When the outside temperature is 40 degrees celsius and the last thing on your mind is cooking elaborate meals, try using summer fruits in your meals. You usually eat phalse by the side of the road, but it makes a great accent in salads. Try rocket leaves, cucumber chunks, lettuce, and finely sliced onion with lightly muddled phalse. If sour fruit is not your thing, you could stew a handful with a spoon of sugar and very little water. Once the water has dissolved, the phalse will become sweet.
Or you could try tiny dice of raw mango with mint and coriander leaves chopped finely, as well as a couple of green chillies minced, a hint of sugar and salt as a relish with your meal. The great part of this is its versatility. Add onions and tomatoes chopped and you can top nachos with it. You could cook tomatoes till most of the water dissolves, then add cooking oil and stir for a few minutes. A chopped date or two, a raw mango diced and half a teaspoon of kalonji (the black tear-drop-shaped spice that is sprinkled atop naans), and you have a sweet-sour relish to perk up your appetite on the hottest day.
‘Master Chef’ Kunal Kapur compulsively adds shavings of jamuns to everything that is cooked in his house in the short season of the super-fruit that finishes with the first rains. Its slight astringency apart, it cooks well and is the healthiest fruit in the summer. While Chef Kapur stews the fruit and makes kala khatta with it, he likes to add it to salads along with other ingredients like steamed cholas, spiked with churan, though jamuns perk up a salad of lettuce leaves and sliced onions very well.
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