Mango Pie

Story of Mango Pie:

Think of a superrrr-duper easy dessert, with very few ingredients,does not use fattening stuff, HEALTHY, refreshing and absolutely delectable. Could you come up with something? Well… we have! Here’s an astonishingly quick, healthy, fruity and delicious dessert – THE “Mango Yoghurt Pie”. The only pie you’ll want to make over and over again.

We, at Culinaria, usually call it the Mango Shrikhand pie. Shrikhand is a refreshing Indian dessert, low fat and healthy because it’s made with yoghurt. Usually it is eaten by itself but here is a pie version of it using mangoes, making it the most delectable dessert for summer. Think of it as Mangoes and cream but in its healthiest form!

Process:

The ingredients for this are the simplest of all. Some digestive biscuits, powdered sugar and butter for base & mango and yoghurt for filling and decorating.

Hung Curd Process:

To hang the curd, put a muslin cloth on a large sieve and put the sieve on a pot.

Tie a knot with two diagonal corners of the muslin cloth to form a bag.

Put a wooden spoon on a deep pot and tie the cloth bag onto the wooden spoon with the remaining two corner.

Let it stand for 1-2 hours. make sure the cloth is not touching the water in the vessel below. We want to take the liquid out of the curd to get a thick cream cheese-y textured curd. if you’re in a hurry, after about 30-40 minutes, you can also squeeze it by hand. But longer is better! In summers to prevent the curd from getting sour you can put this whole apparatus in the refrigerator

Pie Crust:

In the meantime, take the biscuits and powdered sugar in a grinder/processor. Pulse it or grind it, as per choice. You can even use a rolling pin to do this. We just want a crumble.

Add melted butter to it and mix well.

You will need a loose bottom pie dish for this. That helps in un-moulding the pie. If you don’t have one its alright. You can even set it in a shallow wide bowl and scoop it out like a pudding while serving. Transfer the biscuit mixture and spread evenly.

Mango Yoghurt Filling:

Roughly chop 1 mango and purée it.

Add powdered sugar and mix well. You can adjust it according to the sweetness of the mangoes.

Squeeze the curd gently to remove remaining water, if any, and unfold the cheesecloth.

Add it directly to the mango purée.

Mix it with a whisk until smooth. Check for sugar/sweetness at this point. Keep in mind that the remaining mangoes will go on top so don’t make it very sweet now.

Transfer the mango curd filling into the pie dish.

Spread it evenly and gently.

Garnishing & Serving:

Cut the remaining 2 mangoes into slices lengthwise and start arranging from outside to in. Overlap the next slice slightly on the previous one and keep going like a spiral till you reach the centre. For the last one take a thin slice, roll it and put in the centre like a rose.

Garnish with unsalted pistachios or mint leaves and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or best overnight.

To Unmold:

Put an inverted glass on the kitchen counter. Put the pie dish on it and gently but firmly try to pull the outside ring downwards. It may be difficult because of the biscuit base but eventually it will come off easily. The base of the pie dish and the pie is what will be left on top of the glass. Put the pie along withe the base on a plate and serve immediately, before it starts becoming runny.

Recipe: Mango Yoghurt Pie

Ingredients:

150 gm digestive biscuit
10 tbsp icing sugar
80 gm butter
800 gm yoghurt
3 mangoes, peeled
1 tbsp unsalted pistachio nuts

Method:

  1. Hang the yoghurt overnight in a muslin cloth.
  2. Using a rolling pin crush the biscuits to a coarse powder.
  3. Put the biscuits and powdered sugar in a food processor and crush them. Or transfer to a zip lock and crush using a rolling pin.
  4. Melt the butter and add to this mixture.
  5. Transfer the biscuit mixture into an 8-inch round loose bottom pie dish. Spread it evenly up to the edges and press it all over firmly. Refrigerate for 1 hour or till set.
  6. Cut 2 mangoes into thin long slices. Take the remaining 1 mango in a food processor and puree it.
  7. Take the hung curd in a bowl. Mix in the mango puree and 7 tbsp of powdered sugar. Spread this mixture evenly over the set biscuit crust. Arrange the mango sliced evenly over the shrikhand as shown above in Garnishing & Serving. Chill it in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours or best overnight.
  8. Slice and serve.

Options:

  • If you want to set the shrikhand perfectly then dissolve 1 ½ tsp gelatine in 3 tbsp hot water and add to the shrikhand before spreading.
  • You can also add a layer of whipped cream before putting the mango slices.

Mango – King of Fruits

Mango is a tropical fruit with its origin from India and now it has reached many parts of the world. It is a soft fleshy fruit with a very thin skin. The flesh is juicy, sweet and sour with a distinct flavour of its own and varying from lemon yellow to dark orange yellow in colour. The skin is usually green when unripe but varies from yellow to orange and red. There is a big white seed in the centre which is discarded on cutting. Mangoes are a very high source of vitamin A. There are many varieties of mango, Alphanso from India being one the most popular ones. In India, mangoes are very popular and a much awaited fruit during summers. Special Mango festivals are organised throughout the country to enjoy the wide variety that is available here.

India is one of the largest producers and exporters of mangoes. Unripe mangoes can be wrapped in paper and kept at room temperature to become ripe. Mangoes are eaten in a lot of different forms. The unripe sour and green mangoes are used to make pickles, chutneys, candied mango strips (aam papad) and an Indian summer drink panna. Ripe, sweet and yellow mangoes are eaten as it is or used to make milk shakes, juices, sorbets, jams, ice creams and desserts. Since mangoes are available in summers, I thought of creating a chilled summer dessert, mango ricotta parfait.

Watermelon Mint Ice – Granita

In the scorching summer all that the heart wants is ICE!! Imagine ice, dripping with a syrup of your favourite flavour (kala-khatta for me) – thats our entire childhood for most of us. If you’ve grown up in a tropical country like India, then your memories can’t be without stories of ice. Sneaking an ice tray from the freezer, eating it and being punished for it was a common thing. Although, the most enjoyable bit was dropping a few cubes down your sibling’s shirt and watching them wiggle all over the place. Aaaahhh… those joyous memories!

In the 80’s, the ice-cream experience was very different from the current times. The vendors would shave ice right in front of you, bind it together with their hands on a stick and drizzle your choice of syrup from the brightly coloured options displayed on their carts. That was a fresh, handmade and customised popsicle for each of us. It was fondly called chuski (Hindi word for sipping or slurping) or barf ka gola, which literally translates to a ball of ice. No ice-cream ever came close to that. However, we thought, in this summertime lets take a trip back to childhood. Interestingly, shaved ice is eaten in many countries in various forms. So, we’ve transformed our memories into a modern fusion recipe.

Here’s a recipe for a granita which find its roots in the very hot island of Sicily, Italy. Granitas are basically shavings of ice (big and small) and are eaten all over Sicily, although each town has its own version. Some have a smooth granita and the others, more coarse. Do it the way you like it best.

You literally need just 3 ingredients for this. A good sweet watermelon, lemons and sugar.

Cut it in pieces and try to remove the seeds. You can cut them in any shape. The size can vary. Go with whatever can fit in the jar of your blender. Cover and put it in the freezer for 4-5 hours.

In the picture above, you can see its just out of the freezer. It should be completely frozen.

Add lemon juice and mint leaves to the frozen watermelon.

Put it in the blender along with sugar and blend. If all of it doesn’t fit in one go, then do it in batches. Be quick so that it doesn’t turn into juice. We want to churn it while its still frozen.

You’ll get a sort of a slush. Transfer it straight away to an aluminium tin to freeze it. Make sure its not very shallow. Your slushy mixture should at least be 2 inches deep so that you can scoop and scrape it later. Although if you only have a flat tin, you can later scape it with a fork or knife.

Once frozen it will be slightly lighter in colour because of the ice crystals.

Scoop it out with an ice-cream scoop or a spoon. A granita is not as smooth as a sorbet. Its flaky and more icy, probably for a cooler experience during the scorching heat. Serve it quickly so that its still frozen.

This is a wonderful idea for a dessert at any time. The watermelon granita has a beautiful tartness because of the lemon juice and a refreshing fragrance from the mint leaves. All the ingredients are very easily available. Its just a refreshing new way of putting them together. You absolutely must try this while watermelon is still in season.

We’re sharing this wonderful recipe to make your summer fun. Let us know in the comments how yours turned out!

Recipe: Watermelon Mint Granita

Ingredients

½ watermelon, peeled and cubed
15-20 mint leaves
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp sugar

Method

  1. Arrange the watermelon on an aluminium tray and cover. Freeze for 4-5 hours. You can also freeze the watermelon in a zip lock pouch.
  2. Add mint leaves lemon juice and sugar to the water watermelon. Put it in batches in a grinder or food processor and grind to a slushy frozen paste.
  3. Transfer the slush to an aluminium tin and freeze covered overnight.
  4. To serve scrape with a scooper or spoon or fork to create ice and serve immediately garnished with mint leaves.
  5. Adjust the sugar based on the sweetness of the watermelon. Serve immediately as it starts melting very fast.

Banana Caramel Cake

Everybody loves banana & caramel and when they’re put together… BOOM!! Its an explosion of flavours enhancing one another. Here is a recipe of a banana cake and you don’t even have to go through the effort of making the caramel here. We’re just going to let the banana caramelise on its own. So here’s an easy-peasy recipe for a banana cake that can satiate any pangs – hunger or desire! This is another very versatile cake. Have it with a cup of coffee in the evening, afternoon tea-time, dessert after any meal or a breakfast. Pssst… we even tried a milkshake with this wondrous cake!!

You need very very basic baking ingredients for this. Flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder and vanilla. The additional ingredients are banana (of-course) and we’ll use cinnamon as the spice or flavouring for it. It goes very well with some fruits, especially apples and bananas.

Begin with mashing your bananas with a fork. preheat your oven at 180 C.

Now for this particular cake we are not going to line our cake tin. We will caramelise the sugar and butter and create a sort of glaze. Eventually this is going to create the caramel banana toffee while its baking. Just let this mixture bubble a bit. Don’t stir it much or it won’t caramelise. We used brown sugar here for that dark brown caramelised colour. You can also use regular caster sugar.

If the caramel mixture does not blend well, don’t worry and don’t go on cooking it. Let it bubble for a minute and then spread it at the base of the cake tin. The magic will happen when its in the oven.

Put the caramelised sugar mixture at the base of the tin. So here we are NOT lining the tin for a change. Its getting grease with the sugar-butter mixture and then we place sliced bananas on top. If you like the look of banana split better you can just halve the banana lengthwise and place that. Although, that looks better when you’re making the cake in a loaf tin.

Now, cream your butter and sugar together. You can use a stand mixture, electric beater or a whisk. If you’re using a whisk you’ll have to do it for a much longer time till you get the fluffy and airy mixture. When creamed it turns lighter in colour due to the air that’s been incorporated.

Add eggs to the creamed butter and mix after each addition. Then add the vanilla essence, flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Mix well.

Spread the cake batter evenly and softly over the. Don’t be rough with it otherwise the banana pieces will get lifted.

Drop the batter evenly and then spread. repeat till the bananas are covered.

Try to seal the edges a bit so that the caramel doesn’t bubble out to the top. bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees C.

And when your cake is golden brown test it with a skewer. First don’t go all the way down with your skewer, if it reached the caramel or banana it might come out wet. So, insert it in a way that it doesn’t touch the base. If that comes out clean, you can then check it all the way though.

Invert the cake on a big plate… and the beautifully luscious and glistening bananas will be revealed. The banana will naturally caramelise with the sugar and butter, and the thick liquid will seep slightly into the cake. So, in a way its sort of an in-built caramel with banana topping. All in one!!

The crumb of the cake will have a spec-y light brown look owing to the banana and cinnamon powder. in winters you can add winter spice mix (nutmeg, star anise etc) to add a warmer flavour and fragrance. However, for summers serve it with vanilla ice-cream. Whoever tasted it, had exactly the same reaction… mm-mmm-mmm!

Recipe: Banana Caramel Cake

Ingredients:

For Caramel:
40 gm brown sugar
40 gm butter

For Cake:
150 gm flour
125 gm butter, softened
125 gm castor sugar
 1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
1 tsp cinnamon Powder
3 Bananas

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 7×7 inch square cake tin.
  2. Take the brown sugar and butter in a sauce pan and cook on low heat stirring occasionally to make a sticky caramel sauce. Pour this in the cake tin and keep aside.
  3. In a bowl sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon powder.
  4. In another bowl cream the  sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and keep beating.
  5. Mash 1 banana and add this to the batter along with vanilla extract and the flour mixture.
  6. Slice the 2 bananas and arrange them flat on the caramel layer in the cake tin.
  7. Pour the batter over the banana layer and bake for 40-45 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 10 mins then invert it upside down onto a plate.
  9. Serve warm with Ice cream or whipped cream.

Ricotta Mango Parfait

This is a wonderful dessert made using fresh ricotta. Its summertime and mangoes are in the season. So, we thought of making a very simple dessert with very few ingredients. You’ll find almost everything at home. You won’t have to go grocery shopping and can make this quickly for a sudden dessert craving after lunch. It’s beautiful to serve even for a summer dinner party. Make it in individual glasses or bowls beforehand and its very easy to serve.

Firstly, you’ll need mangoes and the most important ingredient of this dessert is fresh ricotta. You can make it at home using our recipe for ricotta. You can also use a store-bought one. If you’re making it at home, you’ll just need milk and lemons. The third layer for this is made using crushed digestive biscuits of graham crackers whichever you can find and butter. We will be using some lemon zest and a little bit of fresh cream or condensed milk, whatever suits your liking.

In a bowl put the chopped mangoes and add some lemon zest and lemon juice to it and keep aside. In another bowl crush the biscuits with a rolling pin and add melted butter and mix. In the third bowl take the ricotta and whisk it well to soften it. Now add condensed milk to it and mix well. If you’re using cream instead of condensed milk, add that along with very little powdered sugar. the ricotta will turn into a thick sauce like in the picture above.

Take a shallow and wide glass, or wine or martini glass. You can also take the Mumbai-style cutting chai glass. Anything that has a characteristic shape and is transparent. Put the biscuit mixture at the base.

Now spoon some ricotta cream mixture on top. Be careful not to dirty the wall of the glass because the beauty of the dessert is in being able to see the layers. Thats the reason its called a parfait. In French, parfait means perfect. Later in the 1800’s, desserts that were beautifully layered with precision, came to be called parfait. That is exactly what this is and thus we called it Ricotta Mango Parfait. And ricotta being an Italian cheese traditionally, this is a beautiful fusion of a French-Italian dessert. The two countries do share a lot of common ingredients and food influences.

Then go the macerated mangoes on top of the ricotta cream. They’ll be soft and soaked by now.

Then the biscuit mixture again. The biscuit gives it the crusty flavour that a cheesecake has. Thus, you can actually make a cheesecake with the same method. The only difference will be, you don’t multi layer it. For the cheesecake take a loose-bottom tin or a springform tin. Put the biscuit mixture and press it down to form a crusty layer that doesn’t disintegrate on un-moulding. Put a high layer of the ricotta cream mixture. Chill for a bit. Then top with the mangoes and refrigerate till set. Un-mould and et voila!

Finally, top it with a generous amount of mangoes. Mangoes taste very good in this dessert, however, you can also make this with other fruits. You can use any citrus fruit or berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, peaches and cherries. Comment with more ideas and we’ll tell you if that would go well or not.

Now you can actually see the layers. mangoes add a beautiful yellow to it. Thats how the layers should be , so make sure to keep the glass neat and put the mixture for various layers in the centre, then spread to the side. That way you’ll avoid messing it up.

Now put the mint leaves to garnish. They will add a refreshing fragrance, taste and colour to your parfait. Instead of the clichéd garnish of one bunch in the centre, put smaller segments of mint leaves in 2-3 places. This is because its already high in the centre and you don’t want to add more height with your garnish in this case. You just want to add colour and character.You can also garnish with pistachios or dried blueberries or cranberries.

…and TA-DA! Your start dessert is ready. Chill it in the fridge to set the layers. It also tasted best chilled in the summers.

Recipe: Ricotta Mango Parfait

Ingredients

250 gm Fresh Ricotta
3 mangoes, Peeled and cut into cubes
150 gm digestive biscuits, crushed
50gm Amul Butter
4tbsp Amul Mithai Mate/ Condensed Milk or AmulFresh Cream
2 Lemons
Mint leaves for garnish

Method

  1. Zest 2 lemons over the cut mangoes. Then put the juice of 1 lemon in the mango . Mix well and keep aside.
  2. Crush the biscuits using a rolling pin. Melt the butter and mix it well with the crushed biscuits.
  3. Using a whisk just beat the ricotta a little. Mix the condensed milk with the ricotta to get a thick sauce.
  4. In a glass start by putting a little amount of the biscuit mix. Over that layer 2 spoons of the ricotta cream and then a layer of the lemony mango.
  5. Repeat with biscuit, ricotta cream and finishing with the mango.
  6. Garnish with mint leaves and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Enjoy chilled.
  7. If you want to make a pie or a cheesecake out of this you can spread the biscuit mixture in the pie dish or cheesecake mould. Then press the biscuit mixture firmly. Over that spread the ricotta cream and then finally the mangoes. Chill this in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. If making a cheesecake make sure the ricotta cream is not very runny but a little thick.
  8. You can also do the above in a regular flat glass dish for a big party and let it set by chilling in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

Moist Apple Cake

When life gives you apples… of course, you make apple cake!

Since apples are a common fruit and the most readily available to all of us at all times, we thought it would be a great idea to give you all the recipe of a perfect apple cake to survive the 20 20 lockdown. This is absolutely delicious and can be eaten in winter or summer… anytime! It can be made for a birthday cake for those of us who find it difficult to ice cakes or simply prefers fruit cakes, for children whose mothers are always finding a way to add fruits to their diets, for friends coming over for tea, or even as a dessert for a dinner party. We’ve literally tried it in all the scenarios and maybe more, and it has never failed. I’ve even impressed some business associates, and at another time, my in-law’s close friends with this cake. Thats the extent. So its a must MUST try for all of you.

You will need very basic baking ingredients for this. Flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla. Any apples will do for this cake. Although, the star ingredient of this cake is cinnamon. You will need a very small amount of it but the main aim of the cinnamon is to bring out the taste of apples. Which is the reason why they’re usually used together in most apple dishes. Its an age-old combination. For those of you who don’t like cinnamon, don’t worry, you can skip it completely, although it is a flavour worth trying.

To line the cake tin for this one, take a bigger piece of parchment/baking/butter paper. Grease the tin with butter or butter spray and tuck the paper into the tin in one piece. Usually we invert cakes, but this one we will lift out of the cake tin.

Peel, core and slice the apple thinly. Somewhat like the picture above. If its too thick then it wont cook through. Apples turn brown very quickly after cutting. So, either cut them just before you start making the cake or cut and put a very small amount of lemon juice and keep.

Begin with beating eggs and sugar in a bowl with an electric beater. You will notice as you beat more the yellow mixture will turn lighter in colour and fluffier. That is because of the air you have incorporated. You can also use a whisk but make sure to reach close to the lighter colour stage before you stop.

Add the milk, butter, vanilla, flour, cinnamon and baking powder. You’ll get a ribbon consistency batter.

Pour the batter into the cake tin. Now take the apples and arrange them on top.

While arranging just ensure that the apples are evenly distributed even if you choose to put them in any other pattern. We are placing them on top so that while baking when they sink in, they settle somewhere in the middle of the cake. If we add them to the batter, they will sink to the bottom. If you want them to remain on top after baking also, then slice your apples thinner so they wont be heavy and will stay on top. We personally, like them in the cake. So, its your preference… both work well.

Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon powder on top. The further up you sprinkle it from, more evenly it will spread.

Bake in the preheated oven. Do not open your oven till the stipulated time given in your recipe as that would drop the temperature of the oven.

Check with a skewer and if it comes out clean then take it out of the oven. Be careful where you’re putting in the skewer. If you put it though a piece of apple it may come out wet. In that case check it again where you feel the cake is visible.Let the cake cool in the tin for 20 mins. Don’t invert. Lift the cake out with the help of the paper.

Pull the paper down from the sides very carefully and gently.

Now there are a few different ways to serve it. If you’re serving it for tea, just warm it (you can microwave it for 30 seconds) and serve it.

You can also dust it with icing sugar and serve. We mostly use the tea infuser for this purpose. It makes the job easier. You can also use a small tea strainer and tap it.

If you’re serving it as a dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or a dollop of whipped cream. This tastes the best. It adds a beautiful texture and enhances the flavour of the cake. People love it when served with ice-cream.

You can go one step further and dust a bit of cinnamon powder on the ice cream. This is a divine combination for anybody who likes cinnamon.
Its heavenly!

Recipe: Moist Apple Cake

Ingredients:

125 gm flour
125 gm castor sugar
2 eggs
75 gm butter, melted
75 ml milk, room temperature
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
1 ½ tsp cinnamon Powder
2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced extra sugar and cinnamon for dusting

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line an 8 inch round cake tin. Just push and mould a large piece of parchment paper in the tin and trim the edges.
  2. In a bowl sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon powder.
  3. In another bowl cream the  sugar and eggs till light and fluffy.
  4. Add milk  and melted butter  to the batter along with vanilla extract and the flour mixture.
  5. Peel and slice apples and if you want you can coat the slices with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.
  6. Pour the batter in the lined tin and arrange the apple slices on top of the batter. Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon powder over the apples.
  7.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or till a skewer inserted near the edge of the cake comes out clean. If you will put a skewer in the centre it will be moist as all the juices of the apple are in the centre.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 20 mins then holding the paper pull it out and place on a board.
  9. Sprinkle icing sugar on top and serve warm with Ice cream or whipped cream.