Memories that will remain with me until I visit again.
I have had 6 weeks of bliss at home in India, indulging on the food I love, day in and day out and all the times in between. The summer fruits I had not seen and touched for more than 15 years were abundantly available – fresh, colorful and juicy, often times from the yards of friends or family. I ate them with joy, my mind flooding with nostalgia. Most of the fruits were new for the gals. It was an experience reliving and also creating memories.
Here’s to mention a few….
Jamun/Jamoon/Jaam/Jambul/Java Plums -
plump and purple taking me back to my childhood when we snacked on them all summer and also stained our dresses. Another way to relish these are to sprinkle some salt and also some sugar if you want, cover the container holding the fruit and give it a good shake. If the Jamoons are plump and ripe, they break and the burst, releasing some of the juice which combines and coats the fruits.
Falsa/Phalsa(Grewia asiatica) – a tiny blueberry like fruit.
Taal Shaash (Young Palm Fruit) – delicate and filled with delicious water.
The best way to eat them is to peel a corner and bite a tiny hole to suck out the light sweet water from inside. Peel after. The skin tends to stick to the flesh, so it is a tiny bit time consuming to peel. The flesh is tender and mildly sweet.
Green Coconut/Daab: This is one of the many things which I really miss being away from home. The only time I had green coconut in the States in all these years was in Key West, Florida at the cost of $6 dollars each. But we could not resist the temptation of the ice cold coconut water. Here at home, coconuts are in plenty.
2 Photographs above: Courtesy Damini Rathore
After you drink the water, the inside is usually lined with a thin membrane which develops into the white flesh of the ripe coconut. This thin soft membrane is delectable. If you are having this at the street side, the street seller will split the coconut in half and cut out a small piece from the green outside of the fruit to scoop out the flesh with. Spoon on the street side is not required!
Lychees – Oh! so wonderful.
Bunch by bunch they disappeared as we peeled the rough exterior and bit into the luscious soft white.
Lychee is something I truly heart. Unfortunately it is a rarity in the fresh form in the States. All the canned Lychees or the nectars do not satisfy the craving of the fresh red ones.
Jack Fruit/Kathal: I have to admit here that I hate the ripe Jack fruits. I do like the raw ones which are usually cooked into a curry and often considered as an alternative to meat for the vegetarians. But it was lovely to see them grow in and around the hometown, big, bumpy and looking as if they are unable to carry the weight, ready to fall soon.
Green Mangoes: Need I say more? The best way to enjoy them is to have them peeled, and sprinkled with salt and red chili powder.
Guavas – which were much too young and not ready to be pounced on yet.
and of course Mangoes- The king of Fruits!
Now who could resist that abundance?
We had mangoes for breakfast, snack and dessert; as many as 10 a day among the gals and me. The gals learned to eat a whole mango – the way they are enjoyed most as the sweet sticky juice dribbled down the elbows and the stone licked clean until only the white fibers show.
Life is Sweet!