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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mango Memories

This post is in response to the I Heart Mangoes Blogathon / Mangothon hosted by Tulika  books.
Hop over and read it and participate. The more the merrier.

Food is transportive. Each food is linked to a memory or memories and those memories have the capability to transport you to far off places or to journey through time to the past.

This piece on mango memories talk of my best memories with my favourite fruit mango. So have a glass of chilled mango lassi to go with this and read on...

My earliest memories are those of hot summers in Patna. My grandfather had a mango orchard, now isn't that the loveliest thing to have. A mango lover's dream! So every summer different varieties of mangoes would arrive at the house...bambaiya aam, was the first to arrive and the last but not the least would be malda aam, a proud Bihari's staple mango also known as langda aam  in some parts.

Vacations in Patna meant the complete gathering of the gang of assorted aunts and cousins.
Our days began with Aam and ended with Aam.

Breakfast would be a hand mixed (maa ke haath ka and all that) preparation of boiled and lukewarm milk, sugar, rotis and juicy mangoes. They were mixed in a huge vessel and hand mashed to make a very even mix and served in large bowls to all of us who would slurp it up with much speed and gusto. Err not to forget a minor detail- there was also a race to clean the mango pulp that were still attached to the peels piled in a large plate.

Lunch would end with an individual mango sucked to thoroughness with all cousins competing on who would make the mango seed the cleanest and the whitest. Every trace of pulp and fibre and colour were thoroughly removed and in the end the results were compared and the winner declared.

Desserts that were served post dinner was either huge plates of cut mangoes or sweet mango pulp in fresh cream sugared generously.

Not to forget the aampanna that was consumed throughout the day to prevent heatstrokes.

The mom brigade would also make this sweet chutney - raw mangoes boiled with jaggery and seasoned appropriately to give a sweet and tangy chutney which was served as accompaniments to the meal. A serving would have slices of cooked mango in the sweet-sour juice. Slurp.

The best part about having a mango tree in your own garden is to be able to pick mangoes that fall on the ground during the night or after a windy evening. Any tree is like a shared resource. It is fair game for the neighboring house and also for all passers by. And each find is a like a treasure to be hunted out from among the grass and fallen leaves and the presented to the mom for making them into pickles or simply cutting them and eating with a touch of salt.

And this picture is my most recent memory. At less than a year of age, his eyes are shining more for the mangoes on mamma's plate rather than mamma, methinks.

To carry the tradition forward, of having a mango tree in the garden, the sons have planted a mango seed in the flower pot!!! And they water the same judiciously, ignoring the rest of the pots.

Will they, won't they grow for them? I wonder.

1 comment:

Prarich said...

Not less than a yr, he was 4-5 months old,not started solids,so didnt get those mangoes.But he gave it the know it is for the mouth look.