Summer is here and with a house-full of kids, plans to play in the sun all day, you’d better believe I’m dreaming of weekend mornings and long brunches complete with Bloody Marys. Our biggest plans during our summers back in the United States are to simply stay put and enjoy the fruits of the season, the green grass, the fireflies twinkling in our yard, popsicles on the porch and the many parks with in walking or biking distance to our house. We’ll take a short trip to the Pacific Northwest in July, but with plans to head back overseas next summer, we’ll soaking in all we can, while we can.
That doesn’t mean the spices of South India don’t keep beckoning to me, though. They always will. As a friend’s mom noted the other day, “India just gets in your blood and stays there.” She couldn’t be more right. So in addition to enjoying warm evenings with cool breezes blowing through open windows, I’m rethinking American classics, like the Bloody Mary, one of my all-time favorites. This is a recipe I originally developed while we were still in Chennai, but am only getting around to shooting and sharing now. Chennai is known as the “Tamarind City” and even our yard had bulging tamarind pods dangling from trees. A flavor I’ve come to adore, just the perfect dash of sour and sweet and is so versatile who wouldn’t love it. It is actually a key ingredient in worcestershire sauce. In keeping with the purity of Indian cooking, this recipe calls for only the tamarind pulp, soaked in water, and is spiced up with curry leaves and long chilis and a heathy dash of salt, pepper and fresh lime. A drinkable chutney, of sorts. The perfect compliment to a spicy summer brunch or a happy hour zing with some crispy vada and spicy South snack mix.