Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Aaamras (Alphonso Mango Pulp)

When I was young the Deccan Gymkhana area was filled with Brahmins who crossed the river from the old city and settled in and around what is now Erandwane. We had one such senior Puneite who lived in our lane. He was by all means a sweet and kind old man with some solid 60s fashion. He was a very close friend of the family as well and he taught us many useless things that only old people can. My fondest memory of him is watching him eat his daily alphonso during mango season. Every afternoon after his lunch he would lay a newspaper on the ota (stone platform) outside his house. He would then sit with a ripe alphonso mango, a glass of water wearing and a pair of scissors wearing his striped blue pajamas and a sleeveless t-shirt that was once white. Slowly he would begin devouring the alphonso, enjoying every bite to the fullest till he reached the pit. He would then proceed to suck it dry till it could be sucked no more. This is when it got interesting. He would then place the mango on the newspaper and proceed to remove whatever yellow matter may still be left from the little grooves of the pit using his fingernails. Once satisfied, he would then cut the fibers of the pit and eat them. And finally, a dip in the glass of water to make sure every last bit of mango has come off completely would end this unequal struggle between him and the mango. And anyone who has ever had an aplhonso will agree, it is that good!

2 ripe Alphonso Mangoes
1/4 cup Milk
1 Tsp sugar
Pinch of Saffron (optional)

Soften the mango using fingers
Squeeze out all the pulp of the mango
Add milk, sugar and saffron and mix it thoroughly
Serve cold with hot fluffy pooris