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A jar. On the fire escape. Steeping.

Mangoes & Curry Leaves
The beautiful, enviable, luscious Mangoes & Curry Leaves

Oh, to have a deck... Or a patio... Or an accessible fire escape.

Gasping apartment-dwellers (myself included) tend to pine particularly pathetically during heat waves such as this.

That's why, as I paged through stacks of cookbooks in search of Thanksgiving recipes today (yes, even in the midst of triple-digit days, we industry types are already planning for the big bird), I was especially smitten with the cool, restorative look of Tamarind-Mint Tea in the latest Jeffrey Alford/Naomi Duguid foodpornfest, Mangoes & Curry Leaves. (And if I could find a big green mango in my pierogi-lovin' nabe, I'd be all over the Green Mango Cooler sitting next to it.)

Mmmm... astringent, tangy, spicy and sour. To my mind, that's a quickening combination that beats the pants off a cloying cherry-red slushy any day of the week.

For your sipping pleasure:
Tamarind-Mint Tea from Mangoes & Curry Leaves
Makes about 8 cups; Serves 4 to 8

2 cups loosely packed mint leaves
1/4 cup tamarind pulp, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups boiling water

Wash out a 1-gallon glass jar with hot water to heat it, then place all the ingredients in the jar. Use a long spoon to break up the tamarind and help it blend with the water. Stir well and let it sit for at least 1 hour.

Mix the tea again well, then strain it through a sieve or strainer. Serve hot or cold, as you like.

This can also be made as sun tea, starting with cold water. Simply mix all the ingredients in the gallon glass jar and then put the jar into the sun for a few hours to brew. Easy and fun. Serve over ice.

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8.02.2006

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