Inspired by Nancy, I am going to share few of my choicest Mango Memories. Ofcourse there are many such moments.. But few remain with you more than the rest J
I love Mangoes period. Be it raw or ripe!
1. When we were young, infact even now, Summers means making pickles for the whole year. I don’t make pickle for the whole year nowadays, but the make shift one that stays for 1 week or so.. that we call Keetu Manga .. I am not really sure what it is actually called. (I don’t eat any other pickle esp not lemon pickle )..
So as I was saying, summers meant.. “thohayeil Manga” to start with.. with vedu manga and Avvakkai already set to marinate and ofcourse.. manga pachadi.. Mango rice.. etc etc.. While these are being prepared.. but ofcourse they need their “Kitchen King” ( Queen if you please) to taste and let them know if the “configuration” is right!
So yes, what if the 10 kgs of mango become 9 by the time they are ready?
2. Secondly, I remember being in my aunt’s place in Ambattur. I don’t remember if I have mentioned this before or not, but my Atthai is very much an orthodox with “ecchal” “patthu” and what not! So everyone (even us) had separate plate in which you ate. Your plate was not supposed to touch anyone elses or you have wash it again! And ofcourse you cannot eat the mango plucked from the tree and eat it by dipping it in the salt+chilli powder placed in the same piece of paper!
I know it sounds crazy! But that’s how she was and ppl humored her. Can you believe they had “plastic” chairs for the people they knew for sure are not “Brahmins” ?
So as the story goes, me n my cousins waited for my aunt to go to the temple, which was an usual habit, and then cousin would climb up the tree and we would cut it with the blade and will fully dip it on the same paper and eat it before Aunty came. By the time she did, we would be busy doing something else. But once she caught us out. We were not scolded but given cold shoulder for few days.. but my cousin… had it really bad.
3. Once, out of spite, I ate mango using my hands and then threw the seed into the well. I was ashamed later coz the whole well had become my “ecchal” but couldn’t do anything! So I kept quiet. Later on the seed came up with water and my Attamanni, the sweetest lady in the world, threw it away quietly. She guessed it was me but didn’t say anything 😀
4. Ah sneaking in one of the college memory here. It was exam time and we all were frazzled and bored beyond limits. Figure this, living in hostel, eating canteen food (which sucked btw.. more so in PL times coz they knew we wont go downtown for having food!), tension was palpable ofcourse. It made us do crazy things! But one of it was to go to the nearby mango grove, steal as many mangoes as we could, driven by the gardener and then rushing to the canteen to make that “Kolhapuri” style mango pickle.. Ah it was so spicy, I can still taste it.. ( mouth watering here L L ) And I had plates full of it!!
Phew! Now ripe mangoes………………
We all fought for the seed always. There are types of mangoes that has to be cut in cubes and there are that should only be eaten by hand with its juice trickly down your hands while you lick it up with a “slurp” Those kind of mangoes were a huge favorite.
And then there are ones like ‘totapuri’ that should be had only with salt and chilli power when its half ripe. Not ripe enough and not raw enough 😀
One of my favorite memory is of having mangoes on the roadside while we traveled. Every morning, my dad and I would get out seemingly for buying stuff from market (helping relatives etc etc) and would end up eating mangoes on the road to “sample” the goods before buying. Esp “neelam” type of mangoes which are so small J
Any how, that and eating idlis n dosas.. in the restaurants!
Other favorite would be making Aam ras with puri. I invariably made aamras and it always was 2/3rd of what was expected. But no one complained J
We always used to buy 1 peti of Mangoes so that we had enough of it anytime we felt like it. One every meal J
**sigh** I better stop here!