It’s mangosteen season here in Jakarta. With a round shape, like a small ball, and four odd-looking leaves, mangis, the local name for mangosteen, has a thick brown-purplish skin and a red interior that encases the sweet fragrance of the refreshingly luscious fruit.
The white flesh usually divides into five or six segments. To release the fruit, cut a circle into the skin in the middle of the fruit, then lift it off like a lid. This will reveal the segments of white pearly flesh within, which can then be removed easily. I also find it is easy to press or squeeze the middle part of the fruit and open the skin.
The delicate juicy white flesh is good in juices and syrups. For this week’s recipe, I want to use mangosteen in a salad dish and granita, a type of Italian sorbet.
The granita is served half-frozen with coarse crystals the texture of ice. Granita is normally made from a lightly sweetened syrup flavored with coffee or liqueur. In Indonesian drinks, we have es serut, which is normally flavored with strawberry syrup. To prepare es serut, simply shave a block of ice and drizzle with flavored syrup.
Mixed fruit with mangosteen and mint salad
This refreshing salad dish uses fresh mint leaves that provide an added kick of flavor to all the fruits, including the mangosteen. You can add griddle chicken or prawn to the salad if desired. Use canola oil instead of extra virgin oil, which can overpower the delicate fragrance of the mangosteen. You can also replace canola oil with soya oil. Serves four.
50 grams strawberries, washed, dried and cut into halves; 50 grams grapes, washed, dried and cut into halves with the seeds removed; 3 mangosteens removed from the skin and separated into segments; 1 cucumber; 1 large orange, peeled, discarding the white section and cut out segments; mint leaves.
For the dressing:
4 tablespoons canola oil; 2 tablespoons lime juice; salt and black pepper to taste.
For the dressing: Simply mix all the ingredients and set aside.
For the salad:
1. Prepare all the fruits, including the cucumber.
Wash and dry cucumber and cut into halves.
Discard the seeds, scraping them with a spoon.
Then cut the cucumber into a small cubes.
2. Keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes if you prefer to serve the salad chilled.
3. Divide all the fruit into four serving plates.
Drizzle with dressing and add fresh mint leaves.
This granita is very refreshing and easy to make, and good for a hot day. Makes around 400 milliliters.
250 milliliters hot water; 50 grams sugar; 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice ; 20 mangosteens, skinned and split into segments.
1. Put the water, sugar and lemon juice into a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
2. Put mangosteen flesh (without seeds) and syrup into a blender and blend until soft.
3. Pour the mixture into ice cream or container.
Freeze overnight. To serve, use fork to scrape granita into flaky crystals. Garnish with mangosteen flesh and serve.