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Aam baatein

Wouldn’t you look at a person incredulously if he or she declares a dislike for mango? Wouldn’t you say, “What, unbelievable!” Well, mango has its fans that go to any lengths to enjoy the fruit of the season in some amazing ways.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2010 17:12 IST
Sanjeev Kapoor

Wouldn’t you look at a person incredulously if he or she declares a dislike for mango? Wouldn’t you say, “What, unbelievable!” Well, mango has its fans that go to any lengths to enjoy the fruit of the season in some amazing ways. And then mangoes have this other following, who will take the fruit for granted and eat their way through as if it is just a fruit.

Kingly prices
Mango is a fruit... the ‘King’ of fruits. This year, the prices are high (were high last year too!). Well, I feel this year they are higher! So how does one enjoy the fruit to the maximum, with all the mango delights being churned out from the kitchen, the fridge and the freezer?First of all, decide which dessert you are trying out. I thoroughly enjoy making and serving ice creams, kulfis, mousses and sorbets. One good thing about desserts is that they help you stretch out two or three fruits for the whole family and more! Now that is a chef’s secret!

Dessert carnival: Begin with Indian
So ready for the dessert carnival? Try some variations of Indian preparations. Like a Mango Bhapa Doi. Lovely when served chilled: Mix 400 grams condensed milk with a cup of thick yogurt, half a cup each of mango pulp and milk. Steam. Cool and set in the refrigerator. Unmould and serve it decorated with thin orange segments and pomegranate pearls. More Indian offerings are Mango Phirni (add mango cubes to chilled phirni), Shahi Tukra or Amrakhand (which is mango shrikhand).

Say cheese
When we entertain, a mango soufflé is impressive. So is a mango cheesecake. You could either make a uncooked one or a baked one. The baked one needs a base of crushed biscuits on which you can pour a mix of eggs, sugar, cream cheese and mango pulp. Bake at 180°C. Once done and cold, cover with mango jelly and serve chilled. The no-cook version uses a similar biscuit base, but is topped with a mix of milk, condensed milk, cornflour, carrageenan or gelatine, hung yogurt, paneer and mango pulp. Pour this mixture into the prepared tin over the biscuit layer.Refrigerate for two to three hours. Cover with mango jelly and serve.

Go oriental
Or go oriental with the Singapore Mango Jelly: combine five cups of water and 150 grams of sugar in a pan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Add six teaspoons of gelatine and continue cooking until it gets completely dissolved in the sugar syrup. Remove from heat and add a cup of the coconut milk, six tablespoons of milk powder and one cup of thick mango pulp. Mix until well blended. Stir in one chopped mango. Pour into individual moulds and place in a refrigerator till set. Garnish with pomegranate pearls and serve. A crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, Mango Wonton (a simple thickened pulp of mango with cornflour as the filling), qualifies as also a Canton Mango Pudding (an egg custard with mango pulp) as well.

Wish to be different
If you wish to be different, try a hot caramel pudding (my mother’s favourite) which is made instantly with mango slices put under the grill under a blanket of cream, caster sugar and brown sugar. Or go to the other extreme with frozen mango dessert which is simply cream, sugar mango jelly, mango pulp, milk powder whisked together and frozen in individual moulds. Go all out on puddings and enjoy a Mango Zabaglione!

Mango Zabaglione

*Wash, peel and halve two ripe mangoes. Discard the seed and cut the mango halves into one inch sized cubes. Place them in
individual bowls.
*In a mixing bowl take two egg yolks, 1/4 cup castor sugar and one cup fresh cream. Mix well.
*Heat water in a wide pan and place the bowl of egg mixture in it. Cook stirring continuously till the mixture reaches a custard consistency.
*Preheat the oven to 220°C.
*Add one cup mango puree to the custard and pass it through a sieve to get uniform consistency.
*Pour this mixture over the mango cubes and sprinkle four tablespoons brown sugar over the top.
*Place the bowls in the preheated oven and bake for fifteen minutes.
*Serve hot or cold.
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Sanjeev Kapoor — Master Chef, Author, Television Host. Reach him atenquiry@sanjeevkapoor.com