Mango Cheesecake

My husband is not a very big fan of cheesecakes. But I on the other hand, a big fan!

I wonder who might have been the person who thought first of inventing a cake made of cheese.

Cheesecakes are divine. A rich, smooth dessert, that definitely would make anyone happy, except my husband.

Mango Cheesecake
recipe adapted from here

Crust:
Digestive Biscuits – 250 gms, finely ground
Butter – 3/4 cup, melted
Cheesecake:
Cream Cheese – 500 gms
Hung Yogurt – 1 cup
Mango Puree – 2 cups
Eggs – 4, large
Sugar – 3/4 cup

Method:
Preheat oven to 350°F
Wrap the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with 2-3 layers of heavy duty aluminium foil.
For the Crust: In a mixing bowl, add the finely ground digestive biscuits and pour in the melted butter. Mix until well moistened. Transfer crumbs to prepared pan, and press crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
For Cheesecake Filling: In a food processor, or an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add all the remaining ingredients and process for 5 minutes until just combined, keep scraping down the bowl. Pour cream cheese filling over crust. Place foil-wrapped springform pan in a roasting pan large enough to hold it. Fill roasting pan with enough hot water to come 1-inch up the sides of the springform and carefully transfer to middle oven rack. Bake until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, about an hour and a half.
Transfer the cake pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Later refrigerate, uncovered for 6-8 hours.
To serve, run a knife around the edges, slice and serve wedges. The cake keeps well refrigerated for upto 2 weeks.
Enjoy!

Luv,
Mona

Easy Homemade Mango Ice-Cream without a Machine

I cant believe summer is almost gone. The chill in the air is slowly and steadily returning. So before I bid farewell to summer, I was in the mood of ice-creams. I enjoy store bought ice-creams, and love to try out different flavours and brands. But homemade is far superior to the store-bought kind – without added preservatives or stabilizers, or air whipped in to add volume.

I do not have an ice-cream maker, I would love to, but I am not really sure which one is the best in the market, any suggestions from you readers?

But what if I do not have an ice-cream machine at home, I can still make yummy ice-cream using this very simple and easy method. One of my most favorite flavors for ice-cream is Mango! then comes nutella, chai, pictachio, strawberry, vanilla and the list goes on. This simple technique will give you a delicious homemade ice-cream, which everyone in your house will enjoy. Condensed milk is a magic ingredient when making no-churn ice cream – the end result will be creamy, smooth and not at all icy.

Easy Homemade Mango Ice-Cream without a Machine

Ingredients:

Mango Pulp – fresh/canned – 2 cup, smoothly pureed
Condensed Milk/Evaporated Milk – 1 cup (with or without fat – your choice), chilled overnight in refrigerator

Method:
Pour the condensed milk or evaporated and pureed mango pulp into a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until thick and quite stiff for 8-10 minutes. Pour into a freezer container or a large loaf tin, cover with cling film and freeze until solid, about 6 hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Luv,
Mona

King of fruits~Mango

It was peak mango season when I had landed here in Hyderabad.

ripening mangoes

Indian summer is synonymous with the arrival of the king of fruits~ sweet and fragrant mangoes in the market which are savored in both ripe and raw forms.

dasheri mangoes, washed and ready to be eaten

At that time of sweltering summer there were mangoes hanging from every tree, ripe mangoes being sold at every corner, unripe green mangoes being carefully chosen by ladies for the meticulous preparation of pickles.

green mangoes hanging on the tree

ripe mangoes being sold by vendors at Mozamjahi fruit market

Mangoes are available in so many exotic and delicious varieties, each with unique taste and flavor when in season in India which falls in March until late June. Totapuri, Himayat, Banginapalli, Benishan, Lalpari, Rasalu, Kothapalli, Mallika, Neelam, Alphonso, Kesar, Dashehari, Jehangir, Amrapali etc are a few varieties.

kesar mangoes

We also enjoy many kinds of raw mango pickles that my Ammi either prepares at home or the pickle is gifted to us by our well wishers. Sone of my favorites are the Sesame Mango pickle, the usual fiery red Mango pickle, Rishte ka achar etc. Just as raw mango pickle preparation is an annual ritual at homes in India during the early mango season, sharing a small jar of freshly prepared pickle with loved ones is also as important custom.

raw green mangoes, for pickle preparation

fragrant and sweet Aamras

Thick, glorious sweet and fragrant Aamras is what I love the most during this mango season. The pulp of ripe mangoes is mixed along with some milk/cream and sugar if preferred and enjoyed along with warm parathas at breakfast almost everyday or just as a snack along with tea in the afternoon.

peeled and diced ripe mangoes

cut ripe mango

This wonderful fruit can be enjoyed in diverse ways. Apart from the usual aamras, mango can be enjoyed in a number of ways, a few options to mention are kulfi, murabba, aapshola, ice-creams, pickles, jams, or simply diced and served as a snack. So go ahead and make the most of this glorious fruit.

Luv,
Mona

Kairi ki Khatti Dal

Patli dal (dal with thin consistency) cooked with tamarind or sometimes tomatoes as the souring agents, is a staple, atleast in my house. It is served along with a non-vegetarian or a vegetarian side dish and rice at most of our meals, and I believe at most of the Hyderabadi households as well. The usual variety of patli dal that I prepare are tamarind khatti daltomato dal, mitthi dal, lemon dal, kaddu ka dalcha, sojni ki phalli ka dalcha and kulfe ki katli. Among all these I dearly miss kulfe ki katli as I havent been able to find Kulfa (purslane) at stores here until now.

Unripe green mangoes ~ Kairi

This version of khatti dal with a hint of tangy flavor from unripe green mangoes is most flavorful and enjoyed by everyone at my house. Select sour, firm and unripe green mangoes for the perfect tangy smack in the dal. We enjoyed this flavorsome dal along with kairi ka do pyaza and tali huwi bhindi as our meal today.

Kairi ki Khatti Dal – Green Mango Dhal

Ingredients:

Tuvar ki dal – 1 cup
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Tomatoes – 2, large, red and ripe, quartered
Unripe green sour mango/Kairi – 1, small, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup) (do not discard the stone)
For Baghaar:
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Dried red chillies/Baghaar ki mirch – 2, each broken into two
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs, fresh

Method:

1. In a saucepan, add the tuvar dal, red chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder, quartered tomatoes and 4 cups fresh cool water and boil the dal at medium high heat, half covered, until the dal is done. You can also pressure cook it until the dal is mushy. Once done, let cool and add to a blender container. Also add the chopped unripe mango (do not add the stone now) and blend until the dal is smooth. Pour this back into the saucepan. Add the mango stone to the dal and let cook for 10-12 minutes. Add water to adjust consistency. The consistency should be just slightly thick, not too thick, or too thin.
2. Meanwhile in a small frying pan, prepare baghaar. Pour oil in a warm small frying pan and as soon as it hot, add the cumin seeds, dried red chillies, curry leaves and as they start spluttering immediately add to the dal in saucepan. Let cook for 2 minutes and serve warm (before serving, scrape the mango stone and add all its juices and soft tangy flesh to the dal and discard the stone).

This delicious dal is my entry to the event ‘Delicious Dals from India’ being hosted by Suma at her blog Veggie Platter.

Luv,
Mona

Kairi ka Do Pyaza

The last week during my visit to the grocery mart, I had bought a few unripe mangoes and have been dishing out meals using this wonderful ingredient.

Unripe green mangoes ~ Kairi

Do Pyaza is an onion gravy preparation with a souring agent. Various main ingredients are used to prepare different versions of do pyaza. Tomatoes, Lemons, Gooseberries or Unripe green mangoes are the usual souring agents used. One can also prepare a vegetarian do pyaza without adding meat.

Kairi ka Do Pyaza

The acetic flavor of the unripe sour green mangoes in the current recipe adds a delicious kick to the curry which you will definitely savor. The following is my grandmother’s recipe.

Kairi ka Do Pyaza – Lamb meat in a spicy sour gravy

Lamb meat with bones – around 1 kg
Onions – 1, medium sized, roughly diced
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
Canola oil – 1 tbsp (optional)
Sour, Raw and Unripe Green mango – 1, small, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup) (do not discard the stone)
Fresh Cilantro and Mint leaves – 1 tbsp

Method:

In a pressure cooker, add everything except the chopped green mango and also pour in about 1/2 cup fresh water and pressure cook until the meat is tender. Once done, add the green mango and mix well. Aldo add the stone and pressure cook for 2-3 minutes. Now open the lid of the cooker and cook stirring frequently until most of the moisture has been evaporated, 5-10 minutes approx. Garnish with herbs before serving. Scrape all the soft flesh and juices from the stone and add to the gravy and discard the stone, check seasonings and serve warm along with Parathas or Tandoori Naan.

This is my contribution to the “The Hyderabadi Bakr-Eid Food Festival-’09” that I am hosting on my blog. The event is on and you can all send me your Bakr-Eid special recipes before December 31, 2009, which is the day after tomorrow. So hurry up and send me your entries! Click on the link or the logo for more details.

Luv,
Mona