Ranga Shankara in JP Nagar has been holding the mango party since 2013. The party was initially held at Shankar and Arundhati Nag’s farm at the outskirts of Bengaluru as the couple believed mango was a family fruit best enjoyed when eaten in company.
From the first mango party held at Ranga Shankara, apart from exchanging and eating mangoes, discussions of the varieties of mango, poems and stories on the fruit and competitions of dishes using mango are part of the festival.
“We have had one every year,” says Arundathi. “It is gratifying that nearly 500 kilograms including Karnataka-specific varieties are savoured in a day. It is such an important part of our calendar that it refuses to disappear even during COVID-19. The mango party has a mind of its own and is going digital on June 14.”
Director MS Sathyu always brought mango chitranna (mango rice) and mango gojju every year, says Arundathi. “We will miss Sathyu and Sihi Kahi Chandru’s mouth-watering preparations this time. Chandru’s mango chaat corner always was a major draw.”
Arundathi’s favourite dish is mango saasive. She makes it with baby (sakkare guthi) mangoes, coconut, red chillies, mustard seed paste, salt and jaggery. “This time since it is a virtual party, my friend and theatre associate Gayathri Krishna (of performing arts platfrom Bhoomija) and I will only cook programmes.”
As many as possible
Ranga Shankara buys as many varieties of mangoes as possible for the party. Those who are growing mangoes are asked to bring mangoes as well. “Nearly 500 kilograms are brought in,” says Gayathri. “Some are made into dishes, and some put in large urlis for people to buy or taste. It was a time to eat, talk and breathe mangoes. Last year we procured mangoes from Ghani Khan, a farmer in Kiragooru near Srirangapattana. His orchard has 120 varieties, from trees planted under the patronage of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Local varieties of mangoes including Rehman, Khava Pasand, Maaka, Rehaan, Aabid, Meetemaayi Pasand, Chotu, Shaakri, Shireen, Tahara, Nargis, Laddu and Laal Badaam were served.”
This year, there will be a storytelling competition on mango for children between the ages of five and six. Children should send their entries in video format. Ranga Shankara will pick the two and stream them at the mango party. There is a mango recipe competition that is open to all. Participants should mail their recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best recipes will be selected and prepared by Anju Sudarshan at Ranga Shankara Café and the videos will be streamed at the mango party.
There will be a four-round quiz with an hour between each round. Chandru, MD Pallavi, Vivek Madan and Arundhati will conduct a round each. “Jayanth Kaikini, Dundiraaj, Apara and Jogi have written poems for the mango party, which will be recited at the party,” says Gayathri.
The mango party by Ranga Shankara is on June 14 from 2 pm to 5.30 pm. Details and schedule is on Ranga Shankara’s Facebook page. Mango dishes such as shrikhand-puri, aamras-puri, pudding, custard, cake and kulfi will be available at Ranga Shankara café for take away. Call 9611321827.