The past month went by in a tizzy. I didn't even realize that the month was over, till I turned a page in Anya's school calendar and came to a whole list of end-of-the year activities. Realized that I'd been so into myself, that didn't even get to notice my garden's summer bounty this year. Things bloomed, and then died without me sitting outside to enjoy them with a cup of tea and a good book.
Come to think of it, I haven't read anything substantial in a while. I'm dragging my feet over Reading Lolita in Tehran for over a month now- it's a great book, don't get me wrong- it's just the wrong subject matter for my frame of mind at this time. And I haven't picked up anything else yet!
Then yesterday, a good friend pointed out that I hadn't written anything on this space for over a month ( did get out a work-related-manuscript; just so you know that I haven't been totally worthless....). To be honest, it felt good that some one had noticed the time gap!! Adulation is extremely ingratiating for the soul.... I pointed her over to to my FaceBook page; but she wasn't buying that. So here I am sitting up, typing away as soon as I got out of bed this morning. For her especially......but hopefully the rest of you have missed my ramblings as well (take the hint sweeties; and start dropping me some tidbits in the comments section or FB....)
Except, I don't know where to begin. I see so many partial drafts here that need to be finished. But the thought process is gone. So thought I'd start afresh....with the freshness of this season.
Summer...which officially began 2 weeks ago; seems to be playing hide-and seek with us. Yesterday was a beautiful day; perfect for an impromptu picnic, but a tad too cold for my liking. A nippy odd night here and there does not deter my mint planter from looking fresh and uppity however! In my mind, nothing says summer like mangoes; or mint. Put them together, and you have a whole tango of summery freshness taking you to a whole new level! That's what this post is about....mangoes- and mint.
Meethi Pudina Chutney
(Sweet Mint Chutney)
This 3-ingredient chutney was my favorite all summer through my childhood. All it took for my mom to make it; was a bad mango in her basket! If you ever find a ripe mango; but one that is not sweet and juicy like you would want it to be...a bad mango..... go for this chutney!
A bought me a whole case of them 'bad mangoes' a couple weeks ago!! I braved through a few of them. A got his share in the form of mango smoothies in almond milk. I even made aam ka panna, but that just doesn't taste right with ripe mangoes- tart or not. The girls would have nothing to do with these mangoes. Then, I remembered my favorite childhood chutney...... my first step into the Indian world of "chutneys"......a rite of passage from spice-less kiddy food to real grown-up spicy stuff. All my mom did was to increase the heat from chillies, till I graduated to tolerating the non-sweet version of mint chutney!!
To make it; like a I said, you need
a few slices from a sour, but ripe mango
A bunch of mint leaves
A couple of green chillies (hot)
And salt to taste
Grind it all up, with a hint of water if needed, and you have this tangy, sweet and spicy spread for anything from roti to bread.
My two cents: My favorite was a sandwich layered with this chutney, thinly sliced cucumbers and a spread of good old Amul butter! I've also spread this chutney on those old school Marie biscuits; or KrakJack crackers, especially watching endless movies during those boring long summer vacations. I'm going to bet that this will go well with almost anything that you can think of. As a proof; Anya and baby P both dipped their weekend brunch of "pakoras" into this chutney; and declared that they liked it!
Go ahead...I totally encourage you to find a bad mango tis summer .....and Enjoy!