Mango Shrikhand Tarts

IMG_5336Mango Shrikhand tarts are not new on this blog…in fact this little dessert was one of the first things I wrote about when we started the blog! But what makes this post special is a little upgrade on the moulds that I used to make the tarts.

When we were in Mumbai earlier this year, I chanced upon a little hole in the wall bakery shop at Santacruz market, where a couple of guys were sitting and moulding aluminum sheets and strips into cake and tart rings of all shapes and sizes. Intrigued, I started looking around at the different moulds on display and asked if they had any baking tins shaped like a mango. I had been on the lookout for a mango or paisley shaped tin for a while and where better to look for one than in Mumbai! One of the guys rummaged in a drawer and held up a tiny cookie cutter in a mango shape!! Delighted I asked if they would be able to create a larger size for me and after some drawings to finalize the size and much haggling over the price, I managed to acquire these beautiful mango-shaped tart moulds 🙂

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I knew it would be tricky to fold the pastry into this shape, but after a couple of attempts I managed to successfully produce the tarts. For the filling, the base of the tart has white chocolate ganache flavoured lightly with saffron, cardamom and a pinch of sea salt (yes, you read that right….helps balance the sweetness!). I used to earlier put dark chocolate ganache at the bottom but felt it competed too much with the yoghurt, so this time I replaced it with white chocolate ganache. The shrikhand is made with hung yoghurt mixed with Alphonso mango pulp and flavoured with saffron, cardamom, a pinch of nutmeg and some sugar. And finally decorated with pistachio powder and some pomelo (inspired by the mango pomelo sago dessert from Hong Kong)

The Marathi and Bengali yoghurt-based desserts, like shrikhand and bhapa doi go down well with our guests, especially our non-Indian guests, because no one expects yoghurt-based desserts to taste so good and they’re much lighter to eat as compared to many other Indian desserts! Especially after the full-on meal we serve 😉

At the request of a reader, I am adding the recipe to the post. I’ve tried to be precise with my measurements, but invariably I do play around with the flavours when cooking. So feel free to adapt the sweetness or amount of mango or spices depending on your personal taste. Hope you have fun making these! 🙂

MANGO SHRIKHAND TARTS  

  • Mango Shrikhand
    • 250ml greek yoghurt, chilled
    • 3 Alphonso mangoes, cut and pureed
    • 1 ½ tsp nutmeg powder
    • 1 ½ tsp cardamom powder
    • 8-10 strands of saffron
    • 2 tbsp milk (to soak saffron)
    • 1/3rd cup chopped pistachios (for garnish)
  • Pastry
    • 100g plain flour
    • 60g butter
    • 20g icing sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • Pinch salt
    • 2 tsp cold water
    • ½ tsp cardamom powder
    • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • White chocolate ganache
    • 50 g white chocolate
    • 25g cream
    • pinch of salt, pinch of nutmeg/mace, pinch of cardamom

For the shrikhand:

Place the yoghurt in a muslin cloth. Tie the cloth to create a knot over the yoghurt and place in a colander over a bowl to allow the whey to strain. Warm the milk and put the saffron strands into it to release the colour and flavour. Peel the mangoes. Cut the flesh in large chunks and put it in a blender to make a smooth puree. Untie the muslin and scrape the yoghurt cream into a bowl. Gradually add the mango puree into the yoghurt. Add the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and milk with saffron. Whisk the mixture till creamy. Adjust mango and spices for taste & add a little sugar if needed. Pour the shrikhand into a piping bag and keep in the fridge (or freezer to chill faster)

For the pastry:

In a bowl, add the flour. Make a well and add the butter, icing sugar, salt and spices. Mix to incorporate the butter till the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the egg and water to form a dough. Turn the dough onto the counter and using a little extra flour, knead 3-4 times to bring the pastry dough together. Place the dough in cling wrap, flatten it and chill it for an hour. After it has chilled, take the dough out and let it stand for 5 mins. Depending on the tart tins you are using, divide the dough into appropriately sized balls and roll out the pasty to a size larger than the pastry tin. Place the pastry into the tin and using your fingers press it gently into the tin all around and on the base. Using the rolling pin, roll over the top of the tin to cut out the extra pastry. Once done, press the pastry on the sides to raise the dough slightly over the surface. This is to account for some shrinkage as the pastry cooks. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and place the lined pastry tins back in the fridge for 20 -30 mins. Pre-heat the oven at 180°C (Gas 3). Remove the pastry tins from the fridge, line them with baking paper/aluminium foil and place baking beans/rice/beans. Blind bake for 10 mins. Then remove the baking paper/foil and bake them for 5 minutes to let the pastry get some colour. Remove from the oven and let the pastry cool down. Once cool, remove it from the tin.

For the ganache

Chop the white chocolate into small pieces. Gently heat the cream in a pan. When it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir well to allow the chocolate to melt. Add salt and spices and mix. Once the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth, keep it aside to cool down.

To serve

Once the tarts have cooled down, pour a little ganache to line the base of the tart and keep it in the fridge for 30 mins to chill. Then remove and pipe the shrikhand into each pastry tart. Decorate the top with chopped pistachios.

Priya

 

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A fresh look at Aamras Puri

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My heart leapt with joy last week when I had my first sighting of the Alphonso mango at Mustafa’s. Not the best quality yet, but there was no mistaking that distinctive fragrance that only the Alphonso carries. And so with a steady supply of my favourite mango now just around the corner, it was time to start working on our summer menu for the supper club, currently cheesily named ‘The Indian summer’. I know, I know – needs improvement. This is just a placeholder…

For the last few days Aniruddha and I have been discussing what dishes to cook. Of course my mango shrikhand tart will make an appearance with some very special tart tins I managed to get designed in Mumbai recently – more on that soon. I am experimenting with a kairiche saar (raw mango soup) and kairi panna (raw mango and jaggery drink) to replace the tomato saar (tomato and coconut milk soup)! I successfully paired a tamarind prawn dish that I usually make with fresh mango – really surprising pairing but it really works. And Aniruddha has been going through his Bengali recipes, many of which will be new for me!

But of course, no summer menu is complete without offering the most popular mango dish in Mumbai – aamras puri. Fresh Alphonso mango pulp or juice flavoured with cardamom, saffron and a little sugar and served with deep fried bread. Utterly calorie dense but sooooo good!

Although it is a simple dish to make at home, for some reason most of my memories of aamras puri are at a restaurant. My grandmother was particularly fond of the dish and during mango season she would always make it a point to go for an aamras puri treat. I remember having it at Samrat in Churchgate, as part of their thali. And sometimes Thackers who used to cater the vegetarian food at the Cricket Club, where my grandparents were members, would also serve it.

As I began to think of bringing it on the menu, the first question that struck me is how do I serve it? Just serving aamras with puri on the side would be fine, since there are few places that serve it in Singapore and many non-Indians have never had this dish. But I wanted to add some surprise by recreating it, as we’ve managed successfully with some of our other dishes. I knew that whatever I came up with, had to have a fried dough element to it, because that taste was integral to the joy of eating aamras puri.

The answer came quite fast – doughnuts! Not the ones with a hole, like Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme, but the jam-filled variety. The idea was to replace the traditional filling with an aamras-inspired one. May not be the most elegant idea for a dish but who can argue with the taste of a good doughnut? Having never made one before, I started searching for recipes and almost immediately came across something called malasadas. These are Portuguese doughnuts and the word ‘mal – assadas’ means under-cooked. The search also kept pointing to a bakery in Hawaii called Leonard’s which is famous for their malasadas. Why argue with Google search?

The dough for malasadas is created with bread flour, yeast, butter, sugar, eggs, milk and half & half. I found a recipe for the ones created by Leonard’s but reduced the quantity by 1/3rd and adjusted the half and half with a combination of milk and cream. The dough is proofed first for 1.5 hours, then cut into small golf-sized balls and proofed again for another hour and then fried. The malasadas were an absolute joy to cook. I wasn’t sure if the dough was proofed enough, although it had doubled. But the moment I popped my first doughnut into the oil and it puffed up, I knew I was on the right track. After the first one cooled down I rolled it in sugar and then cut it open. It was a lovely brown on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside.

Link to the original recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Hawaii-Malasadas

For the aamras filling, I took mango pulp and mixed it with cardamom powder, saffron and a little cream to give it more structure when I piped it into the doughnuts. So I piped the aamras into it, took a giant bite and aloha!! My little experiment with aamras puri seemed to have worked quite well. Improvements for the next time – oil to be a little less hot, so I achieve a more golden brown colour. A thicker aamras filling and more filling per donut. My sister also suggested churros with aamras…something I will try very soon!

Priya