Apples that weren’t hard, dry and woody were difficult to find in South India during the 1950s and 1960s. Americans living there at the time who missed having apple sauce commonly substituted with homemade guava sauce and/or green mango sauce. Sweetening the sourness of green/unripe mangoes required a fair amount of sugar. When I saw these green mangoes in the store I thought I might revisit a nostalgic memory of green mango sauce, but with a bit less of the refined stuff.
As I recall, the green mangoes we used for sauce were even less ripe than these.
I remember as a boy, perched in one of our mango trees, eating green mangoes, skin included, with salt to tame the sourness. I usually used the coarse salt we used for making ice cream, but on at least a couple occasions I borrowed the salt shaker from off the dining table.
One evening, at supper, my dad asked if I knew where the salt shaker might be. I quickly excused myself from the table, ran out to the mango tree and retrieved the salt shaker from a crook in the branches.
I decided to cook the mangoes with apple juice to sweeten them up. Still quite sour, I added pineapple juice. Still not sweet enough, I threw in a little Demerara sugar.
The mango sauce still has some tartness to it, but it’s very much the way I remember it.