How To Survive A Mumbai Summer
Sweltering heat, humidity, sweat, and the occasional peek of a box of mangoes are all signs – summer is here. With heat levels that only seem to increase, cooling off becomes a major priority. The car A/C on full blast and getting out of the city just don’t cut it on a day-to-day basis, but some of these food tricks will help you cool down to levels where you’ll still have some sanity left.
A typical food thought with summer is mangoes, even though there are other kinds of abundance. Street carts explode with oranges, tangerines, and big yellow limes. It’s fitting if you consider that now’s the best time to OD on citrus to prevent dehydration. With body heat levels rising, some foods are best avoided. Skip fatty fare like Vada Pav and eat a bit lighter.
Start with berries, which are delicious and filled with antioxidants. Any decent juice place around the city shall make you a berry-overloaded juice. The 4 Berry Juice at Hari Om Juice Centre near Vile Parle station is worth travelling for.
Make sure you get your fix of watermelons. Juice it, drink it, serve it in a salad with feta, or freeze it into popsicles! Watermelon margaritas, coolers, and mojitos should be go-to drinks this summer. Our greatest party trick this season is to hollow out half a watermelon, and use its pulp to make a punch, serving it in the watermelon itself.
Locally available coconuts are nowhere near the best, but they’re still sweet, refreshing, and hydrating on days the sun shines too bright. My favourite sweet coconut water comes from a man sitting opposite Tata Garden at Breach Candy, although consistency is hard to expect even though the same trucks supply the same coconuts to the same vendors. The perfect coconut for me has a lot of sweet water, and what’s called ‘patli malai,’ a thin sliver of coconut skin with a texture that’s heavenly light and tender. City ice cream chain Natural’s serves tender coconut and berry ice creams.
There isn’t a better season to be fond of salads. With ingredients like avocados, arugula, citrus, amaranth, and fresh cheese, leafy meals are better for you than they’ve ever been. Experiment with ingredients like beetroot and arugula. If you’re really lazy, attempt your own version of a Gazpacho soup. The cold soup is made from pureed vegetables, and you can whip up an original wholesome and healthy soup recipe.
On walking the streets in the day and wanting a quick cool-off, nothing beats Chaas and Lassi, especially Mango Lassi. I would normally hit up Cannon at CST for Pav Bhaji and have a Lassi while I’m at it, but Kailas Lassi near Dadar Station does the trick just as well!
Summers call for perspiration. Your body needs you to sweat to cool off. So if you aren’t sweating already, get to it. Spicy food makes you perspire, which makes summer a great excuse to visit chaat stalls and ask for the spice levels taken up a notch. Ram Ashray in Matunga serves delectably spiced plates of Rasam Vada. The flavorful Rasam aids cooling off with a balanced spice punch.
If you’re out in the evening, head to Bachelorr’s for their famous ice creams, seasonal shakes, and Mangoes with cream. They now have branches in Fort and Bandra Reclamation too. If you’re feeling indulgent, visit Badshah near CST for the Paan and Mango Faloodas!
The beginning of summer sees the last of strawberries and pink guavas while the end of summer welcomes foods like lychees. Different varieties of mangoes reach the market as the months progress. Each month brings with it a newer, more refreshing harvest.
It’s only the beginning of summer, and while the heat levels rise, the streets remain bountiful.