Dubai: Ever tried mango hummus or black pepper beef with a hint of sweet mangoes? At the Pakistan Mango Festival taking place this weekend in Dubai, these are just a few of the many interesting dishes created using the fruit brought in fresh all the way from Pakistan.
The Consulate General of Pakistan has organised the first-ever festival of this kind in the emirate.
There are at least 19 varieties of the 'king of fruits' showcased at the event that ends on Saturday, July 13.
Ahmad Amjad Ali, the Consul General of Pakistan spoke at the event and expressed the importance of exporting more mangoes to the UAE from Pakistan.
Pakistan is home to about 250 varieties and is the sixth largest exporter of the fruit in the world.
"We currently export to 22 countries and we want to increase our exports to the UAE," said Ali.
Speaking about the most popular breed, he said that the Sindhri, which comes from the Sindh province of Pakistan, and the Chaunsa are the most loved.
Other popular varieties include the Anwar Ratol, Langra and Fajri. Each variety differs in size, colour, taste and texture.
This period is an especially important one in terms of the fruit's yield in Pakistan.
"This week has the maximum variety of mangoes because the season in Sindh is ending and the season in Punjab is just beginning," said Ali.
Mango in all dishes
The golden fruit was infused in to all the food served at dinner on the first day of the event on July 11.
According to Dillu Stephen, Chef De Cusine of Giardino restaurant at Palazzo Versace where the event is being held: "We tried a mix of cuisines. On the opening night we focused on Asian cusine like Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian dishes.
"The most interesting dishes tonight are the Arabic mezzes that we had fun creating."
Chef Stephen and his team were provided with 700-800 kgs of mangoes and for two weeks they experimented with different mangoes to come up with the perfect recipes for popular dishes with a twist.
He added: "It's easy to create desserts with mangoes, but what was challenging were recipes such as Nachos with mango salsa and mango lamb curry. The consistency had to be right and the taste could not over-power the authentic and expected taste."
Talking about mango varieties he said: "Mexican, Asian mangoes are the best."
When: July 11-13
Where: Palazzo Versace Dubai at Jaddaf Waterfront
What: Pakistan Mango Festival, using varieties of the fruit in different breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.