Monday, June 27, 2011
Mango is unequivocally my favorite fruit-- and if you have ever spent a summer in India you would know why. Come summer, Indian fruit and vegetable markets overflow with ripe, golden, juicy mangoes. Their scent perfumes the humid air, and there's nothing quite like the experience of taking one home, tearing open the skin with your teeth, and biting into the rich, velvety flesh as the juice flows down your arm.
The mangoes I get here in the U.S. are nowhere near as delicious (although Desi insists champagne mangoes are somewhat close), and when I cook with mangoes I prefer to buy the tinned pulp of the Alphonso mango-- unarguably the king of all mangoes--from the Indian grocery store.
My Mango Cashew Cream could be an ice-cream if you added one more cup of ice cubes to my recipe to firm it up. But I like my ice cream all flowing and melting and not brain-freezing cold, so the texture I achieve with this recipe is just perfect for me. Do keep in mind that you do need a really powerful blender for this recipe (I have a Vitamix), because a regular one won't grind the cashews and ice cubes as smooth.
For my Indian readers looking to make their recipes healthier and vegan, the cashew cream, minus the ice, is a perfect substitute for milk in making Aamras, the delectable Indian dessert made by blending cream and mango pulp. Add some cardamom to the mix, leave the ice cubes out, and add some water if needed.
The Mango Cashew Cream makes for a perfect dessert on its own, but to make it even healthier drizzle it over some summery berries. Yum.
Mango Cashew Cream:
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and then blended into a silky smooth paste with enough water to keep the blades running.
1 cup mango pulp (I used Alphonso from the Indian store which really has an unparalleled flavor)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups ice cubes
Place all the ingredients in the blender and run (use a tamper if your blender provides one, to get all the ingredients under the blades) until you have a really thick, smooth, creamy mix. With a Vitamix, the rule of thumb is to watch for the exact moment when four mounds develop. Turn off the blender, scoop the cream into a bowl, and enjoy!
There's no time like summer to enjoy mangoes. Try my Mango Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream Frosting, the most popular and most tried recipe from Holy Cow! Or my dairy-free Mango Cheesecake.