April Mangoes
Lauki Doodhi Kheer- Sweet Gourd Dessert

Cuppa Cantaloupe



You might have gathered that pavements are in heavy demand here. Pedestrians generally take to the road along with the two, three and four wheelers and weave their way in and around all sorts of life threatening potholes, excavations, manholes and other hazards of a nation on the move.

It makes daily life a challenge. When your heart leaps up, at least ten times a day, as you behold a lorry coming straight at you, or feel the slip stream of a motorcyclist with pretentions to being Evel Knievel, you cannot ever take life for granted and remain in a perpetual state of gratitude for every breath you take.


Melons , among several other things contend for that space on the pavement and what colourful contenders they are. The large red melon is known as Kharbooza here and the small cantaloupe as kalingad . Musk melon , Cucumis melo, is part of the cucumber family the Cucurbitaceae family of herbaceous vines which originated in India and is one of the oldest plants in the history of the world.

Also known as honeydew it is one of the sweetest and most reasonably priced fruit available this season. It is typically grown in kitchen gardens in villages in India as well as on a larger scale, making fields of pretty blossoms. It is a very healthy food with high amounts of Vitamin A , C and potassium and is also full of anti oxidants.

I make an interesting dessert with cantaloupe by cutting it into cubes and then mixing the cubes into equal parts of cream and ice cream sprinkling the whole with a spoonful of caster sugar. What follows is another nice dessert which is as simple to make:


One 6"-7" medium sized melon
Juice of 2 lemons
400 gms cream
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 cup ginger syrup

Ginger syrup: 3 tsps grated or ground fresh ginger steeped in 1/4 cup water and strained. 3 tablespoons sugar. Heat the ginger water with the sugar till it melts. Take off the fire and leave to cool.

Cut the top of the melon and take out the seeds with a spoon. Scoop out the pulp leaving the case intact. Make a serrated edge to the top of the melon and refrigerate.

Blend the melon pulp, sugar, lemon juice, ginger syrup and 200 gms of the cream in a mixer. Pour into a bowl . Cover and freeze. When thickened but not set blend in the rest of the cream with a fork till smooth. Refreeze. When set scoop out the ice cream into the melon case and serve immediately.