Barbeque Nation is back with the third season of Mango Mania – a festival offering a wide range of mango delights, and more
VENITA GOMES | NT BUZZ
Mangoes are synonymous with summers in Goa. Every Goan anxiously waits to enjoy mango treats during the season. When it comes to mangoes everyone definitely has a story to tell associated with mangoes, may it be tales about plucking raw mangoes from your neighbour’s tree or drinking two to three glasses of mango milkshakes daily; the stories are endless. And for these crazy mango fans, Barbeque Nation has an array of dishes, right from appetisers to main course, drinks, and desserts. The flavours of the mango are present in every bite, I must say.
As you enter and take your seat in the relaxed atmosphere you are offered some chilled ‘Aam Panna’ which instantly washes away your exhaustion. ‘Aam Panna’ is actually a very popular cooler that is much in demand especially during summers. While you enjoy the drink you can nibble on a few mango toffees or sliced raw mangoes which are garnished with salt and red chilli powder.
If you are a vegetarian, you can look out for starters like the ‘Dhanyari Kache Aam Grilled Veg’, ‘Raw Mango Stuffed Mushroom’, and ‘Mango Mint Paneer’. The ‘Raw Mango Stuffed Mushroom’ gives you a soft well-cooked taste and the raw mango stuffing in it acts as a perfect balance of both ‘katha’ and ‘mitha’. Even the ‘Dhanyari Kache Aam Grilled Veg’ was something that stood out. It had a different taste altogether, one should definitely give it try. If you are a paneer-lover then you can try the ‘Mango Mint Paneer’ which is a mango-licious twist to the ordinary paneer. It is soft with a melt-in-the-mouth feel to it; and when spiced, grilled and dipped in ‘kache aam ki chutney’, it tastes even better.
The non-vegetarian starters are something I liked especially ‘Mutton Mango Seek Kebab’, ‘Thai Fish and Mango’, ‘Singapurian Chicken’, and the ‘Chilli Garlic Prawns’. I can still remember the taste of ‘Thai Fish and Mango’. No I am not exaggerating. It was soft, juicy and had the distinct flavour of mango, soya, and fish sauce in it. It clearly brought out a totally different taste altogether. Even the ‘Mutton Mango Seek Kebab’ – while it looked like an ordinary seekh kebab, finding mango in it made it even more interesting. Though the ‘Piri Piri Drumsticks’ seemed dry, it was well-marinated and the flavours of spices could be found in every bite. One can also chance upon ‘Chilli Garlic Prawns’ in the grill. Special salads like the Mint Mango and Watermelon and Som Tum have also been introduced at the festival. I am a soup lover and it wouldn’t be just if I did not try the ‘Mango Pumpkin with Chopped Walnut soup’. It turned out to be rich, creamy and satisfying but finding pieces of walnut in it was just a little disappointing.
The festival also featured live counters of street chaats like ‘Pani Puri’ and ‘Mango Tossed with Honey’.
Exploring the ‘Mangolicious Beverge Twist’ section, I found the ‘Mango Thandai’ to be great. Every region has a different version of thandai but the amalgamation of ingredients like milk, almonds, saffron strands, and sugar in the right proportions remains constant. There was an equal balance of both the mango and other ingredients present in it. Other beverage options included the ‘Mango Twist’, ‘Mango Delight’, ‘Aam Punch’, ‘Mango Punch’ ,‘OMG It’s Mango’, and much more.
In the main course you can find ‘Mango Kofta Curry’, ‘Peas Mango Pulao’, ‘Mango Dal’, ‘Raw Mango Fish Curry’, and more. The ‘Mango Dal’ is a typical dal but with a distinct raw mango flavouring present. All those like me who crave a little ‘katha’ food, should definitely sample the ‘Peas Mango Pulao’ and ‘Raw Mango Curry’ along with a generous serving of ‘Mango Dal’.
Last but not least, one can try the dessert section which features delights such as the ‘Chenna Payesh with Mango Rabdi’, ‘Mango Cheese Cake’, ‘Fresh Mango Pastry’, and ‘Mango Syrup Slice’. Though ‘Mango Cheese Cake and ‘Fresh Mango Pastry’ are quite common, I must say they did have a strong mango taste to them. The kulfi counter offers specialities like ‘Raw Mango Kulfi’, ‘Mango Mint Kulfi’, and ‘Aam Ras Shots’. If you wish to indulge in some innovative mango dishes this summer you can definitely give Barbeque Nation’s ‘Mango Mania’ a try.
(The festival is open till April 30 during lunch and dinner.)