Category Archives: mango
Lesson learnt.. Taking a break of even a SINGLE post makes it that much harder to get back into the groove, the good news, its great to get back into the experimental routine. of experimenting, tweaking and sharing the results with friends & family and , get a real life validation (as opposed to the support that comes with simply reading about my kitchen capers & dishes that I create. It completely revalidated the saying “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”.
I had the most wonderful week with Aunts, Uncles, cousins and their children visiting from India. It was a magical flash of memories from childhood summer holidays, the excitement of our children getting acquainted with each other to form precious bonds of affection that will stay with them through their childhood & beyond. To see these interactions from a parents line of sight brought back precious memories from a generation back. And where there are fond memories, there is always food. Stories about crops and harvests from the land that my grandfather owned. Learned about how there are 4 grades of sesame oil, the quality of which depended upon when the seed pods were harvested. The first pick ensured the best flavor, provided it was harvested before any rain fell upon the ripe pods. Any seed harvested and pressed after a rain was 2nd grade and oil pressed from subsequent pickings decreased progressively with each harvest. In this day and age, I wish more attention would be paid to keep such precious knowledge alive. ( & yes, a bottle of that High end ‘first pick’ EVSO would be an added blessing!).
There were ‘panfusine’ dishes snuck in for approval by my traditional, soft spoken ‘maama’ (maternal uncle) and the reward of getting a thumbs up from him meant a lot. A couple of prototypes that were sneaked in and await to be posted as a guest entry on Harini Prakash’s amazing vegan blog Tongue Ticklers. This weeks recipe is a whipped creamy version of the traditional mango srikhand or as I like to call it – Mango Lassi’s solid version. I had posted this earlier on the Whole Foods cooking site and it was judged as the winning recipe for a mango themed contest.
Mango Srikhand: (makes about 6 servings)
- 1.5 cups plain greek yogurt
- 4 slices ripe mango from a can (OR)
- 6 fresh mango slices (3 whole peeled, Champagne or ataulfo mangoes preferred here, just the ‘cheeks’)
- 4 teaspoons confectioners sugar
- 8-10 strands of saffron plus few more for garnish
- seeds from 4 cardamom pods (powdered)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Juice of one Mayer Lemon
- Pistachio halves for garnish
- In a food processor, blend the mangoes, cardamom powder, saffron, confectioners sugar & whipped cream until the mixture has the thick texture of pancake batter.
- Keeping the processor on, add the Greek yogurt (and extra sugar, if desired). Once the yogurt has been incorporated, Add the Lemon juice. Allow the processor to run for 30 seconds more until the citrus completely mixes. Transfer the yogurt into a serving bowl (or individual cups), Chill until set (the texture should be similar to pudding). Garnish with Saffron & Pistachio halves. Serve chilled.
It may be late winter in the US but this time of year marks the beginning of the Mango season in India and the ‘Alphonso’ is the reigning king of the hundreds of varieties that sequentially make their appearance.
Although the canned variety is never as good as the real thing, the uniformity in sweetness & texture renders it useful for baking purposes. I tried to recreate the taste of a refreshing mango punch ( referred to as ‘aam ka panna’ in hindi) made with ginger, mango pulp & a hint of cardamom.
The tart pastry recipe is from Carole Walter’s book ‘Great pies & tarts, p. 104, with minor substitutions (ghee instead of vegetable shortening and equal parts of All purpose flour & pastry flour)
- 3/4 cups All purpose flour
- 3/4 cups pastry flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup frozen butter diced
- 2 tablespoons Ghee partially frozen
- 1/2 cup iced water
- 1/3 teaspoon Salt
Alphonso mango filling:
- 1 cup Canned Alphonso mango cut into strips
- 1/8 cup extract from fresh ginger root
- 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1.5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 pods, cardamom seeds, crushed fine
- 10-12 unsalted pistachios, slivered
- 9-10 Candied kumquat peels, chopped fine (optional)
- Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 5 seconds till the ingredients are combined.
- Add half the butter & ghee and pulse 4-5 times before processing for a further 5 seconds. Add the remaining butter & ghee & repeat the process. The texture of the flour should be similar to cream of wheat with pea sized pellets of butter.
- Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Using a kitchen fork to push the mix towards the center of the bowl, add the chilled water, a tablespoon at a time. The mix will begin clumping into dough with each addition of the water.
- To test if the mixture has enough water, gather the dough & press against the side of the bowl to see if it holds up & does not crumble. If the mix is crumbly keep adding water in smaller increments till the dough holds up.
- Using floured hands,press the dough against the side of the bowl and flatten into a disk. Liberally dust with flour and cover the disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until needed.
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- For fresh ginger extract, peel a 2 -3 inch piece of the fresh root and grate it using the fine shredder of a box grater. Squeeze out the juice from the shredded ginger. leave to settle for ~ 5 minutes before decanting the brownish extract from the top. Discard the white starchy sediment settled in the bottom.
- In a saucepan, combine the orange juice, confectioners sugar, ginger extract, cardamom & the cornstarch and stir continuously on low heat till the mixture resembles a thick custard like paste. Add the candied Kumquat peel at this point if you wish.
- Add the mango strips & combine well. remove from stove & set aside.
- Remove the pastry dough from the freezer and roll into a 1/16 inch thickness ( I use those measuring bands at the end of the rolling pin).
- Cut out 4 in circles using a biscuit cutter & fit into the cups of a muffin pan ( confession: I have yet to invest in a proper tart pan). You will have some pastry dough left over. Simply re-wrap & freeze for future use.
- Drop about 1 tablespoon of the mango mixture into the centre of the tartlet shells.
- Bake at 325 F for about 15-20 minute or until the bottom & outer sides of the tartlets are golden brown.
- Allow to cool, garnish with slivered pistachios & serve with a steaming hot cup of Masala Chai.