Friday, May 6, 2016


One of the few bonuses of unremitting summers, like this one.  Mangoes - tiny green windfall ones, almost ripe, sweet and sour ones and the perfectly ripe, incredibly flavourful ones.  We savour them all.

We have had just a couple of showers this summer, hence have picked only a couple of handfuls of freshly fallen green mangoes.  Just enough for several rounds of salad - the other ingredients do not really matter - it's the mango, sugar and salt which does the trick.  One can add lettuce, mint, cilantro (fresh coriander) leaves, spring onion, chillies, pounded mustard seeds and more - and eat it with rice or even with pasta.  We usually soak the ripe ones in a tub of cool water in the early morning and slice them for breakfast.  In previous years we would eat mangoes through the day, but now a couple of perfect mangoes once a day are quite enough for us!

My son likes to play mango games - we pick up a mango that has fallen on the ground and then take turns to throw it along a path, following and retrieving it each time it falls.  Naturally, my throws land on perfectly smooth roads while his seem to go into ditches, piles of leaves and stretches of mud...

Today I have made a mango dessert for a large party.  A Viennese-Indian dessert.  Huge amounts of murbteig (a short pastry) have been made, despite the soaring temperatures.  Never mind the butter visibly softening in minutes, never mind the hot kitchen surface and the laboured cooling of the refrigerator.  Three large tart shells have been rolled out and quickly shoved into the little oven, one after the other, fingers crossed in the hope that there will be no power cuts.  Over a dozen Alphonso mangoes have been peeled and cut - they stand out against the pastry, vividly orange and deliciously sweet.

Everything has been stored in my crockery cupboard (there's no place anywhere else) for this evening, and I am hoping that my little son does not play any cupboard games for the next few hours!

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