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!


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


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


  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.


  • 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.

Lemon Basil Sorbet

This recipe for sorbet is straight from our heart to yours, via Capri! This is truly and completely inspired by our trip to the Capri island in Italy. It was a hot summer afternoon and after a cruise from Amalfi early morning, we had just reached Capri. We took a funicular to reach the high street area which was at a higher altitude. When we got out of the station, it was the burning 12pm heat. What do we see next… a roadside stand with luscious Amalfi lemons hanging. We knew we were going to get our elixir of life here, and so we did. It was a lemon sorbet slush!

These are the pictures of the exact place we tried it and got inspiration for this Italian sorbet. The lemons in Amalfi and Capri are truly a sight to behold. They’re large and juicy and have the unique limone shape. They are sweet and the peels too are edible.

This is an exquisitely refreshing thing for a hot summer day during holidays. Give yourself a break… a lemon sorbet break. So, here’s recreating a memory!

This is a 3 ingredient dessert. So get in your kitchens and get going.

Take sugar and water in a saucepan and turn on the gas.

Let it bubble for a while till it turns into a smooth sugar syrup.

Let the sugar syrup cool down.

Add lemon juice, zest and a few basil leaves to it once its completely cooled down. If you can’t find basil, try it with mint leaves.

Put it in an aluminium cake tin preferably. A steel box will also do. Cover and freeze it for 5-6 hours.

Take it out once its completely frozen.

Scrape it and put it in your food processor or blender.

Put as much in the blender as can fit. Put in some basil leaves and ice. You can skip the ice if you want it softer. Blend it .

Once its churned, transfer it back to the tin. Again, cover and put it back in the freezer for 8-9 hours or best overnight.

Scoop it and serve immediately. Garnish it with fresh basil leaves or lemon twists.

This sweet and sour sorbet with an enhanced flavour of basil is truly Italian and perfect for any time of the day.

If you don’t find basil, you can also try this recipe with mint. For kids you can put it in popsicle moulds when we’re freezing it the second time.

Recipe: Lemon Basil Sorbet


150gm castor sugar
300 ml water
8 lemons
15-20 basil leaves / mint leaves


  1. Take the sugar and water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer on medium flame for 10 minutes to get a sugar syrup.
  2. Leave the sugar syrup to cool to bring it to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile zest 4 lemons and take out juice of all 8 lemons.
  4. Mix together sugar syrup, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  5. Stir well and add a few leaves of basil (not all basil). Pour this in an aluminium tin and cover. Freeze for 5-6 hours.
  6. Remove from freezer. Scrape all the mixture and put in a blender with remaining basil leaves. You can add 3 ice cubes to keep the mixture chilled in the blender.
  7. Churn well and pour back in the tin. Remove the ice cubes if they remain un-churned.
  8. Freeze covered for 8-9 hours or best overnight.
  9. To serve scoop and enjoy immediately.

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


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


  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.

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


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


  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.

Fattoush – Mediterranean Salad

Summers and salads go hand in hand. When the heat is going up, the body asks for more refreshing, water-rich and citrus-y ingredients. Thats exactly what this salad is. We made this during the global lockdown, so it’s been made with the ingredients that were available in the fridge. Never hesitate in making something if a few ingredients are not available. The trick is to find the closest substitute – and while substituting, remember to find the closest tasing ingredient, and a similar texture.

We didn’t have cucumbers when we made this, but thats one of the most refreshing ingredients. So, make sure to add that. Also, you can add other varieties of lettuce, rocket leaves, red cabbage and others.

Take olive oil, garlic and thyme in a bowl. We didn’t have fresh thyme, so we’ve added dried thyme. Always chop your herbs fresh so that they retain their flavour. Add these to the bowl. Zest your lemon using a zester. If you don’t have one you can use a small and fine grater. Just grate the outer yellow layer and not the white pith. That white part is bitter. Be careful!

Squeeze fresh lemon juice into the bowl, and add salt, sugar and freshly crushed black pepper.

Tear or chop, do it however you like but make sure you do it fresh. The myth – don’t cut your lettuce with a knife because it will brown the edges – has been busted but yet, we like to tear it fresh. We like those uneven pieces in the salad because it adds more body to it. Feel free to do it the way you like.

If your lettuce has wilted, don’t worry, clean it up removing the unwanted parts and put it in a big bowl of chilled water. Let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30-60 minutes. Et voilà, you have your crisp fresh lettuce.

Add the diced veggies to your lettuce bowl. Mix the dressing well, adjust the salt and sugar if needed, and pour it on the veggies. Mix it well with a wooden spoon.

Always take a bigger bowl than needed for the salad. This is to ensure that you have enough space to mix the dressing well with the veggies. If you like you can toss the salad with your hands. Its very comforting!

Ideally, pita bread is toasted and added to the fattoush. We didn’t have time to make them but wanted a replacement for that texture. I had regular sliced brown bread lying at home. So, we rolled it out with a rolling pin, toasted it in the oven for 2-3 minutes at 180ºC and cut it sharply into triangles. You can try this out!

Recipe: Fattoush


  • 1 bowl of lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes, diced (optionally, you can remove the seed and pulp)
  • 2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ red cabbage, shredded (optional)
  • 1 bowl of peppers (red, yellow, green capsicum), diced
  • 2 pita breads/regular bread slices, broken into pieces (omit for a gluten-free version)


  • 3 tbsp mint, chopped
  • A few sprigs parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • Zest of 1lemon
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Toast the broken pita/bread in an oven. Keep aside.
  2. In a bowl mix lemon juice, zest, thyme, garlic, salt. Black pepper, sugar, mint, parsley and olive oil. Blend well and keep aside.
  3. Put all the vegetables in a big bowl. Pour the dressing over it and just before serving top it with toasted pita.

Rice Bean Salad

A wholesome and healthy meal by itself. A versatile dish which can either be eaten as a salad or a main course with accompaniments.

Assemble all your ingredients and it hardly takes any time to put this together. I use leftover rice for this. Living in an Indian household we all have rajma-chawal (red kidney beans curry and rice) very often. I like to soak and boil some extra red beans and rice and make this the next day. If you’re doing the same, then save the beans after boiling it.

Mix the ingredients for the dressing. This is olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, sugar and freshly ground black pepper.

Whisk it together to form an emulsion.

Chop your coriander and mint fresh, just before adding it to the dressing. That way it retains all of its flavour.

Add the bell peppers and spring onions (white and greens).

Finally, add the rice and beans. Take a bigger bowl than required for you ingredients. This is important so that you can mix the dressing well.

Chill it in the refrigerator before serving. It tastes best that way!

Rice Bean Salad from The Daily Gourmet Cookbook by Radhicka Agarwaal


  • 1 cup rice
  • ½ cup red kidney beans (rajma)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped

For dressing:

  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves, torn
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar, powdered


  1. Wash and soak the beans overnight. Drain the water and put the beans in a medium sauce pan. Cover it completely with fresh water. Put it on medium heat and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 50-60 minutes or till the beans are completely cooked. Drain and keep aside. Alternatively, you can pressure-cook them to boil.
  2. Wash and soak the rice for 20-30 minutes. Drain the water and put the rice a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and cook on low heat until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Remove and leave to cool.
  3. In a large bowl take lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, mint, coriander, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk it well and add the cucumber, spring onions, red, yellow and green pepper.
  4. Fluff up the rice with a fork to separate the grains. Add the rice and cooked beans to the bowl. Toss well and serve chilled.

You can use any variety of rice like basmati, short grained rice or brown rice.