red onion, minced

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Brush the cauliflower steaks with a little olive oil and season well. Place on one of the prepared baking trays and bake until charred and cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. In the meantime, place the chickpeas on the second baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and season well. Roast until crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients well together. 
  5. To assemble the salad, place the cauliflower steaks on a serving dish and top with the rest of the salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing and serve. 
Vanilla cake with mango curd.
Vanilla cake with mango curd.
Image: Supplied/SAMGA


Makes: 1 cake 

Preparation time: 50 minutes 

For the mango curd:

1 large fresh mango, cubed

½ cup white sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

3 large eggs

6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed

For the cake:

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tbsp vanilla essence

1 cup castor sugar

4 large eggs

3 cups self-raising flour

¾ cup milk 


  1. For the mango curd, place the mango in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the sugar and lemon juice and continue to process until you have a completely smooth purée.
  2. Whisk the purée and the eggs together and pour into a pot. Cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously for a few minutes.
  3. Add the butter and cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Pour the curd through a fine sieve into a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic onto the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Cool the curd before refrigerating it for about 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to  180°C and grease 2 x 17cm cake tins.
  6. To make the cake, beat the butter with the vanilla until light and creamy.
  7. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  8. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  9. Add half of the flour and half of the milk and stir to combine. Add the remaining flour and milk and beat lightly until the mixture is smooth.
  10. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins and bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked through. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 30 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
  11. To assemble, sandwich the cakes together with a little of the mango curd. Pour the remaining curd over the cake and decorate as desired. 

This article was paid for by the South African Mango Growers Association.