Monsoon and Food

The monsoon on the west coast of India is stunning. Everything is fresh and lush, beautiful green landscape and the sky and the Arabian Sea are all my favourite shades of grey. The weather actually borders on chilly and so long as one doesn’t have to battle traffic jams life is perfect. I wake up in the morning, look out of the window and when I see green trees, grey skies and grey sea I’m happy.

      

The monsoon usually starts here in the 1st week of June and can go on to the mid September so we should’ve been in the middle of it all. It’s hardly rained this year, which is disastrous.

But this is a food blog so back to food. We in India get very excited when it starts raining. It is such a relief from the heat. In the north, where I’m from, people are pretty obsessed with food so when it’s raining outside and the weather cools down you sit on your veranda and that’s what you think about. The verandas are wishful thinking. Most of us don’t have verandas but just to give a perfect image. Pakoras with steaming hot masala tea. I’m actually not a big fan of masala tea but who can resist a pakora.

My other monsoon food is bhutta (corn on the cob). In Bombay it’s a winter snack and the image below is of a bhutta wala on Juhu Beach. You get the best bhuttas off the street. I associate bhuttas with the mountains. When we were children we’d go to one of the hill towns in the Himalayas every year for our summer holidays. And always when it had just started raining. So cold and wet weather, fresh mountain air, pine trees, long walks, no irritating tourists (all the tourists had run back to the plains as soon as the rain started and we didn’t think of ourselves as tourists), it was heaven. Perfect bhutta weather. I remember Nainital and the bhutta walas. They had little stands next to the Naini Lake with a wire mesh sitting on hot coal. They’d roast the corn over the coal and when it’s done dip half a lime into salt and red chilli powder and then rub it on to the corn. Delicious. I’d love one now with some cold mountain air.

Bhutta wala on Juhu Beach

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