Summers are here! Here are the top eight favourite foods of all times, that we Punekars love and look forward to every summer.
Sweet, wholesome and delicious. This definitely tops the list and anyone who doesn’t agree with me should move to Alaska. In Pune we cannot have enough of aamras, EVER. We have it with puris, with chapatis or just by itself. The king of fruits rules our summers and a summer without aamras is like Diwali without lights. Long live the aamras.
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Since mangoes rule all, we like to use it in any form we can. A deliciously uplifting drink, this one. Made with boiled raw mangoes and lightly spiced with mint and cardamom, this sweet and sour wonder drink is packed with vitamin C and is very hydrating and refreshing. Every ardent Punekar has a bottle of this golden beauty made and stored in their fridges all through summer.
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To beat the dry heat that we face in Pune, we have our ways of hydrating us during each meal, because well water could get a tad boring. So, here we came up with the nourishing and cooling substitute for a spicy meal. Made with curd and grated cucumber and ground roasted peanuts, this serves as the perfect accompaniment to every meal. You owe your guts this one!
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Now while we really do like our bhakris, puris and chapatis, for the summers, we like to give our own special twist to the bhakri and make it with rice flour. Although filling, it’s very light and easy to digest. So this makes for a great cereal addition to every meal that you can eat without making you sweat.
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For a snack, this one rates high as a summer favourite. The kothmir or coriander leaves are full of loads of vitamins and minerals that aid digestion, keep your blood pressure in check and aid in better sleep; basically, keeping away summer hindrances. Coupled with gram flour and spices, this makes for a delicious summer snack with a tangy pudina or tamarind chutney.
The sweeter cousin to the aamras, made with hung curd, sugar and fresh mango pulp. This is a dessert that one can’t resist. The goodness of mangoes, with the tart and cooling hung curd and sugar; boy, I could eat this one all day.
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During summer, every Pune terrace or balcony is a delicious sight to behold. On large pieces of cloth, you see the preparations for the rest of the year. Drying marinated kairis and limes for the lonchas and various preparations of papads (sabudana, tandul, batata, the list goes on) in the sun and eating them freshly made is a summer joy we all look forward to. Especially the dry marinated kairis, YUMMM.
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Well you get the drift, summer is all about mangoes, sweet, tangy, ripe and raw. Because we have to have our lentils, well, you know for a healthy nutritious meal (I mean you can’t keep eating aamras all the time), we figured a way to get mango into this one too! A healthy savoury and tangy dal that is a perfect accompaniment to the tandlachi bhakri or any other cereal. It’s light, full of flavour and very, very nutritious.
While the heat does bear down on us and we go out looking like we were dacoits on bikes (you know, with the scarves wrapped up and all!), summer is something we look forward to just because we get to devour all the good things. Dominated by the king of fruits, we Punekars sure know how to beat the heat.