Come summer, most Indians young and old look forward to the mango season. To the young, the fruit brings loads of nutrition and necessary sugars to beat the heat, to the street children it brings fun and naughtiness to pelt stones at the big branches and try catch that hanging raw mango only to munch on its sour, sweet taste! To me, it brings back memories of my own childhood at my maternal uncle’s home. They had 3 mango trees. Yes, THREE mango trees! That’s what the summer holidays were all about. We cousins used to climb the sturdy branches to pluck off fruit…or rather be bitten by flurry of red ants! Often, my maternal uncle used to complain to my mother about my naughtiness:).
But that proximity with nature, the nests on the tree, the smell of the intoxicating blooms and hugging the branches, scratching our arms while climbing, seeing the red dry Earth from above and stretching our small hands…just for a grab at the green fruit! It brings a smile to my wrinkling face now.
The arrival of spring is heralded by the Indian koel bird, the cuckoo who sits on the mango flora, calling out in loud cresending tones for a mate. Rabindranath Tagore, Wordsworth and Maithili, Sanskrit poet Vidyapathi Tripathi have penned many a poem on cuckoo bird.
Tagore writes: (taken from the monk)
From a great distance, comes with the wind, the sweet tune of the flute.
There is no one left in town, all residents have gone to the pleasure-grove to celebrate the festival of flowers.
Seeing the city totally deserted, silently smiles, the full moon of night.
In the lonely road under the light of the stars, the monk is the lone passer-by
Overhead there is the avenue of trees.
The cuckoo is cooing again and again At long last, has the night’s love-tryst eventually arrived for him?……….
There are so many varieties of mangoes, depending on the soil, sun heat and manuring/ watering process. Each state has its own jewel mango! But, I love to taste all the different varieties of seasonal mangoes be it King Alphonso, Niloufer, Dusseri, Mulgoa, Langda, Baganapalli, Sindoori, Badami or whatever a friend brings from their farm.
Visit here for the different types
Today I made a simple twist to the rava kesari prasadam / semolina pudding offering.
Instead of banana I added mango pulp. The colour and taste were Divine! After offering to the Lord, I shared it with neighbours and fed spoonfuls to the children playing around. Such joy, lip smacking fun, boredom relief from the lockdown.
1 cup roasted rava / semolina (fine variety)
¾ cup ghee /clarified butter
1 cup water
¼ cup milk
8-10 broken bits of cashew nuts
1 cup (bright coloured sweet) mango pulp
¾ cup sugar
2-3 tsps. Grated fresh coconut
Tulsi leaves for garnish
Roast the rava /semolina in a big kadhai or heavy bottom pan. The roasting should be on medium flame, else rava will burn, and the delicate aroma wafting will give a burnt smell. Keep stirring while roasting. Set aside on plate once golden brown.
Heat the ghee in the pan, fry the cashew nuts, add the roasted rava. Stir. Add sugar, milk. Add water slowly, to bring out the consistency. Add mango pulp. Cover, cook on slow flame. Check after 3-5 mins, add water if necessary, cook further for 3-5 mins. The Kesari will get a beautiful orange colour and the kitchen smells wonderful with the aroma. It will slightly harden once cooked. Switch off and remove into container.
Before serving, add an extra spoon of ghee, garnish with coconut flakes and some Tulsi leaves.
Its ready for offereing at the altar. Or just on the table to serve family and friends. Don’t forget to feed little children, they need all the sugar, ghee protein and flavour of sweet fruit!
Would you like to share a mango infused recipe? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, especially if you have an eggless pudding or cake recipe..yummm!