Walking down Kuala Lumpur’s premier food street, Jalan Alor, basking in the mouth-watering aromas emanating from food being prepared by vendors, my eyes fell upon a cart splashed with colors of the rainbow. As I approached it, it dawned upon me that this was an epicurean’s haven; a grand display of Malaysia’s finest offerings. The cart was adorned with the colors of the rainbow in the form of exotic fruits. The deep burgundy of the dragon-fruits, the parrot green colored rather large guavas, to the aubergine tinted mangosteens donning green caps and the hedgehog looking rambutans; all in their finest livery waiting to be plucked. Like a child in a toy shop with sparkling eyes, I took my time in choosing the best of the lot. All these gems required special treatment; a creation to match their exoticism.
This thought bothered me for hours; what would I do with all this fruit? Ideas came and went but nothing seemed to excite me. Until I randomly remembered a trip to Borough market in London with my aunt a few years ago while I was studying there. She had taken hours to pick fresh fruit for a dinner she was having one balmy summer evening. She wanted to make a dessert that was not heavy rather would help to bring the mercury down and tantalize the palate of her guests. Hence this recipe was born; tropical fruit salad with iced mint tea. At first thought, it seemed absurd but once complete it was a treat for all the senses. Taking my cue, I set out to create my version of the fruit salad.
- 1 Dragonfruit
- 1 large green guava
- 1/2 pink papaya
- 2 red apples
- 2 mangosteens
- 6 rambutans
- 1 starfruit
- 1 cup lychees, pitted
- 2 bananas
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp honey
- Juice of one lime
- Place water in a saucepan and add the mint. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 5 minutes
- Add the honey and stir for another minute. If you want the tea to be sweeter, add some more honey
- Let the tea cool for 15 minutes. Once cooled pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or till required. Do not discard the mint leaves, let them infuse while the tea chills
- Meanwhile chop all the fruit except the dragon fruit and mix together in a bowl. (Do not add the dragon fruit at this point as it leaves color). Leave some starfruit to garnish at the end as well
- Right before serving, add lime juice to the fruits and stir well
- Pour in the iced mint tea and mix together to infuse the fruit salad
- Garnish with the remaining starfruit and chopped dragon fruit
The differing flavors of the fruits infused with the sweetness of honey, the pungent lime and the soothing mint creates a refreshing fruit salad. A perfect dish to be served in the dead of summer when the mercury soars through the roof and a mouth-watering way to open your fast as well. A fruit salad helps to keep the freshness of the fruit intact, letting all the delicious flavors seep through. A blissful way to spend the summers; eating a bowl of tropical fruit salad with iced mint tea.