If there is one good thing about the brutal summer, it’s got to be mangoes. That’s possibly the only thing that makes us look forward to the beginning to May; it’s definitely the only thing that makes us sad about the end of July.

For the last 20 years or so, mangoes have found a special home in the kitchen of The Spice Route. The much-acclaimed, even-more-awarded South East Asian themed restaurant at The Imperial goes bananas over this king of fruit, incorporating it in starters, mains and desserts of Thai, Keralan, Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Sri Lankan origin. {Those original Spice Route travellers must have been very happy people, indeed!}

We started with Chef Veena’s signature Yum Namuang Salad – a lot like a Raw Papaya salad, except this one uses Raw Mango instead. The mains vary from an Irachi Manghai Curry, which is a Kerala style mutton curry with raw mangoes, and the super brilliant Maambalam Katrikai – a Thai eggplant curry with raw mangoes and coconut paste. Dishes like the Ga Xao Hot Dieu {which is the quintessenial Chilli Chicken} incorporate chunks of fresh mangoes, as do the bright orange speckled Jasmine Coconut Rice and soft centered Kerala Appams, perfect for mopping up every last bit of the tangy curries. Finish off with more mango yumness in the Thai inspired desserts.

The superstar for us was eaily the Mangai Rassam. Enough can’t be said about its complex beauty, and we’re not even going to try.

This is what mid-summer dreams are made of, day or night.

Where: The Spice Route at The Imperial, Janpath, Delhi

Nearest Metro: Rajiv Chowk

For more information: Call +91-11-23341234

Prices: Menu is a la carte. Approximately INR 8000 for a meal for two.

To see Chef Veena Arora’s contribution to LBB’s {The Recipe Project}, click here.

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