My parents lived in the outskirts of the city in our farmhouse for a few years, while I was studying in boarding school. Even though I never got to be home for long periods of time at a stretch, I clearly remember really looking forward to going back there for the holidays.
Our house had a large plot of land at the back where we had teak plantations, and the front overlooked a lush rose garden, courtesy of my mom’s green thumb. It was everything you’d picture a farm-house to be – a kitchen garden, vast untouched spaces, huge shady trees that were planted during my grandfather’s times, the works. We had turkeys, guinea fowl, and my dad even bought these funny looking chickens from somewhere, that looked like they had furry socks on their feet!
But my favourite part of it all was an old elevated pond nestled under a huge mango tree, which was spruced up and made into a dip pool! Big enough for four people to wade around comfortably in (when my dog decided to give us the space that is!). I’d sit there every evening, until my feet and hands got wrinkly from being completely saturated with water.
Right. I’m going to start talking about what this story has to do with passion fruit cordial (!) in just a second after I slowly ease out of my reverie. Yes. So, we had a long barbed wire fence that ran along the side of the house with a tangled mess of passion fruit vines trailing over them. They were almost always laden with fruit and their beautiful flowers (picture above) that look like something straight out of Avatar! I remember every bit of that excitement as I waited for the fruits to go yellow from green, and it always tasted best when you got to pick them yourself. Sweet nostalgia.
INGREDIENTS : (Makes 6 glasses)
For the concentrate :
1 cup of Passion fruit (about 6 – 8 fruits)
½ cup granulated sugar
For the cordial :
Passion fruit concentrate (recipe above)
Extra passion fruit (optional)
A few mint leaves
Blend together the passion fruit (along with the seeds) and sugar with 3 cups of water until it becomes a thick purée (you can run it through a sieve at this point, but I like to keep it as is). This can be stored up to 15 days in the refrigerator.
To make the cordial, pour the concentrate into glasses (to taste) and add mint leaves, extra passion fruit, and ice cubes. Top with still/sparkling water and serve chilled.