Skip to main content

What makes my heart sing

If you look for variety in the fruits you eat, you would have seen them all. The all-pervasive, available round the year ones like apples. And the seasonal ones like strawberries and sitaphal that pop in for a few days each year. Then there are some that are neither grown nor exported to India so you don't even expect to ever see blueberries on your store shelves.

And then there is one fruit grown right here but so elusive that buying it every single time feels like an adventure or a stroke of luck. I am talking of mulberries.

In Delhi winter, you sometimes spot an old woman selling mulberries by the roadside. You might even get a choice between the dainty green and the juicy red berries if you are lucky. But nothing of that sort happens in warmer Mumbai. And because they are so delicate and have such a short shelf life, no one thinks of shipping them your way even when they grow as close to the city as Mahabaleshwar.

Then, all of a sudden, I pass by a fruit seller and there sits one finely packed box of mulberries. Just one solitary box, all by itself. I tell the guy to open it, for how do I know what state they are in after the ordeal of traveling from Mahabaleshwar. And there they are, perfect red berries, nested in a bed of mulberry leaves.

My first taste of mulberries this year, and more than enough to make me happy. I know I will go back to that fruit stall every weekend for the next month, but finding them again - that would require a miracle!

Comments

Sunshinemom said…
We had mulberry tree in Barriely, and our dresses would get stained with the juice during this season. Miss it now! You are really lucky to have found this fellow - I hope he comes there every weekend!
Rachel said…
I 've had quite a lot of mulberries plucked right of trees during my yonder days...miss those days....
Soma said…
don't know if i ever ate mulberries.. may be we call it soemthing else. Why didn't u post a pic ? :-(
Vaishali said…
I don't think I ever tasted mulberries in Bombay. Nice post, Simran.
Bharti said…
I have never tasted a mulberry I thin. I'm glad you got your heart's desire.
Simran said…
Soma - I did want to post a picture but temptation took over and they finished too soon.

And everyone who doesn't know mulberries - they are called shahtoots in hindi so you might have heard that name. It looks like a blackberry on a diet, and is very very soft.
sanjai said…
Shahtoot and Bareilly - brings back childhood memories - memories that play like a classic movie reel in my mind. I remember going to the mandir (anand ashram) in Bareilly which had a few shahtoot trees; we would scour the ground for green shahtoot and devour them - yes - picked fresh off the ground, foreign objects dusted off!! I don't think I've found mulberries anywhere since. If you've ever bought Blackberries thinking that they were mulberries, one bite will rudely clear up that notion...
DEESHA said…
I love mulberries too. its been ages since I had them
notyet100 said…
even i love them,..specially from our village,..we use to collect them from oour village garden when we were kids,..ur post md eme nostalgic,..:-) but felt good too brough bck old memories,..

Popular posts from this blog

Fruits of the Forest

I know there hasn't been a new recipe on these pages for a while. But worry not, I'm back with a real zinger. Earthy, creamy, crunchy - this is an appetizer that ticks all the right boxes. And if you happen to be a mushroom lover like me, this is the best way to eat mushrooms I've found so far. I present to you, for all your year end parties and appetizer cravings - creamy mushroom pate on toast.

Its mushroom pate two way - just on its own and panko-crumbed and fried. Both go on a crisp garlic baguette with watercress and some kewpie mayonnaise. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients
Crunchy garlic butter toasts (I buy them as is, but you can also slice and toast baguettes)
200 grams button mushrooms
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
kewpie mayonnaise (or regular mayonnaise)
watercress or micro herbs
salt and black pepper to taste
oil for deep frying

First, make mushroom pate. Y…

Farm to Fork in Chail

Back in 19th century, when Shimla was the summer capital of India, the Maharaja of Patiala got the British rulers riled over his dalliances and got banned from entering the city. Not the one to be put down so easily, he found a tiny little town about an hour from Shimla and made Chail his very own summer capital. Today, Chail still has the impressive Palace that the Maharaja built and the highest cricket ground in the world. There really isn't much more to the city apart from a small local market and a couple of hotels that get spillover crowd from Shimla in the summers. It's a pleasant little diversion but that's not why I went to Chail. I stopped nine kilometers short of the town to make Ekam my home for a weekend.

Sumeet Singal built this house on a cliff as his own weekend home. Today, even when Ekam is open as a luxury boutique resort, the cosy homely feeling remains intact. I asked Sumeet what there was to do during my three day holiday at Ekam. He told me that ther…

A Bowlful of Comfort

I have a friend who is quite the globetrotter. Lunches at her place, often right after her trips, are a treasure trove of global flavours. But the last time we met, she was just back from Tamil Nadu and out she brought a bowl of curd rice. I love curd rice and have eaten a lot of it over the years but my friend's version was so full of flavours and textures, it was a revelation. Obviously, I asked for the recipe.

The genius of this curd rice lies in adding the tempering or the tadka twice, once to mix in the rice so it absorbs all the flavours. Then you make a second batch to top the rice with just before you serve, so it adds crunch to the usually mushy dish. The recipe also has a few other elements added in for texture, freshness and flavour.

I over-ate at lunch at my friend's and I over-ate again when I made this for myself for lunch. Plus, all the ingredients you need are likely in your kitchen already so you may as well go make it now.

Ingredients
1/2 cup rice
1 cup plain…