Monday, 27 June 2016

Easy Mango Ice cream

Of the few things to love about Summers is the availabilty of the king of fruits-the Majestic Mango. I absolutely adore mangoes and have a little weak heart for the variety which is interestingly called 'Langda' or 'Langra'. The origin of the name is debateful but it is believed that since most of the names are derived from the places of origin, it too could be named after a certain place called so. But, whats in a name. Langda has a distinct taste and even though it has a green skin which might trick you into feeling its not ripe, it is one of the most sweetest mangoes. 
Vaanya, my daughter, is a mango lover too. This season she has been wanting to eat the Langda over another sweet mango called Himsagar and has been relishing her Mango escapades with the oozing nectar and the consequent mess. 
A very ripe Langda in my fridge made me kick my lazy self and turn it into an easy mango ice cream which has been in my list for a long time. This is one super simple recipe, very much like the easy strawberry one I made. It is best to make it a night before and let it set in the freezer overnight and then relish it in the day. 

 Ingredients : 
  • 3-4 tbsp condensed milk (adjust depending on the sweetness of your mangoes)
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and pureed( I used Langda variety of Mango)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream(see notes)
Procedure : 
In a bowl, combine milkmaid, mango puree and milk. 
Fold in the whipped cream and pour in a freeze proof tin.
Allow to set in the freezer for 5-6 hours. Best is to leave overnight.
Take out and beat the mixture and allow to set again in the freezer. Repeat this 4-5 times to break the ice crystals. 
Scoop and serve.


  • Take 1/4 cup of whipping cream and then whip it with a handheld beater till it gets thick and fluffy. 
  • In case, you do not have condensed milk, add powdered sugar to the mango puree.
  • Remember, this is a soft set variety of ice cream and therefore will not be as firm.

Happy Mango relishing

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Lychee pannacotta with Ginger biscuit crumb and Coconut lemon curd

I am back to crazy 'Masterchef Australia' watching days. With the current season going on at number 8, I realized that I have missed many seasons in between my first tryst with the series. It all started with series 2 and I remember those days when Dinner was finished by 9 PM so that I could indulge in some non-stop gastronomic ride. My baby, Vaanya was then just few months old and needed attention all the time. Vishal and me would take turns to look after her while we eagerly watched each episode very religiously. 
This season my interest got rejuvenated and I have been ogling and drooling at all the artistic desserts that have been put up. Plating is the key in making even a simple dish shine and stand out in front of complex ones. With all this in my mind, I decided to try my hands in a simple dessert with different elements and a pretty plating technique. Firstly, I decided to hero the fruit-Lychee and pondered on all the other components which can go along with it. In terms of flavours, I decided to pair my lychee with ginger and coconut. So, the idea of ginger biscuits crumb and a coconut lemon curd came into my mind which sounded like a perfect harmony to my lychee pannacotta. 
I used some thickened grape juice to brush the plate and then very patiently decorated all the components on it. My over excitement led me to try 2 different platings with the same dessert. I am super mighty happy with the outcome. Do share your thoughts on the dessert. Will mean a lot to me. 

Components : 
  • Lychee Pannacotta
  • Ginger biscuit crumb
  • Coconut and lemon curd
  • Reduced grape juice
  • Fresh lychees
  • Mint leaves
Ingredients and Procedure

Lychee Pannacotta : 
  • 1 cup cream (I used Amul)
  • 9-10 lychees, peeled and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp sugar, powdered
  • 1 1/2 tsp gelatin powder
Blend the lychees in a mixer and strain.
Bloom gelatin in 1 tbsp cold water and allow it to get spongy for about 5 minutes.  
Heat cream and sugar on medium heat and add the pureed and strained lychee mixture. Do not let this mixture boil. 
When the mixture is warm enough to touch, add the bloomed gelatin and mix well. 
Pour in moulds of your choice. I chose my small spherical moulds and some silicon cupcake moulds. 
Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Ginger Biscuit : 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar, powdered
  • 25 gms butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp dry ginger powder
Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger powder, salt to all purpose flour. 
Add flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture and mix well.
Knead the mixture to a dough and cling wrap it. 
Refrigerate for 1 hr.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Roll the dough and cut round shapes from it.
Place on a baking paper lined baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. 

Coconut and lemon curd : 
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 25 gms butter, cut in cubes
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
Take egg yolk and sugar in a bowl and put on a double boiler on low heat. 
Keep stirring the mixture.
Add butter cubes and mix well.
Add coconut milk and stir till it thickens for about 3-4 minutes.
Finish with adding lemon juice and mix well.
Allow to cool and then transfer to a piping bag. 

Plating : 
Brush your plate with the reduced grape juice which is made by simply putting grape juice in a pan and heating it till it thickens. 
Crumble the ginger biscuits and put them on the plate in a round shape, a little bigger than the pannacotta size.
Demould the Pannacotta and gently put on top of the ginger biscuit crumb. 
Add some fresh peeled and deseeded lychees.
Pipe the coconut lemon curd in intervals and finish with arranging fresh mint leaves. 

Happy Masterchef Inspirations

Friday, 17 June 2016

Lychee lemon Sorbet

Summers are synonymous with lovely fruits like the eternal Mango and Lychees amongst others. I have fond memories of devouring these luscious lychees, enjoying the process of peeling the red covering and then de-seeding the white juicy pulp with the sweet nectar flowing down my elbows. The lychees always needed to be refrigerated for some time to enjoy them even more. Enjoying lychees in Summer time was such a ritual that I never realized that some of the best lychees are found in Calcutta. This realization was conveyed to me by my dear friend Afsana who hails from Bombay. According to her lychees in Bombay are horribly expensive and not as plump and juicy as the ones we find here. Now, I believe in every word on fruits that comes out from Afsana's mouth because she knows them in and out. It was while staying in Hostel that I realized how good she is in picking fruits from the market. She would touch, smell, ponder on them and then buy. She would know how to select a fruit, how to find out if its good or bad at an age where I didn't bother about fruits or vegetables. She would talk about the benefits of eating fruits and encourage spending money on a fruit than other junk food. She truly is my Fruit Guru. 

Vaanya, my daughter, has been waiting for Summers to relish Mangoes. Just before the Mango season started she asked me if it was Summers because she knows she can eat the fruit only in that season. This season she has equally, if not more, enjoyed the Lychees. During our vacations in Allahabad, she relished on the peeled, de-seeded and refrigerated lychees that I would very fondly prepare for her almost every day. 
Seasonal fruits itch me to put my hands on desserts and this season I wanted to experiment with the lychees. I started with the super easy Sorbet and found it extremely refreshing and a perfect palate cleanser. It just washes down your gut with that lingering taste of the sweet lychees and the lemon and makes you crave for more. 
Do try this recipe at least once for its a keeper. I plan to try out the same with a pack of readymade lychee juice for some non- seasonal indulgence. Shall update it here with the experiment soon. Till then enjoy the real thing. 

Ingredients : 

  • 8-10 peeled and de-seeded Lychees
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
Procedure : 
Put lychees, sugar and water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Once sugar dissolves, turn heat off and allow the mixture to cool.
With a hand blender, blend the lychees in the pan.
Stir in the lemon juice. 
Strain the mixture and transfer to a container and freeze for 3-4 hrs. 
Take out and with a fork break the crystals and put the container back to the freezer. Repeat this 3-4 times. 
Serve and enjoy. 

Note : Try adding grated ginger to the pan with lychees and then blend them all and freeze as per the above instructions. 

Happy Sorbet-ing


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