Kitchen safety and hygiene, importance of summer

I am in Tokyo enjoying some chilly winds! It is 8 deg and I guess all my talk about eating right for summer suddenly becomes more relevant as India is facing a good summer!
I would like to take up a bit of the HACCP points. The trainer Trupti Bhat made us alert about looking for the ‘date of manufacture’ AND ‘date of best before’ on all products that we purchase. Both should be printed, if it is from a reliable company. Another thing she pointed out is about storing foods as per the instructions on the pack. If the masala packet says store in airtight container once opened, it means that. It is not such a good idea to keep the masala box as it is open in the freezer or in the cupboard. Another aspect she stressed was the hygiene level in the kitchen. Like using tea strainers that are clogged or blackened or simply not clean enough to look as good as new. Important points and I am sure all of you will make use of them. The list is actually long with the chopping board that need to be disinfected, the dish clothes that need to be dried in the sunlight etc.

Summers now are not as bad as a decade ago for the fruit market. Thanks to the world becoming smaller, we have a variety of fruits: grapes are visible, so are oranges and chiku, papaya, muskmelon, watermelon, pineapple, apples, pears, sweet limes..in fact, we have a vast choice. Oranges in fact help us to accept the heat! You could probably make a cooling Narangi Shorba which has the goodness of oranges. Well, oranges do sometimes get into a soup! Or for a heavier version (not a la Sumo!) try the Lemon and Tortilla soup, which boasts of pretty strips of tortilla, cooked to perfection in a lemony stock. The theme seems to be leaning toward Vitamin C! Which is essential in summer. Soon we could be gorging on a gorgeously different mango (this King of Fruits definitely makes its presence felt!) and coconut ice-cream.
Light dinners could mean a lovely Methi Chaman Biryani with long basmati in contrast with paneer and corn niblets and a handful each of methi leaves, coriander leaves and mint leaves and fried onions and chopped tomatoes and what-have-you masalas. Dip into some mixed veg raita with this and sweet slumber beckons. How would you like to scroll down to see some cooling recipes that use fruits in detail?
Banana Yogurt Custard, Crunchy Fruits Yogurt and Cheese, Shrikhand Biscuit Pudding.

Happy Summer!
Sanjeev Kapoor.

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