Mango Manna

Its mango season and I’m reposting this from a few years ago. Gosh, how I miss shopping mangoes in Mumbai. A case of the best.
Crates of Aapus Mangoes at Jyotiba Phule Mandi, Crawford Market by Arun Shanbhag

In India, the scorching heat is but a small price to pay for luscious aapus mangoes. My mother was irked I skipped lunches and feasted instead on four mangoes, and a few more after dinner. During the last week, I was gulping 6-8 aapus a day, hoping to be sick of them by the time I returned. Alas, in the cafeteria today my eyes searched for mangoes, knowing full well there weren't any. Continue reading “Mango Manna”

Colaba Vegetable Market

Picture of fresh fruits and vegetables at Colaba Vegetable Market Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

Growing up, most evenings we’d end up around Colaba Market. It was centrally located and many friends lived around there. Even today, when we go for a walk with Meera, we shop our way through the market enroute to Kailash Parbat for some chaat. Continue reading “Colaba Vegetable Market”

Badshah – King of Cold Drinks

Falooda at Badshah Cold Drink, Mumbai Arun Shanbhag

As kids growing up in South Mumbai, we often went to Crawford Market and environs for most of our shopping. Abdul Rehman St for stationery, Lohar Chawl for all our electrical stuff, Paidonii, Zaveri Bazar and wherever. To this day, the wide variety of things you can buy there amazes me. I saw my favorite 'Nutella,' much cheaper in Mumbai than here in Boston. 😦 My cousin and I walked till we dropped; then rested at > Badshah Cold Drinks.

This 100-year old institution has quenched millions of parched throats. It has the widest selection of fruit juices, milkshakes and icecreams. I spend a few minutes browsing the entire menu and as usual, end up ordering what I always order – Royal Falooda. Rose Syrup, vermicelli from maize flour, milk, sabjah (black seeds) and topped with vanilla icecream! Heavenly! My cousin brother tried the Mango Falooda! The bill was less than Rs 90 (< 2 USD).

Fruits arrayed behind the counter. Can you spot the peeping worker?
Falooda at Badshah Cold Drink, Mumbai Arun Shanbhag

Other Posts on Fruits and Vegetables

Sitaaphal

pics of sitaaphal by Arun Shanbhag
The one fruit I sorely miss. Sitaaphal from the fruit-wallah on Colaba Causeway, Mumbai. Sitaaphal is also called a custard apple.


Other Fruits & Vegetables Posts:


Get a paan and some fruits

This paan-wallah has been serving customers near our house for as long as I can remember. His day starts at 6:30am, when he bathes at an outdoor water tank and scrubs his pots to a gleaming sheen. Then washes all the paan. As kids we used to reach over and grab some of the 'sweet paan masala' on the way to school. After Sunday fish curry lunch, we would all get paan and act like grown-ups – chewing and spitting out the juice through reddened teeth. Even now I ask for my, “ek mitha paan banana, katri supari, chuna kum” His wife lives in Uttar Pradesh. He would take a month off each year and visit her (what sacrifice). Now his three sons help at this stall and run other stalls of their own.

Here he is preparing for some of his early customers. The fruitwallah from the stall behind is posing as well.

The yellow cast is from the funky tarpaulin to protect from the blazing sun and occasional downpour


The Fruit Stall. Another pic from an earlier trip two years ago. In both, a taxi awaits and people walk by. Fruit-wallah brags that the blemish-free, ruby red pomegranates were imported from Kabul. So I got those to support the Afghani farmers in addition to my regular sitaaphal.

What apples were they?

From my previous post on apples.

The apples shown were (from left): Royal Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Fuji and Red Delicious.

As many of you promised, grab a few apples (or any other fruit) on your next outing to the grocery store. They are so much better than the junk snacks the MNCs want us to eat.

An Apple (or two) a day!


I love to eat apples. They are juicy, crunchy, delicious and filling. And they are nutritionally loaded! A convenient snack whenever I want. I carry a couple in my bag everyday to work. I eat them at my desk, walking to the train, waiting for a meeting, or even in a lecture. Wet and wipe clean, and bite into it! Crunch! Crunch! Some varieties are so juicy that as you bite, you have to suck the juice as well, or it runs down the side of your mouth.

I eat about 8-10 apples each week. Thus I select a wide variety at the grocery stores. Red Delicious are probably my favorite – sweet, juicy and crunchy. As they over ripen they tend to crumble without a crunch and that is a big NO. Braeburns are probably my next favorite. They are a little smaller and great as a second apple of the day. I need to be in a certain mood to munch on the extra crunchy and sour Granny Smiths. If I cut one at home, I sprinkle a little salt on it and it reminds me of 'kairi' with salt outside the school. Royal Gala seems a nice mix of the crunchiness of the Granny Smith and the sweetness of the Red Delicious. Fuji apples are very similar in taste, crunchiness and sweetness to the Braeburns, but a tad less juicy. The Golden Delicious are probably my least favorite, They seem to have aspects I dislike in all the others – they crumble, less sweet, less juicy, not sour – just middle of the road. But I still eat them regularly for variety – to build character I say! What about Macintosh's? Well, there is only so much character a guy can have.

Here are a few apples from this weekend. Can you match the names to the apples shown. There is only one of each. Give it a shot! Better still, pick up a few during your next stop at the grocery store.

Answers here
Crunch! Crunch!

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