I am not a summer person. Especially not 'summers in India' person. Because here, chubhti, jalti garmi means more sweat than there is water on earth, power cuts, and a toxic obsession with AC ki hawa.
But, the one and only thing that makes crazy Indian summers worth it, is aamras.
*Just the thought of it gives me foodgasms!*
Aamras is technically mango puree. It is a sweet dish made with mango pulp and is traditionally a part of Gujarati cuisine.
But for me, it is a reminder of my childhood, the hope that there are still good things in the world, and undoubtedly better than any ice-cream or cold drink ever created.
I was only ten and had traveled to Mumbai to meet my grandparents when I first tasted aamras. That was the day I decided to improve my vocabulary because delicious seemed inadequate to describe what the first taste of aamras felt like.
To date, I struggle to put into words the feeling of consuming a dish that elevates the taste of mangoes to manna from heaven.
And no, mango smoothies, mango drinks, mango ice-cream, or even aam panna just can't compare to the wonderful, rich flavor of aamras.
For someone like me, who is not a fan of sweet dishes or fruits, aamras offers just the right amount of sweetness, while still retaining the essence of mango.
Much like how historically, a queen has been better without a king, IMHO aamras is better without accompaniments. But aamras, with its thick texture, is often consumed with pooris or paranthas.
Yes, summertime in India means orange bars and golas that color your tongue, chill you to the core, and then leave you with a sore throat. And of course, it's all worth it.
But aamras goes one step ahead. It satisfies your soul and is not frowned upon by the parents. It's like that one friend who all the parents liked.
It's like the mythical unicorn, only, aamras is very real, very easily available (thanks mummy, aap ke world ke best cook ho), and comes with a no-calorie count. At least for me.
Kyunki aamras pyaar hai. And all is fair in love!