MANGOES

TYPES OF MANGOES

It was during the time of Akbar, that the mangoes began to receive the honour of royal patronage. He had completely fallen for the delicious fruit. Following Akbar’s order, amngoes were grown all over India, especially in Bengal, Gujarat, Malwa, Khandesh and Deccan region. Of all these varieties, the Bengal mangoes were going places and mostly from Murshidabad’s Azimganj and Jiaganj.

When it comes to mangoes of Murshidabad, one cannot afford to ignore the Jain community better known as Sheherwali. In a Sheherwali home, a sweet dish is not just limited to being a “dessert”. Preparations like “kachche aam ki kheer”, “aam ka papad” are some real tasty dishes that can be consumed anytime of the day. And especially in the summer, a true Sheherwali cannot just afford to miss out the juicy and ripe mangoes. One is also spoilt for choices over the wide spread varieties of mangoes as follows:

Photo credits:   Google

Ranipasand
An age old mango from the era of the Nawabs who ruled Bengal in the 18th century, Rani pasand is popular in Murshidabad and is part of the district’s heritage. It is so named, as the erstwhile nawab’s best wife liked it. Its characteristics include early maturing, sweet flesh, yellow coloured skin when it ripens but nonetheless exquisite.
Enaet Pasand
It is a beautiful mango that is part of the 'pasand'series of Murshidabad mangoes popularised by the nawabs. Enaet Khan, a jagirdar or a local ruler or omrah, liked this variety of mango and patronised it and thus it got its name. It is a medium-sized mango, weighing200-300gram,isthin-skinned, juicy and has a flavourful pulp.

Photo credits:   Google

Photo credits:   Google

Bimli
During the rule of Mir Jafar, a maid named Bimli was employed for cultivating new mango varieties. Pleased by her hard work a new mango variety was named after her and thus its name Bimli. This variety is reddish yellow in colour and has a sweet, juicy flesh and weighs 200-250gms.
Anaras
As the name suggests, this mango has a pineapple flavour. This one is a “bira” look-alike though is smaller in size. The pulp is whitish like a pineapple and it smells like one too. It is easily digestible and is a favourite with the people for its unusual and interesting taste.

Photo credits:   Google

Photo credits:   Google

Kalapahar
Its appearance is that of a big, blackish green coloured skin which remains so even upon ripening and it is named after the mythical bad boy, Kalapahar. Hence this variety of mango finds reflection in its big, blackish colour. However, the mango has a sweet flesh.
Saranga
Legend has it that these mangoes were dedicated to the musicians who played “sarangi” at the door of the Nawab’s haveli. It is smallish in size, weighing about 100 to 150gms and really looks very beautiful on the trees. The skin is thin and it is very pulpy too.

Photo credits:   Google

Photo credits:   Google

Himsagar
Found mostly in Murshidabad, Malda, Nadia and North 24 Parganas, these mangoes are as sweet as they come. It is green when raw but on ripening, it has a golden tinge to its skin. Not many mangoes can come down to its taste. The mango is devoid of any fibers and is said to be as sweet as Amrit.
Molamjam
Among the Murshidabad mangoes, one exclusive prized breed is the Molamjam. It is said that this variety should be consumed at the very moment it is ripe.

Photo credits:   Google

Photo credits:   Google

Kohitoor
Golden yellow in colour, the Kohitoor has to be kept wrapped in cotton wool to keep it fresh. As its name suggest, it is soft, juicy mango. Unlike other mangoes, this one is whitish in colour and very tasty indeed. Each mango weighs about 300-400gms.
Bira
Bira, also called Sardarpasand, is long in shape and is one of the first mangoes to hit the market in Murshidabad, resulting in vendors making a lot of money out of it. It is green when raw but turns yellow when fully ripe.

Photo credits:   Google

Photo credits:   Google

Champa
This exquisite variety of mango occupies a pride of place in Murshidabad. Its beautiful yellow coloured flesh smells like the Champa flower. There are various theories related to its name. Popular among these is the tale that states that the mango is named after the famous yesteryear dancer, Champabati, of the Mughal era.The variety fetches a high price due to its special flavour and quality. Its appearance is small, yellow coloured skin and a flavoursome and juicy pulp. It is exported to the Gulf countries.
Gulabkhas
Since the Mughal era, these particular mangoes have been patronised by many rulers. Gulabkhas, as the name suggests, has a mild flavour of the gulab or rose along with the colour of the rose petals on the top part of the mango. These premium sized (250-300 gms) mangoes find their way to the export fruit markets of Dubai and Oman.

Photo credits:   Google

Photo credits:   Google

Chandankosa
Chandankosa It was said that during the rule of the nawabsin Murshidabad,the mejaji(connoisseurs) nawabs were fond of theseflavouredmangoesthathadexquisite taste and scent.Thesmallanslight coloured mango weighing below 200gms is thin skinned, juicy and has a flesh which smells of sandal wood.
Bombai
This variety of mango derives its name from the city of Bombay or Mumbai, as it's now called. It was an important port and a hub for export-import of goods during the Mughal era. The nawabs of Bengal too used the Bombay port for trade activities. This variety of mango is greenish yellow in colour, has a good, juicy and sweet pulp and weighs around 300 gms.

Photo credits:   Google

Photo credits:   Google

Sabdar pasand
One of the famous ones from the ‘pasand’series of Murshidabad mangoes, it is commonly known as bira. Popular lore said that a local ruler, Sabdar Khan, liked the mango and thus this variety got its name. The ruler scientifically propagated this variety and it is because of his effort that you can still find these mangoes in this region. Its characteristics include a juicy flesh with bright yellow coloured skin.
Sarikhas
Locals also refer it to as Sonakhas owing to its golden yellow colour when the mango ripens.One of theage-old variety of mangoes that occupies a pride of place, these medium-sized mangoes weigh 250-350 gms each approximately and have a sweet pulp that makes it ideal for export. Old tales from the region state that this particular variety of mango was used to preparepremiumqualitydrinksandcocktails.

Photo credits:   Google

Photo credits:   Google

Mohanbhog
The Hindus of Murshidabad offered this beautiful variety of mango to Lord Krishna and thus originated its name, Mohanbhog. This medium to large sized mango, weighing 300-400gms is greenish-yellow in colour and is extremely sweet in taste and is of premium quality. It is said that one who eats this mango will find their tastebuds feelcompletely satiated.
Damdam Misri
ts sweet pulp that tastes like sugar candy and the fact that it became famous in Dum Dum, an area in suburban Kolkata, made it derive its name. Another theory states that this variety of mango got its name from the word dumdar, which means fabulous.

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