The chaunsa, sindhri, anwar ratol: Pakistan’s mangoes. Oh, and the dohsehri. That’s the one you soften with your fingers, till it feels like soft pulp and then you pierce a tiny hole at the top. You suck out all the juice. And that’s how you eat that mango. But my favourite, which appears in late July, is the langra- with a thick parrot-green skin. And when you cut into it, the juice starts to ooze out-like perfect yolk from a softly poached egg-and forms a puddle in your plate. The flesh is fibrous and honeycomb-sweet.
It’s the kind of mango you want to eat privately, tilted forward into your kitchen sink, your back towards everyone else, the juices running down your hands, the side of your arms, sucking each piece of flesh off of the green skin and the seed. The seed, that’s the best bit. And I never share it with anyone. Somehow, the best time of day to eat a mango, is after lunch. There is something decadent and naughty about it; right after you’re done, you’re going to dive into bed for a siesta. Not a calorie burned off.
But just before having that siesta, jugs of doogh are brought to table. To cool us down before we retreat to our bedrooms while the temperatures outside peak at 42C. They say milk induces sleep. After a meal of puffed chapatis with a spicy chicken karahi, rounded off with mango gluttony, I dare say that we need anything to induce sleep.
Madhani for twirling
The doogh is made with creamy yoghurt and topped off with bubbly water, so that with each sip it tingles on the tongue, while the ice cubes clink and clank against the frosted glass. The mint is fresh and welcoming against the creaminess of the doogh. With both hands, my Aunty Shahla twirls the madhani in the jug, making sure that the milk doesn’t settle at the bottom, and then continues to pour the doogh into glasses for us.
“Beghi, een bisyaar khub ast,” Aunty Shahla says, in Dari, take it, it’s wonderful.
Wonderful indeed. Salty, verdant, cool deliciousness.
*1 cup whole milk yoghurt
*8-10 large ice cubes
*salt to taste
*1-2 tsp dried mint
*Whip yoghurt till it is creamy and transfer to a 1 litre jug.
*Add ice cubes.
*Slowly add club soda and stir.
*Add salt to taste and dried mint.