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Mango, the most beautiful yellow fruit brings the pictures of bright sun, gentle breeze and lush greenery in-front of me. The mango trees need warm dry weather to bear fruits. Hence they grow abundantly in tropical countries especially India.
Everyone relates yellow, green, red and orange to India and definitely these colors visually convey the Indian culture. Most of my cushion covers, wall hangers, floor rugs, cutlery and bedspreads revolve around these colors and all of our non-Indian friends love the brightness and energy that these colors transcend through the soul. Just like jasmines, glass bangles, bright kurtas, kumkum belongs to India, mango reminds of the alluring Indian sub-continent.
Sitting under the shady tree, I remember counting the mangoes during my visits to our native village. There is one lone tree in my grandparents backyard and during the summer vacation, my cousins and I would stone the fruit to fall down. We will decide to do it by afternoon as all the elders at home will be off for their nap. Generally the excitement to hit the fruit will always end up missing the target and reaching the neighbors window or door or even a sleeping dog. Summer is the pickling season for Indians. The moment we land in our grandparent’s place, the first instruction is not to touch them until the maids pick them as few goes for picking, some are left to ripe under the straw bed and others to eat by itself.
Rather than somebody plucking the green plump mangoes and offering it, relishing it in a stealthily manner makes it more tastier for me and I enjoy that adrenaline rush. Such is my addiction to this fruit. A typical summer menu will start with a mango-carrot-cucumber salad and end with chunks of ripen mangoes as dessert. I eat them all the time and end up getting blisters on the face as mangoes generate heat to the body. My mom will always insist on eating a lot of yogurt and milk during this summer season as they will pacify the body heat.
People in India relish every phase of the mango, both the raw and ripe form. Raw ones are eaten with salt or chili powder and are used to make spicy red pickle, while the ripe ones are used to make desserts like ice creams, milkshakes and lassi.
The post for today is a deliciously creamy mango lassi. Instead of using the fresh mango pulp, I used the store brought mango pulp. If you could get a hand on a ripen fruit, I would blindly recommend using the fresh one anyday. Blending together the thick yogurt, mango pulp, sugar and very little cardamon pods is all that it takes. I served it as a dessert for dinner. To soothe the taste buds after a spicy Indian dinner,a glass full of mango lassi is all that’s needed.
The best way to get to heaven is to take it with you. So wrote Henry Drummond. This mango lassi is a true heaven on earth. DIVINE!
3 cups mango pulp (available at Indian grocery stores)
6 cups thick yogurt
1 cup sugar (adjust according to taste)
1tsp cardamon powder
A pinch of salt
Pulse them all together in a processor. Don’t add water. Serve chilled.