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  • Indian summers are hot and dry with the dust blowing everywhere-especially in the North of the country. But to make up for that, Mother Nature gives us the delight of the Mango Season. Endless varieties of Mangoes fill the fruit stalls, yellow and orange skins to leafy green colours, small and juicy ones that you can just rip the top off and suck out the juice from-an instant hit with kids! Or the big Alfonso from Goa. The varieties from the North East are especially flavour-some. Their rich stringy texture and pulp melting into your mouth, an edible delight! And the sweet smell of the mangoes, each one somewhat distinct and yet irresistibly mango.
    Mango Summers are of childhood memories of my grandparents house, where they used to get hundreds of mangoes from the village orchards and an entire room was filled with them. It was mango for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As kids we were never tired of them. We would keep them in a bucket full of water-apparently this ensures that you don't get pimples from eating too much of this fruit. And then we would all share and steal some of this during the day. The evidence would be the trail of orange left on our clothes. But we were allowed a little mischief!
    And of course, lets not forget Mango shakes, Mango Lassi (Lassi is made of sweetened yoghurt and you add some mangoes to it), Mango pickle, Mango chutney and with the unripe Mango you can make a wonderful cool Mango panna (this involves boiling the unripe mango and mixing the pulp with some freshly roasted ground cumin, sugar, black salt in water) And enjoy on the hot summer afternoons to keep you cool.
    I also make a mango cheese cake, with a thick layer of mangoes flavoured with cinnamon on top of the cheese!
    Now I am much more balanced in my mango intake. But while I consume less; I savour more. I guess that's what growing up is about. Still summertime is mangotime!

    Image: Mango from Uttar Pradesh-"Desheri"
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