The best part of summer is the colours it brings with it. And better still they can be piled up,arranged mixed and matched on your dining table. The watermelon with their bright,pumice red soft insides,the yellow squishy sweet pulp of mangoes,the greens of an iceberg lettuce,frozen crisp and served chilled.
A summer brunch is the best way to show play up the colours of summer. It is almost natural the way you pick up lighter foods and drinks. The whiskey is traded for a gin and tonic. A white wine sipped instead of a red,and to complement it,it is white meat — lightly spiced chicken or fish. Flipping through the lifestyle channels on TV,I watched a watermelon-feta cheese-black olive salad (all the lovely bright green,black- white and green) being tossed around ,a gazpacho stirred up on another channel. But the real summer deal is something that we are too lazy to try out. Pickles. Only our grandmothers made pickles,our early memories will be of the ochre round jars kept in the sun,with their insides brimming with the bright red diced mango goodness. Even carrots,lemons and bitter gourd were not spared,everything was pickled. Now we only stock up on the mass produced pickle brands,laced with preservatives and that come in unimaginative sterile packing. One of my favourite pickles is the diced raw mango pickle called “Kadumanga”. It is served up during a Kerala Sadya,and is one of those pickles you dont worry about getting spoiled since it gets licked up way too soon. I tried making a batch at home earlier this week. and though the pickle smell still lingers in the kitchen,it was worth it. I now have my red-yellow bottle of summer. You should try it too.
3 raw mangoes – diced (small)
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 15
Garlic pods roughly chopped – 7
Ginger- half inch piece chopped
Red chilli powder – 3 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies -3 chopped
Gingelly Oil 2 tbsp
Take a deep pan,add oil splutter mustard seeds,fenugreek seeds,stir for half a minute. Then add curry leaves,ginger,garlic and green chillies,let it saute for a while. Add the turmeric and red chilli powder. Stir. Then add 1/2 cup of boiling water,and let the contents mix well for half a min. Add asafoetida,salt and then tip in the diced mangoes. After half a minute,turn off the heat. Do not let the mangoes cook for too long or else they will get soft. Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a dry glass container.