The season of mango is in, summer. This is that time of the year when trees become laden with mango blooms. The most beautiful thing of summer is the abundance of ripe mangoes. Mangoes of different types, shapes and sizes deluge the markets of Kolkata during these two-three months period of extreme weather. I am very fond of mangoes, both ripe and raw ones. I could eat 2-3 ripe mangoes at one go when I am in mood and the mangoes are deliciously succulent, but sadly outside Bengal or abroad, the quality of mangoes are not as good as those of Bengal.
West Bengal with its humidity and extreme climate offer perfect ground for mango cultivation. The sweet juicy fleshy mangoes of Bengal is a great miss here, though mangoes are on sale in US market all over the year, but the quality of taste and juiciness come nowhere near to that of West Bengal. Few times over tempted by the external good looks of the mangoes specked with perfect combination of crimson, orange and yellowish tinges, I bought a good many mangoes that resulted in disappointment for the taste being blandly sweet or tart. Later on, I used them for making custard as I couldn't relish them uncooked.
After the same experience repeated time and again for couple of times, I finally have settled myself on only buying the green mangoes; at least I won't keep vain hope of them being sweet and succulent while buying and the pangs of disappointment will be less. The following is recipe of a juice enjoyable during those scorching summer afternoons when the body thirsts for something cool and sensational to keep itself from dehydration.
Ingredients: Preparation time: 15 minutes
ü 1 green mango
ü 1 tbsp rock salt or bit noon
ü 1 string of mint leaves (ground into paste)
ü 1 tbsp roasted cumin powder (dry roast cumin seeds and grind into powder)
ü 2 tbsp lemon juice
ü Cold water
ü 1 1/2 cups of sugar syrup
1) Boil the mango in 1 cup of water in microwave or on stove top for 10-15 minutes. Drain the water.
2) In a blender, put together ground mint paste, boiled mango and 1/2 cup of water. Blend it into a puree. Add sufficient amount of cold water, lemon juice, roasted cumin powder, sugar syrup and rock salt. Run the blender again to combine the mixture well into smooth consistency.
3) Pour the juice into tall glass and top with ice cubes. Serve chilled.