Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Mangoes, Mangoes and Mangoes
Summer is here and the first thing that comes to my mind apart from the oppressive heat is the sumptuous, succulent MANGOES, aptly named The king of fruits. No other fruit is as delicious and magnificent as mango. There are, I assume, very few who wouldn’t love mangoes. I should say I'm an ardent fan of mangoes (although next only
to Jack fruit) and the sight of juicy, yellow-gold mangoes makes my mouth water. And
the heavenly aroma! No amount of words can describe that…
Mangoes in any form is tasty ,whether it is raw , ripe or in the form of pickles. The
raw ones are used in various curries. The use of tamarind will be replaced by the sour mangoes during this season.. The parippu curry with mango and jack fruit
seeds is one of my favourite. There are different dishes made out of ripe ones as well.. One such is mambazha pulissery which my roomies were very fond of.. My friends granny used to send me dried mango pulp from Andra. Amma used to make manga varattiyathu in a desperate effort to check those ripe mangoes from decaying. There are lots and lots of other dishes as well..
But nothing can beat the smell and flavour of a warm freshly picked mango. It always takes me to my childhood days (I think most of us will have fond memories related to it). There was a giant mango tree in the backyard of our old house which had the sweetest mangoes ever. The branches were so high up that no one could climb it, and we hired someone to harvest the mangoes. One of my favourite pass time was to watch the squirrels and birds that come in as visitors to savour the fruit. Early in the morning, the entire ground will be filled with fallen mangoes.. They were still unbruised and had escaped the birds. The skin was dark green and inside it was golden yellow and pulpy.. ( I was upset for days when I heard that the current occupants had cut down this mango tree. It was as if I had lost someone so close to me..)
My grand mom's place also had many mango trees and one of my earliest memories of my
vacations there, is sitting with my cousins in front of a huge pile to slurp those
juicy delights. First I didn't know how to eat them since it was very juicy and eating them was little tricky. Then one of my cousins showed me the technique and I soon mastered the art. The technique is to squeeze the mango from all sides till it is softened. Then make an incision at the top and suck the juice out before peeling and eating the rest. The experience is nothing short of pure bliss.. By the end of it, juices will be flowing all though our hands, chins, laps and dresses fully stained, and all that's left of those mangoes would be their well licked seeds.. A very messy way of eating, but I guess that's what is different about childhood..
My house also has 4-5 different varieties of mango trees but all of them started bearing fruits after I came to Bangalore. But whenever I go there amma make sure that I get enough and more from each variety to the extend that I skip meals n gulp only mangoes..I can easily eat 3-4 at a time.. ;)
These mangoes become a part of our lives, so much so that the usage of other fruits is next to nil in this season. But the sad part is they will rule the palate only for a few months and then vanish into oblivion.. After that we have to wait again until next summer for a taste of this blissful fruit. So relish when it's here..