Is there anyone here who does not like mangoes? If you don’t, then chances are that you haven’t had a fresh good mango from its land of origin. But the good thing about this dessert is that even if you have never set eyes on mangoes from India, you can still make this dessert. Just about any mango will do. I used canned mango pulp and served this easy to make dessert as the final course of that Indian meal.
Everybody agreed that it was heavenly, a term that my mother-in-law first used to describe what she was eating.
The inspiration for this dessert comes from the western state of Maharashtra. Out there, people make something called mango shrikhand. Mangoes are pureed and mixed with hung yogurt, saffron* and cardamom. Have you ever hung yogurt? Not me. And I was not going to start that day when I had a dozen other things to do. Not to mention that the yogurt needs to be hung the previous day. I was not that cool with my planning. But one of the blessings of living in the Western Hemisphere is that one gets handed shortcuts on a platter. Like Greek yogurt.
So that’s all you need folks. Get some canned mango puree from Amazon or an Indian store. Or else just buy some Mexican or whatever mangoes your local supermarket sells. Extract the pulp and make a puree. Mix with enough Greek yogurt (or hung yogurt if you are the enthusiastic kind), sugar to taste and some cardamom powder. A pinch of saffron* will take it to another level. Done!
Need a more precise recipe? Hmm…that’s not easy. You see, I emptied the can of pulp in a bowl, cracked some cardamom and took out the seeds, pounded them up in my mortar pestle along with a pinch of saffron* and added that to the pulp. Then I kept adding Greek yogurt and sugar, tasted and added some more, until I got something that I liked. When I thought the whole mixture was a bit too liquidy for my taste (I did not want people to drink it like a shake) I blended in a tub of what’s called out here fresh cheese, but ricotta cheese is the closest equivalent elsewhere. Finally, when I had a taste that I liked, I spooned out servings in little cups and ramekins and chilled overnight. But that was just me, I think a few hours would have sufficed.
The end result was somewhere between a thick smoothie and a pudding. Spoonable. And delicious. Mmm…the mango, saffron and cardamom combination is out of this world. Just try it!
*I completely forgot about the saffron when I first wrote up this post. What can I say, it was a bit late in the night. Anyway, better late than never!