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I want to make a curry using mango (frozen as there aren't any fresh mangos where I live). I usually use tomato puree for curries, but I am never happy with the result.

Even after simmering for two hours with generous amounts of spices bloomed in oil it still just ends up tasting like tomato. I tried coconut milk, but it just caused the same issue, but even worse. Is there something I'm doing wrong? Should I use a different liquid?

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    Authentic to what cuisine?
    – Chris H
    Sep 6, 2022 at 11:44
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    "authentic" curry doesn't really have a lot of liquid at all. See this recipe, for example, that uses a bit of coconut milk but says you can even skip it and basically just have mango with spices, cooked.
    – Esther
    Sep 6, 2022 at 12:50
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    That's only the case for a single quisine @Esther. Thai curries have a lot of liquid, for example.
    – GdD
    Sep 6, 2022 at 13:15
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    Tomato & mango are not a great combination, FWIW. Generally, mango curries have coconut milk/cream.
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 6, 2022 at 16:55
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    If your curry tastes flat/bland even when using generous amounts of spice it is very, very likely you are not adding enough salt to the dish. You can add salt to a curry with regular salt, soy sauce, or fish sauce.
    – Banjoe
    Sep 7, 2022 at 2:29

3 Answers 3

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If you want a curry to taste strongly of mango then the liquid you should use is...mango. Eaten by itself mango is very flavorful, especially when fresh and ripe, the frozen mango I've used is not that strong and can be overpowered by other flavors. So start with mango as the base, and add other liquids like stock, yogurt or coconut milk sparingly.

If it's the spice not coming out then you may need to rethink the definition of generous. Good, strong curry flavor needs good, strong heaps of spices, especially if they aren't fresh or are weak to begin with like you get in many supermarkets. If you can source your spices from an asian supermarket, health food store or anywhere else that they get good quality. Buy small amounts often rather than big packets which then sit around for ages losing flavor.

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maybe you should add mango jam ?

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    Welcome to the site! While you may be onto something your answer is a little light on detail and seems like a comment. What aspect of the question are you addressing and how will your suggesting improve the result? There's nothing wrong with using the edit button to improve an answer.
    – GdD
    Sep 7, 2022 at 10:13
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From what you have shared @ShadySpiritomb, I think the root cause could be the use of frozen rather than fresh mango. Most fruit has a very high water content, and freezing will cause the cell wall to rupture. When defrosted, the fruit will have a mushy consistency, and the flavour may be diluted by any additional moisture captured during the freezing process.

The first thing I would do is defrost your mango in a sieve over a bowl in a refrigerator. That way, you can reheat the flesh separately in the sauce until you reach the correct consistency that you want for your curry. Before doing that, though, I would prepare a basic curry sauce by frying off onions, garlic, and whatever spices etc. you intend to use. Once these have been cooked off, I would add the reserved mango juice and reduce this by 30-60%, continually tasting until you are happy with the balance. By reducing the liquid, you will concentrate the mango flavour.

Once this sauce is ready, add the mango and heat through. Depending on the condition of the defrosted mango, this may not need a long time; if the fruit is really "mushy", heating through will probably be sufficent. If it needs longer to soften, add earlier in the process.

If desired, any tomato or coconut milk etc. should be added after the mango juices have reduced and before you add the mango flesh.

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