For the love of
The flavour of
was attending a pani puri party at my friend's. She decided that the spicy mint syrup urgently needed some fresh sprigs. Mint leaves have a slightly rubbery feel with deep veins. Mentha Piperita sp is the taxonomic name and in Hindi, it is called pudina.
She immediately called me and I rushed to the local vegetable vendor. The vendor went into the back of the shop and arrived with the twig of fresh mint. I rubbed a few leaves on my palm and they smelled heavenly.
Like a dog, my friend smelled the fresh mint from my bag. She snatched my bag and rushed to the kitchen. She crushed it with a handheld blender and added it to the mint sauce. She tasted it on her finger and the perfectionist was finally satisfied! Phew!
The extra zing from these mint leaves stood out in the riot of sweet, salty, bland and chilly tastes among the wide assortment of minutely diced cucumber, onion, tomato, coriander leaves, boiled potato, boiled kabuli chana and chaat masala. These small balls of semolina ( suji) were decorated with green (mint) sauce, red (tamarind) sauce and a sprinkle of yellow sev. When they disappeared into the mouth in one go, there was a delightful sensation, as a variety of tastes and flavours played hide and seek in the mouth and sent pleasant signals to the brain. This sensory experience is called pani puri.
I naturally got some mint sprigs as a return gift. I protested that I did not know what to do with them. She suggested that I check Google and find out. She told me to put it in water.
I converted an empty wine bottle into a vase, filled it with water and added a pinch of salt. I placed the bunch of sprigs into it. Somehow, they were not looking good on my study table. The leaves were looking a bit sad, wilting slightly. I took it out and put it in a plastic bag along with my fresh coriander leaves in the refrigerator.
That night, I ate raw mint leaves as mouth freshners. Before that, fresh mint leaves, freshly washed and smelling divine, entered my mashed potato as part of my roast chicken dinner. Actually, I took out a few leaves and decorated a few whole ones on half a leg of chicken to improve its aesthetic appeal.
We all must have tried After Eight which are premium mint chocolates. I had a brilliant idea. The next day, I rushed to the supermarket and bought some dark chocolate. On ordinary days, they are my last choice. I came home and put a mint leaf on a piece of chocolate. Divine!
The breakfast the next day was tuna salad on toast. Tuna salad was ready-made with sweet corns. I married mint and coriander into it and mixed it well. I spread it on a well-done toast. The colours of beige, white, different shades of green, yellow and brown appealed to my eyes and tasted superb.
I had stopped taking ordinary water. It was now warm water with a zest of lemon ( gandharaj variety) with fresh mint leaves as I read a thriller on a cold winter afternoon. Tea also had a leaf or two of mint floating in it. Any guest was welcomed with mint tea without a choice.
Not to leave behind Chinese food, I added fresh mint to noodles and they tasted yummy. How about omlette with mint, onion and green chillies? That was my breakfast menu the next day complemented certainly by mint tea.
I prepared pasta with red sauce and sprigs of mint for dinner. Suddenly, life seemed very fresh. This everlasting freshness will last for the next 10 years when I would not even dream of mint. We
THE EXTRA ZING FROM THESE MINT LEAVES STOOD OUT IN THE RIOT OF SWEET, SALTY, BLAND AND CHILLY TASTES AMONG THE WIDE ASSORTMENT OF MINUTELY DICED CUCUMBER, ONION, TOMATO, CORIANDER LEAVES, BOILED POTATO, BOILED KABULI CHANA AND CHAAT MASALA. CHOICE OF MINT