Friday 27 March 2015

Sights of summer: Raw mango/kairi/mankai/ambuli

Starting today, I plan to embark on a series of posts on the sights of summer, which I hope will revive my writing and blogging. Fingers crossed.

Raw mango is something which is appealing to people across the board and when I spot trees laden with clusters of raw mangoes, I cannot but help lick my tongue with memories of tanginess amalgamated with chilly powder and salt. Yum. ambuli as it's popularly known in Goa is a hot (excuse the pun!) favourite among many. While engaging my students in NSS activity, a group of students suddenly disappear and after a tiresome trial, I spot them throwing stones at the mangoes which call out bewitchingly from the trees situated at a distance from our place of work. That not sufficing, the students take the trouble to go to the canteen and bring small papers which hold a mixture of chilly powder and salt. The thought of it is enough to tantalise my taste buds! Summer time and aiming at raw mangoes hanging on the trees (often unknown people's homes) is almost like a summer stereotype. We have done it, our grandfathers have done it and the children of today do it.

Raw mango has a host of recipes which keep the women and some men busy in this time of the year for soon these raw mangoes will turn into plump yellow things which again are a fantasy for some (not for me, though). And to help the mango flowers to blossom, there are the mango showers or rain in summer which signals the onset of a mixture of memories. And, of course the yummy pickles with a riot of colour, taste and spices - an eternal summertime memory.

During the time, raw mangoes dot the landscape, the summer is not yet in its harsh and cruel state - it is still bearable and in spite of the sweat, the evenings are cool and soothing.

I wonder if you have ever had raw mango slices with chilly powder and salt. Do try and I can guarantee that your taste buds will tingle with delight and shock.

Image 1: Internet
Image 2: Internet


  1. Good one, Susan. You brought all my childhood memories :)

    1. Glad that you could relate, John. Hope your weekend was good and fulfilling. Thanks for coming by.

  2. I must admit, Susan, I've never tried them. Mango trees don't grow in our climate, though I can buy the ripened fruit at the grocery. Here's to summer!

    1. This is a peculiar tropical Indian peculiarity, I reckon. But you must try this and I do hope your taste buds would not revolt with the strange taste!

      Yes, here's to summer (small diversions from the heat and sweat).

      Hope the Palm Sunday is well. We had a good day at church today.

      Lots of love.



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