Hot Hot Hot
Flew back into Chennai on Wednesday, landing at 3AM and walked into 29C at night. It’s hitting 38C during the day and during the daily power cut, god knows what. Something of a shock after 12 degree London.
However, there is a sliver of gold at the end of the rainbow, or more realistically a sliver of bright yellow. It’s mango season and they are wonderful. It is India’s national fruit and between and third and half of the world’s crop is cultivated here and has been for more than 4000 years. The English word “mango” is of Tamil extraction. The arrival of the mango season is a topic of great interest in every part of the country and I can see why.. One of my favourite chefs, Ottolenghi has a great recipe for Alphonso Mangoes which are the most ubiquitous in the west and mainly grown in the area between Bangalore and Gujarat. We apparently get them in mid May.
However, what we have here now are Bangalora (Banganapalli) Mangoes. Juicy, yellow rather than orange, sweet and firm, they are wonderfully fresh with very little fibre and a thin skin. The season is short, running from mid April to late May, so you have to be quick. There is also a shortage this year, due to the effects of Cyclone Thane so prices have increased by 25% on last year’s bumper crop and it sells for about 80 Rs a kilo (£1). I have mine with papaya, dates and curd (yoghurt) for breakfast.
I may swelter, but I do have mangoes.