In coun­try...

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - — Amy Fer­nan­des — Pooja Bhula

here’s no sum­mer that passes in Goan homes when we don’t look up at mango trees, lush with the raw green fruit threat­en­ing to turn into the famed va­ri­eties of Mon­ser­rate, St An­ton and Manku­rates that we pluck and trans­port to the kitchen. There is a plan in mind. The pop­u­lar Goan fish curry is now ready to re­ceive its an­nual bene­dic­tion of a tang, which is ex­actly what the raw mango does. The curry paste it­self will un­dergo no change what­so­ever, since it is sacro­sanct, but to its reper­toire there will be gor­geous slices of man­goes, with the juicy seed, float­ing in equal mea­sure with prawns or shrimps. Or some­times, like the diva that the mango is, all by it­self. Here’s the recipe:

Tids sit­ting cross- legged in a line on the floor, bend­ing for­ward whilst suck­ing on suc­cu­lent man­goes with a dish un­der­neath to pre­vent mess­ing the clothes or the floor, en­tails my fond­est child­hood mem­o­ries of sum­mer va­ca­tions at nani’s house. De­spite the pre­cau­tion, the orange pulp al­most al­ways got smeared around our lips, and in my case, when I in­dulged in keri on rare oc­ca­sions ( I wasn’t very fond of them), it would make its way to my legs, hair, and el­bows, giv­ing ev­ery­one rea­son for a good laugh, “You’ve made your whole body eat!” On see­ing my lack of en­thu­si­asm when the car­ton of man­goes would ar­rive at home and make ev­ery­one’s faces light up, my grand­fa­ther would tell me, “You’re re­ally not a Bhula. How can you not like man­goes?” But what I looked for­ward to— and still do— like the rest of the fam­ily, was ras nu ja­man­war ( a spe­cial meal that com­ple­ments aam ras) at our house, and once in the sea­son at nani’s as well. Hours of joy­ous yet la­bo­ri­ous cook­ing go into pre­par­ing ras ( made of Pairi keri sans milk or any ad­di­tions; alphon­sos are only eaten cut or in milk­shakes), puris or bapdi rotli ( a dou­ble roti that is opened once it bal­loons fully, re­sult­ing into two thin, al­most translu­cent ones), gunda nu shak ( fra­grant man­jack with stuff­ing of gram flour, jag­gery and masalas), fa­jeto ( mango and curd curry) and rice. Nani’s house would also have tin­dola- par­val nu shaak ( ivy gourd and pointed gourd sabzi with masalas and grated co­conut) and for farsan, the fa­mous dhokla ( hers are with rava, not rice). Gu­jaratis have ras in many ways: plain, iced, with rice ( in place of dal) or like I love it dur­ing th­ese meals, break­ing a rotli, tak­ing some gunda and lots of the ex­tra stuff­ing, dip­ping it into ras ( in­stead of fa­jeto, as most do) and en­joy­ing the di­vine melange of flavours. My favourite is ras- dhokla as din­ner dur­ing the mango sea­son. Here’s how you have it: dip hot dhok­las into the ac­com­pa­ny­ing spicy co­rian­der chut­ney, then in ras and wolf them down. This sea­son is also the one time when my sis­ter, fa­mous for avoid­ing din­ner at home, checks the re­frig­er­a­tor daily for a bowl, or many, of doodh- keri ( milk mixed with hand- mashed mango pulp and float­ing cubes of alphonso man­goes). Ir­re­sistible!

K

Ces. com nd­pla Bitesa

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