Some of my favorite places on earth experience all four seasons. It is one of the things I miss most about my home in the Pacific Northwest, but the life we lead often takes us to exotic places around the planet that know only a season or two. Instead of mourning the loss of my sweet winter, spring, summer and fall, I began to instead embrace the different types of seasons in their place.
In Brazil we had only a dry season and a wet season. The dry season brought endless days of sunshine in the largest blue skies I’d ever experienced outside of Montana. The wet season brought rains so plentiful, they could fill our backyard pool in a matter of minutes and manage to soothe my Seattle soul with the sound of rain on our tile roof. Before arriving in Chennai, I’d heard there were just two seasons, “hot and hotter”, but I knew better than that.
In a short year and a half here, I’ve come to know an abundance of seasons in South India, including the season of music and festivals, bougainvillea and one of my very favorites, mango season. When the bougainvillea peak, with vibrant color and spill over fences and doorways I know mango season is near. The time of year where all things in my kitchen turn mango. Mango ice cream, mango smoothies, mango salads and mango desserts. As it heats up here in Chennai and countless mango varieties begin to appear in my neighborhood market, my goal is to explore the varieties and flavors native to South India. I’ll share some of my findings here, including my favorite mango recipes and a few local favorites I’m learning from Mrs. Rita, too.
While I try to stay cool and await the “mango showers,” -that first rain that plumps the mangoes to perfection, signaling the official beginning of the season, do you have a favorite mango recipe you’d like to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to have me cook and photograph your recipe and share it right here.