In the hearts of Indians their country arguably only has two seasons: Monsoon Season and Mango Season. The first chases the later through the country as the humid southwest summer monsoon slowly sweeps across India beginning in early June to September. The Indian Mango season begins in late April and continues through early September depending on which part of India you are in.
In a country as large as India, with a variety of climate zones, even when the monsoon has set in at one part, there will still be places where its weeks away, not to mention the southern Coromandel Coast, which will only get the returning north-east monsoon from November onwards. So even if the mango season is tailing off on the Malabar and Konkan coasts, it is hitting its peak on the plains of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, while Tamil Nadu will be enjoying mangoes for many weeks to come.
It is said that monsoon season replenishes India’s soil and in turn mango season, more than a few literary types have suggested, helps replenish India’s soul. At the peak of mango season, it is generally the hottest season in India, when temperatures commonly exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit–many middle-class families serve mangoes at every meal. The mango is often the only solace against the heat, until the monsoons come. As the delicious summer mangoes from Lucknow, southeast of New Delhi, lose their tartness it is a signal of reprise from the heat and that the dusty skies will soon fill with clouds bringing joyous, drenching rain to the parched land.
This July as some Indians welcome the spiritual, enchanting force of monsoon rains, while others enjoy sweet mangoes, I will bring you recipes using mangoes that can be served at every meal. Both are synonymous with life, celebration, passion, and to July. So, with a basket full of mangoes on hand I dedicate this month to Monsoon Mangoes.