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)You need:
- 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.