Hot sweaty summers and the sticky juice of golden mangoes dripping from your fingers. Such are the simple pleasures of life, and these make one savour the passing seasons.

Just last week we came back from Goa with the car bulging with baskets of freshly plucked mangoes. I believe sweetness is multiplied when shared and as the saying goes, when you give, you receive. We gave away bags of mangoes and more mangoes have come back from others who had the same idea.

It’s been a mango with each meal and in between meals too. There are many different ways to eat raw mango – as a Thai salad, as a chutney, or just with salt and chilli powder, and we are currying favour with aunts for pickles and colleagues for mango rice.

Thanks to my Dad, we are particular about soaking a ripe mango in clean water for at least 15 minutes before eating. A friend had once demonstrated how to neatly eat a mango with a knife and spoon but we are completely desi in our style. We slice the sides of the fruit, voting each time as to who gets to gnaw on the seed. It isn’t an elegant sight but our home is our castle, and we don’t let shyness hold us back when it comes to food. 
Mango seekarne
Most of the time the only other way I like eating the fruit is as a seekarane – you mash the fruit with milk or yoghurt and crushed cardamom; if the fruits are sweet, you can skip the sugar entirely, if not, you can add some powdered sugar or sugar substitute and churn them all up with a large spoon. Set to chill in the fridge and you have a great welcome dish ready when you get home all tired and wrung out.

Mango Margarita. Pic credit: The Oberoi, Bangalore
Two exotic methods of combining raw mango with roasted cumin have come my way by way of The Oberoi’s Mango Amore festival in Bangalore. The first is a dessert – a panacotta with raw mango and roasted cumin sorbet – the delicate blend of cream and milk with the crunch of cumin is intriguing. The same ingredients – raw mango and roasted cumin – get naughtier in a daiquiri. 
The delicious delirium of mango mania has found us to be willing victims indeed.

By Sandhya Mendonca