Mango season has to bring memories of other days. Days when Mom would buy two or three kilos of mangoes because I was crazy about them. She would then pick out the ones that were on the verge of going soft, peel them and squeeze out the pulp into our favorite “round dubba” and freeze at least two “dubbas” like that. I would look forward to eating a chunk of that frozen mango pulp after every meal. I was such a  mango junkie!.

We would buy the “raspuri” variety because the “banganapalli” variety used to be more expensive. The raw mangoes were a big favorite as we would make mango rice, mango daal, mango pachadi – we just freaked out. Then of course there was the major planning for avakkai oorgai (cut mango pickle) which had to be made just so. Mom was a great cook – and specialist in podis, pachadis, chutneys and pickles. She could never resist adding a twist to any recipe seh came across. 

I fondly remember the times we would faithfully watch cooking programs with her – because she needed a scribe to note down points, but that was rare, because her knowledge about most things was so vast that she remembered everything. Me – I don’t waste my mental storage trying to remember recipes beyond the daily menus. I prefer to jot it all down in a book and stick it in a container on the kitchen shelf so that I can refer to it if I need to. Of course, I WILL get around to trying Mom’s 25 odd dosa recipes. Probably.

Gosh, I do miss the vendaya (mendayam) podi which Mom especially made. I believe that it is the “sarva roga nivaarani” (cure for all diseases) It seemed to magically get rid of tummy aches, that weird sick feeling, headaches, and just about anything. Like our Franch Oil. We use it for everything – cuts, burns, boils, rashes, pain…

Sigh. Life does go on, does it not?