Mango-Vanilla Ice Cream based dessert

You must try out this recipe that I accidentally invented. I had eaten ripe mango pieces topped with Vanilla ice cream in one of my friends house and thought why not improvise? So here’s what I did…

Mango Vanilla Ice Cream ‘whatever’

Ingredients

2 ripe mangoes pealed and cut into 1″ cubes (shouldn’t be over ripe mangoes)
Raisins – 3 teaspoons
Butter – 3 tbsp
Cashew nuts – broken – 20 to 30 gms (or 3- tbsp)
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Vanilla ice cream – a few scoops
Fresh mint leaves – 4 to 5

Preparation

Heat a medium sized pan, add 1tbsp butter and quickly fry the broken cashews until the are golden brown. Be careful as in no time they can turn black and bitter. Transfer the fried cashews on to a plate and remove the extra butter from the cashews by pressing with kitchen tissues.

Add 2tbsp butter into the pan again. When it’s melt, add the ripe mango cut pieces and stir continuously in medium flame. Do it until the mango pieces are soft but not mashed.

Heat up another small pan (or seasoning tawa) and add the sugar and stir it vigorously with a steel spoon. When the sugar turns to coffee color it is caramelized. Add three-four spoons of water into it keep stirring in high flame. You should not reduce the heat at this time else the caramel will be already becoming sticky. Add this to the toasted mangoes and stir once again.

Presentation

mango-caramel-vanilla-ice-cream-dessertIn a dessert bowl, add four to five table spoons of those prepared mangoes. Add two scoops of Vanilla ice cream on to it. Add five to six raisins and a teaspoon of the roasted cashews. Poke the whole content three four times with a spoon in a way that the caramel in the mango appears a bit on to the white Ice cream to give it a pleasant texture and look. Be careful not to stir it too much. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf and enjoy before the mangoes turn too cold!

Try it out and let me know how it turned out to be. You will like it for sure 🙂 You can try the variations of this recipe by adding a few banana pieces along with the mango, which is what I have done and shown in the picture. You can also add a small pinch of cardamom powder if you like that taste.

Bon Appetit!

The Indian food styles

The other day I was just thinking about the versatility of Indian cooking and the variety of food items it is offering. Far east countries, China or certain Latin American countries might have the concept of ‘make-food-out-of-anything’ but only Indian food promises so much of varieties and most importantly the usage of hundreds of spices.

Vegetarianism

India is a country that has got six or seven major religions. The vegetarianism (if not veganism) was mainly influenced by Hinduism. Also geographically speaking, one will find that North Indian food style is majorly vegetarian in nature. The percentage of population having non-vegetarian food is much more in South India – keralites being extremists in this case who do not mind having all kinds of meats and seafood.

Broad categorization

Though there are various sub-categories, one can broadly categorize the food style in India into two – North Indian style and South Indian style. North Indians prefer more bread items (wheat based and mostly grilled/toasted) and thick gravied rich curries mainly based on dairy products such as cottage cheese, yoghurt and milk cream. In the south the main food grain is rice and mostly rice along with some thin gravy curries make a meal. In both cases salads mean chopped onion or chillies and accompaniment mostly will include hot pickles. The traditional South Indian meal is served in plantain leaves where as the North Indian food is served in brass plates. In both cases it’s eaten with bare hands rather than spoons, forks, knives or chopsticks.

Influences

Though one might claim that Indian food style is quite unique and originated in India alone, you can see a lot of influenced or imported styles here. For example the Mughals brought in the kebabs and spiced rices culture to India where as the Chinese influenced stir-fried items such as gobi manchurion (cauliflower stir-fried and spiced) are more common in India than China itself. The British and Indian mixed (anglo-indian) styles became popular during the British rule and it is still common in parts of the country. The Portugese and the french gave us their own unique style which is still common in Goa and Pondicherry respectively.

Various Styles

There are hundreds of food styles and cuisines across the states and regions of India. Some of the prominent cuisines in the North include the Mughalai style, Parsi style, Punjabi style and the Gujarati style. Mughalai style is synonymous with biryanis or pulav that has dried fruits and nuts aplenty. Parsi style is a mix of western, Persian and Indian styles. Punjabi style is mainly tandoor (a large traditional oven) grill based where as Gujarati style basically include sweetened main courses and curries. In the South, Andhra style, Chettinadu style, Malabar style and Coorgy style are the major categorizations. Almost all these styles are rich in spices and chilli usage. All of them offer a wide variety of non-vegetarian delicacies as well. Apart from these, the western coastal Indian food style has a distinction of using coconut milk or paste in almost everything whereas coastal areas in general use seafood a lot. The Bengalies also eat a lot of fish but they prefer fresh-water fishes to seafood. Bengal and Orissa are also famous for mouthwatering sweets and desserts. The type of cooking oil used is another differentiator in Indian cooking. Most commonly used oils are sunflower oil, palm oil, mustard oil, groundnut oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and coconut Oil.

Good, bad, ugly

The Indian food offers variety. The right usage of spices results in good appetite and stimulation of the senses that results in overall health. However, overcooking of vegetables and meat is a common phenomena here that takes out the vitamins and natural taste out of food items. Another unhealthy part is the amount of oil used (that normally remains in the food and served) and the number of deep or shallow fried items. Despite all these it is really amazing how these hundreds of styles and thousands of delicacies co-exist in one big land. Yet another example of unity in diversity – Truly!