It is mango season in the market. Gorgeous vivid orange skinned fruit bursting with sweet slightly peppery juice and a fragrant smell, they are nothing like the fibrous supermarket ones. Usually hailing from Pakistan, these are Alphonso mangoes and they are the Rolls Royce of stone fruit.
The first few of the season are typically eaten standing over the sink with juice running down your hands as you wolf down the soft flesh in your haste to taste the start of summer. The next few are carefully sliced and eaten with more decorum and cutlery. Then you start to wonder what else to do with the box. They make outstanding lassis, but I love them for breakfast based on the Filipino treat of tapioca dessert.
An acquired texture to some, I adore tapioca (also known as sago), this thick sticky creamy dish that pops slightly on the tongue. Don’t be put off by schoolday dishes of ‘frogspawn’. Prepared properly, it’s luxuriously good and extremely easy.
Mango Tapioca: serves 4
- 125g grams of white tapioca (available from Wing Tai)
- 750ml whole milk*
- 2 tablespoons double cream (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 large Alphonso mangoes
Wash the tapioca well in cold water to remove the excess starch. Drain and put the tapioca in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Pour the milk over it and leave to soak and plump up for at least an hour. I’ve also done this overnight in the fridge.
When you’re ready to cook the tapioca, add the cream if you like and the sugar and simmer gently on a low heat until the milk has absorbed and the grains are now creamy and glossy. This took about 20 minutes for me so keep a careful eye.
While the tapioca is cooking, peel the mangoes carefully and puree. Set aside while the tapioca cools slightly and then combine the two well. Marvel at the delightful colour and then devour.
Not at all ‘frogspawn’ like, this is sweet and creamy but light and summery. It makes a lovely dessert and a fantastic alternative in the mornings to porridge. The mango flavour works really well here and the whole thing feels like a real treat. Do try it!
*I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use a non dairy milk for this. Obviously omit the cream to make it completely dairy free or vegan. Tapioca is naturally gluten free as well.