Mumbai is oppressively hot for about 9 months of the year. There's a brief respite in January and February during the "winter" and then briefly during the monsoon. But otherwise, it is HOT. And cooling off is a bit of a city-wide obsession. There are all kinds of remedies for cooling foods (there's an ayurvedic theory about some foods that cause heat in the body while others are cooling) -- in fact, juicing has been a trend for decades!
There's a very famous juice spot in Mumbai called the Haji Ali Juice Center - everyone in the city knows exactly where it is. My favorite part about it is that like a lot of juice spots in the city, you can wait in your car, and someone will come take your order and bring your juice right to you! You never have to leave the air-conditioned comfort of your vehicle if you don't want to!
I've never had one of these cream dishes these guys are talking about, but their juices are great!
One of my favorite juices is watermelon juice, and while mine doesn't taste like the one at Haji Ali Juice Center, its delicious nonetheless.
Here's my recipe:
Half a watermelon, cubed
A generous handful of mint
Blend, and pour over ice.
And then, and this is the special Mumbai bit, top with a half a teaspoon of Chaat Masala. Chaat Masala is a mixture of spices that result in a salty, slightly tart flavor. A great balance to the sweetness of the watermelon. Its available on Amazon, and also at your neighborhood Indian grocer!
Here's a look at the finished product!
So as our temperatures start to climb this summer, try a little watermelon juice with a slight Mumbai twist!