April 25, 2022
Some people visit Hawaii and take photos of tall, swaying palms. I instead obsess over mango trees. I recently took two weeks to travel back to the islands to get in a much-needed vacation. My younger daughter was on spring break - her second to last before heading to college and my husband and I have been really burned out. So, we made the collective decision to visit Maui. While I spent my graduate years at the University of Hawaii in Manoa Valley on Oahu, I'm starting to really enjoy the laid back feel of Lahaina. I took my girl surfing - we rode some absolutely beautiful waves with some local turtles, we snorkeled Molokini crater, we at pie (well, she and my husband did) at Leoda's, and I stared up into the sunlight squinting at all the mango trees bursting with unripened fruit. Do you know how frustrating it is to know that in just two weeks it will be ready to eat?
I gathered a few of the sporadically ripened mangoes that the birds had not touched in the midst of a lot of 17-year-old eye rolls and exclamations of 'mom, who does that?'
I thought everyone did! I've been climbing mango and lychee trees since I was a little girl visiting my grandmother in India and gathering up delicious mangoes to greedily eat as a graduate student in Hawaii. I still remember the ridiculously tall and out-of-reach mangoes on the tree across the street from my dorm and on the way to my early morning swimming class. What I learned was that if I was patient, the ripe mangoes would fall to the ground on my way back. I just had to be sure to get them before the birds pecked at them.
When I think of mangoes, I also think of chutney. Why this week, I'll be back at it in my Chicago kitchen testing out some delicious recipes for you. While a mango chutney may come to mind at first when thinking about Indian culinary condiments, also think mint, mint-coriander, coconut, tomato, and tamarind chutneys. There are so many to choose from and so many ways to incorporate them into your meals - both Indian and non.
I'm inspired to start cooking again and sharing everything Indian with all of you!
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