Saturday, June 26, 2010

Crazy about Mangoes...My favourite fruit

Summers usually are not the best of seasons in India.Where i live, it is hot and humid and the sun shines with such brightness that one feels one might get burnt in seconds.

But there is a gem that i really-really wait for in this season....Mangoes
Almost everything becomes bearable because of mangoes. Yes, such is my passion for this fruit! I almost feel like the guy in the ad for Maaza.But, truly speaking nothing can replace mangoes. There is so much variety of mangoes to choose from in India.

I remember spending almost all our summer vacations in our ancestral home in our village in Malda, West Bengal.The mango orchards in our village, infact in that region, produce some excellent varieties of mangoes. I used to skip breakfast and lunch too (sometimes...if i was allowed to) 'casue I wanted to feast on mangoes.I used to implore to my mom to not force me to have the usual lunch, all i wanted was to indulge in mangoes. After all I could indulge myself this way only once a year!

Not much as changed from then and now. I still skip my meals to indulge in mangoes. After all in my eyes it deserves that much respect!

As kids, We found an interesting way of consuming mangoes. We would make a small incision on the mangoe and then just drink the liquid from it. The mangoes would have to be very ripe for us to consume it that way. It was fun. There are so many delicious mango varieties that are available locally in our village...i have forgotten most of the names but some of my favourites are ...mishrikand, gopalbhog, langra, kacha mitha...

Wish there was a way by which mangoes would grow all through the year.Wow!

I remember my grandmother would make achars/pickles out of unripened mangoes.
There was also a sweet that they made out with over-ripe mangoes.They would take the juice out of the mangoes and spread it evenly on a clean cloth and leave it for drying under the hot-hot sun.The kids were asked to keep vigil all through the afternoons so that the crows would not get to it. Since we never wanted to sleep in the afternoons, it was perfect for us,we played, ate mangoes, watched over the aam shotto drying under the sun.It was a win-win situation for everyone:)

This process of making this sweet is quite laborious. After each layer dries, another layer of mango liquid is poured on top of it and the process goes on till it becomes thick and dry enough to be cut into pieces. We would store these pieces in containers and consume the sweet all through the years.

I think I have some in the fridge now. Writing about it is making me yearn for some right now:)

In the meantime, you can find a lot of info on Mangoes here -