- Vegetarian, vegan
- Quick, healthy sweet treat
Mango ras or Aamras recipe
Aamras is a popular and staple Indian dessert made easily with its main ingredient which are fresh, ripe mangoes in season, to make mango puree. It can be optionally flavored using spices such as saffron, ginger powder or cardamom.
Aam ras in English means mango (aam) juice (ras). So it literally translates to mango juice but it is really mango pulp. Mango ras is a popular dessert that can be enjoyed on its own. It is most popularly paired with some piping hot pooris though! It also tastes delicious with some warm rotis. While not a traditional use, it also tastes great drizzled on top of vanilla ice cream, a personal family favorite.
Aam ras Ingredients
The main ingredient for aamras is mangoes, so it is a treat enjoyed in the summer months.
You have a few options on how to make the ras. Aam ras is very popular in Western India, so there are variations in the Gujarati version, Rajasthani version and Maharashtra one And as with all Indian cooking, there are always variations across regions.
Dry ginger powder: Personally, I grew up having aam ras with dried ginger powder. It gives a delicious complementary flavor. Gujarati ras is made this way, called keri no ras.
Saffron strands: I’ve come to enjoy adding in saffron strands when I know the mango ras will have some time to soak up all that good flavor.
Cardamom powder: Another way to add some delicious floral taste to mango ras. It could also be used in conjunction with saffron or ginger powder.
Type of Mango
The type and quality of mangoes is most important. So, aam ras is made in the prime of summer when mangoes are at their peak. In India people love to use Alphonso mangoes. In US, we have a few varieties primarily from Mexico. but our absolute favorite has become Ataulfo. Kesar mango is another popular variety.
Make sure you choose one of the sweeter varieties. I would not use the frozen mangoes found in US grocery stores, they tend not to have the same flavor as those used for ras. And if it doesn’t have that sweet taste you would have to add sugar and likely they won’t have the same taste. But, check out which type of mango it is, there may be new varieties popping up that I’m not aware of in the frozen section.
Every summer my parents would buy boxes of mangoes, cut off the “meat” and then squeeze the remaining fruit off the seed with their hands. The mango chunks and pulp was then blended into a fine puree.
How to Make
Mango ras can be made two ways:
- Blender jar: cut chunks off the mango and blend into a puree – Easiest and most common
- By hand: squeeze the meat or pulp of the mango off of the mango seed by hand – Traditional way
Option 1 is the way most people do it now and gives you a smooth puree. Option 2 is how it was done traditionally, and producing a slightly chunkier version (lacchedar ras). With blenders more easy to access most people just use a blender nowadays.
Then, you can add in optional flavors
- Dry ginger powder
- Nutmeg powder
And last, if you wish, you can change the consistency by adding:
- Milk (just a little milk gives creaminess)
- Water (thin it out slightly)
As mentioned above, I grew up having Gujarati aamras which just entails blending the mangoes into a smooth pulp and adding a little dry ginger powder. Adding milk or water is not necessary. It is up to your personal preference.
Tip: If you are getting a sweet variety of mangoes in prime season which are ripe, then sugar is not needed. However, tasting a piece of the mango will easily tell you whether you will need to add sugar and add the right quantity of sugar needed. I usually like to avoid the addition of sugar and like to ensure the sweetness of mangoes are just right.
How to freeze
To freeze aamras (pureed mangoes) just put it into either a freezer safe container or freezer safe zip-loc bag. If using a freezer safe bag, I like to fill the bags and stack them flat so it is easier to store in the freezer.
Store in freezer for 4-5 months.
Every year, I do this to make the most of mango season. I buy fresh mangoes in boxes from the Indian grocery store, blend them and have extra mango ras to enjoy as a sweet during Diwali and the winter months.
It is always a hit to serve up to guests who show up on short notice!
How to serve
Serve aamras on its own as a dessert, with warm Indian breads such a puri or roti as part of a meal or as a drizzle on ice cream or a cake.
In an Indian household, you will often hear of aamras puri or aamras poori as a favorite treat to enjoy in the summer. Aamras puri is mango ras which has a sweet taste served with savory and spicy puri. The sweet and savory combination is delightful.
If you are serving it as part of a meal, besides hot puris or roti, a vegetable shaak or sabzi is normally served. Potato or batata nu shaak, sukhi bhaji, bhindi nu shaak or peas cauliflower shaak are all good options. The ras is served in a small bowls alongside the meal as a sweet side dish.
Where to buy
Canned mango pulp is easily found in all Indian grocery stores and even online. My personal preference is to read the ingredients and I get a brand that doesn’t have added sugar.
Encourage you to try it out during mango season this year and enjoy fresh mango pulp. For mango lovers, you’ll be happy to hear it can also be used for a variety of mango recipes for sweet dishes and drinks such as mango shrikhand cheesecake , mango cheesecake popsicles or mango lassi or mango ginger margararitas. Summer season just got sweeter with this sweet dish!
Mango Ras or Aamras
- 1 Blender
- 2 ripe mangoes Champagne (Ataulfo), Kesar or Alphonso varieties
- ½ tsp dry ginger powder, saffron strands or cardamom powder optional flavors (mix and match if you want more than one flavor, I prefer using one of these)
- 1 tbsp milk or water optional if you wish to change consistency
- Peel mangoes and cut pieces of mango into chunks.
- Blend in blender jar. Taste once pureed. If your mango is not sweet you may wish to add 1-2 tsp of sugar. You can add in any of the optional flavors at this point too, dry ginger powder/cardamom/saffron.
- Serve and enjoy aamras.