Som Tam Mamuang| Thai Raw Mango Salad

Som Tam Mamuang, anyone?

For the uninitiated, that refers to salad made using unripe mango, in the Thai style. As Thai cuisine generally is, this salad too is a beautiful blend of flavours and interesting textures. I absolutely adore its sweet and sour and spicy taste, and simply have to make it every summer when raw mangoes are in season.

Som Tam Mamuang or Thai Raw Mango Salad

This salad is a real treat to the tastebuds, the sort of thing that would wake them up from a reverie. And yet, it is a very simple dish to prepare, the putting together of which does not take more than 20 minutes.

What goes into my version of Som Tam Mamuang

I got acquainted with Som Tam Mamuang on our holidays in Thailand. After long and tiring days spent exploring, we would often make a meal of a flavourful salad such as this one. I have seen this being prepared over and over again, and have realised that there are so many little variations to it, though the basic ingredients remain more or less the same. This here is my version of Som Tam Mamuang, the way my family prefers it.

Like I was saying earlier, the major ingredient in Som Tam Mamuang is raw mango, which is also referred to as green or unripe mango. While some people include prawns or shrimp in the salad, I have used onion here.

I have used honey to sweeten the salad. The spiciness comes from green chillies and the bit of ginger I have added in. You could use a dash of red chilli powder instead, too.

Like many dishes from the Thai cuisine, this salad too contains roasted and crushed peanuts and coriander. However, I have done away with the soya sauce that is quite commonly used in Som Tam Mamuang.

How I spiralised the raw mango for this salad

See the spirals?

I made long spirals of the raw mango, to make the salad interesting to eat. This I achieved thanks to my Messermeister julienne peeler, part of a kitchen set my brother-in-law gifted me years ago, and which I have been using for ages now. These are some real good knives and peelers, definitely worth investing in. (Not sponsored!)

So, all I had to do was peel the raw mango and then run the Messermeister julienne peeler over it to create these long, spaghetti-like spirals. They surely added to the appeal of the salad! 🙂

It’s raining summer salads in the Shhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group!

If you have been reading my blog regularly, I am sure you would have seen my posts for the Shhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. This is a group of food bloggers who cook based on a pre-determined theme every month. The bloggers are divided into pairs every month. Every pair exchanges two secret ingredients which are then used to cook for the month’s theme. The others then try and guess the secret ingredients that have been used by each pair. It’s super fun!

The theme for the Shhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge this month is ‘Summer Salads’. My partner for the month was Preethi, author of the wonderful blog Preethi’s Cuisine. She gave me the two secret ingredients of ‘onion’ and ‘honey’, which fit right into this family favourite Som Tam Mamuang I wanted to showcase.

The theme for the month was suggested by the very talented Kalyani, author of Sizzling Tastebuds. Check out the interesting Warm Barley Summer Salad she whipped up recently! Coincidentally, I gave Preethi the secret ingredients of ‘barley’ and ‘lemon juice’, and she went on to prepare this beauty!

Other Thai recipes on my blog

You might want to check out the other Thai recipes on my blog, too. There’s:

Rainbow Rice Salad
Thai Sticky Rice With Mango
Thai Ripe Mango Salad
Thai Grapefruit Salad

Tom Yum Soup

Sriracha Pineapple

Vegetarian Thai Fried Rice

Thai Green Curry

Thai Yellow Curry

Vegetarian Thai Coconut Soup

Healthy Thai-Style Moong Bean Wraps

Som Tam Mamuang or Thai Raw Mango Salad recipe

Here is how I make it.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 1 medium-sized raw mango

  2. 1 small onion

  3. 2 green chillies

  4. A 1/2-inch piece of ginger

  5. 1/4 cup peanuts

  6. Salt, to taste

  7. 2 tablespoons honey or to taste

  8. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

Method:

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till they get crisp. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. Transfer to a plate and allow them to cool down fully.
  2. In the meantime, peel the raw mango and julienne it. You can either use a julienne peeler like I did or chop it into thin matchsticks. Transfer the raw mango juliennes to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Peel the ginger and chop it really fine. Similarly, chop the green chillies really fine too. Add the chopped ginger and green chillies to the mixing bowl too.
  4. Chop the onion finely. Add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add in salt and honey.
  6. When the roasted peanuts have completely cooled down, coarsely crush them in a small mixer jar. Add this to the mixing bowl too, along with the finely chopped coriander.
  7. Mix up all the ingredients together. Serve immediately.

Tips & Tricks

1. Choose a raw mango that is nice and firm and not overly sour. I have used a Totapuri mango here.

2. Adjust the quantity of honey, green chillies and salt as per personal taste preferences.

3. Do not crush the peanuts to a powder. They need to be just coarsely crushed. You can use a mortar and pestle to crush them too.

4. You can skip the onion if you do not prefer to use it.

5. Make sure the ginger and green chillies are chopped really fine.

6. For a vegan version of the salad, you can substitute the honey with jaggery powder, cane sugar or raw brown sugar.

7. This recipe is completely vegetarian and gluten-free.

8. Don’t let the salad sit around for too long after mixing it up. Serve it immediately after making. Alternatively, you could keep the ingredients ready and mix up the salad just before serving it.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Fruit Custard Recipe| How To Make Fruit Custard

Fruit Custard is one of the first things I learnt from my mom, years ago. She’s the Expert Custard Maker of our family, who gets it just right every single time, the custard neither too thick nor too watery, absolutely delicious. It is a dessert all of us in the family have always loved, and mom always made it whenever there were a lot of fruits at home. It is a dessert that holds many sweet memories for me, something I associate with my mom and home.

When I was about to get married and shift to Bangalore, I had to learn making this from her, of course, her tips and tricks to get it just right. And, of course, my blog would be incomplete without a Fruit Custard recipe, a la mom. So, here we are.

Fruit Custard!

What is Fruit Custard?

It is a very simple dessert that can be put together in mere minutes. Full-fat milk is brought to a boil, along with sugar, then some custard powder is added in, for thickening. The milk and custard powder mixture is cooked just a little, till it reaches the right consistency, after which it is allowed to chill. Just before serving, assorted fruits go in – that’s the way we like it. The end result is a delicious, delicious thing!

Fruit Custard is perfect for gatherings of family or friends, when you need to make a sweet dish, but nothing too complicated. The custard can be made in advance and kept chilling in the refrigerator, with only the fruits needing to go in when your guests arrive.

After festival days, when you are left with a glut of fruits (or post market visits when you get overly enthusiastic about fruit consumption and buy it by the truckloads), this Fruit Custard is a great thing to turn to.

A closer look at the ingredients

It is imperative to use full-fat milk in the Fruit Custard, for best results. Here, in Bangalore, I use Nandini full-cream milk.

I use regular refined white sugar, as we prefer it that way. Some people add honey instead – if you are doing so, make sure you add the honey at the end, after the custard has cooled down. As per Ayurvedic principles, honey should not be heated.

While there are a number of custard powder brands available these days, I prefer the vanilla-flavoured one by Brown & Polson. That’s what mom always used, and what I love using too. I have tried out a few other brands too, but I personally think Brown & Polson is the best.

Fruit Custard, the way we like it!

Last, but not the least, you can add any fruits of your preference. One thing you need to ensure is not to add too many fruits with high water content (watermelon, musk melon, sun melon and the likes), as they might make the Fruit Custard too watery. We prefer adding Robusta bananas (other types don’t really work well), a crisp apple like Washington or Fuji, seedless grapes, pomegranate and, when in season, ripe mango.

The basic Fruit Custard recipe includes just fruits, but you may add in dried fruits and nuts to make it richer. Almonds, pistachios, cashewnuts, glace cherries and raisins are some things that work well in Fruit Custard.

How to make Fruit Custard

Here is our family recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 1/2 litre full-fat milk, not boiled
  2. 2 heaped tablespoons custard powder
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1 medium-sized Robusta banana
  5. 1 small ripe mango
  6. 1/2 of a medium-sized apple
  7. 2 fistfuls of pomegranate arils

Method:

1. Take about 1/4 cup of the milk in a small cup. Add in the custard powder. Mix well to form a smooth, lump-free slurry. Keep aside.

2. Take the rest of the milk in a pan, and add in the sugar too. Place on high heat. In a bit, the sugar will get completely dissolved in the milk. Stirring intermittently, let cook on high flame till the milk comes to a boil, 3-4 minutes. Then, turn the flame down to low.

Top left and right: Making the custard powder slurry, Bottom left: The smooth custard powder slurry, Bottom right: The remaining milk set for cooking

3. Stirring constantly, add the custard powder slurry we prepared earlier, to the pan. Make sure the slurry is mixed evenly in the hot milk and that there are no lumps. The mixture will immediately start thickening.

4. Continue to cook the mixture on low flame for 1-2 minutes, or till it attains a silky-smooth consistency but is still quite runny. Don’t let it get too thick, as it will thicken up a bit more upon cooling. You will need to stir intermittently. Switch off gas when done.

Top left: Adding sugar to the pan, Top right: The milk coming to a boil, Bottom left: Adding the custard powder slurry to the pan, Bottom right: The right consistency of the custard while cooking

5. Cover the pan and allow the custard to cool down fully. Then, transfer to a bowl and place it in the refrigerator. Allow it to chill for at least 3-4 hours.

Top: The custard, after chilling, Bottom: Adding fruits to the chilled custard

6. When you are ready to serve the Fruit Custard, get the custard out of the refrigerator. Now add in the fruits. Peel and chop the banana and mango, and add these to the custard. Add in the pomegranate arils too. Chop up the apple and add it in too. Mix well. Your Fruit Custard is ready. Serve immediately.

Tips & Tricks

1. If the custard gets too thick after chilling, loosen it with a little boiled and cooled milk. If needed, dissolve some sugar in the hot milk, allow it to cool down fully before adding it in.

2. If the custard gets too watery, mix some custard powder in a little cold milk, add to the custard and cook on low flame for 1-2 minutes.

3. Add the fruits to the custard just before serving. Citrus fruits can cause the custard to get bitter, if left in for some time. Moreover, it is sometimes difficult to bite into fruits if they have been chilled along with the custard.

4. Adjust the amount of sugar you use, as per personal taste preferences. The above quantities are just perfect for us.

5. A few drops of rose or vanilla essence can be added to the custard too. We usually don’t.

6. Make sure there are no lumps in the custard powder slurry you make, which is later added to boiled milk.

7. Chop the fruits just before adding them to the custard. Chopping them up in advance might cause them to get watery or darken.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Besan Cheela| Pudla| Savoury Gram Flour Pancakes

When you think about pancakes, the picture that almost always comes to mind is that of a stack of pillowy, sweet discs, topped with loads of maple syrup or honey, sometimes with whipped cream and fresh fruits. There are, however, SO MANY other variety of pancakes out there! Today, I’m going to share with you all one such pancake recipe – Savoury Gram Flour Pancakes, more commonly known in North India as Besan Cheela. The Gujaratis know these as Pudla.

So, what exactly is a pancake?

A pancake is a cake – thick or thin – made on a griddle or pan of some sort. Batter, either sweet or savoury, is poured over a pan and allowed to cook. The batter may be of the instant variety – prepared just before cooking the pancakes – or it may be readied in advance and allowed to ferment.

Pancake varieties from around the world

Different countries have different versions of pancakes. The sweet pancakes described above are hugely popular in the USA, for instance. Then there are French Crepes, Italian Crespelle and Farinata, Vietnamese Banh Xeo, Jewish Potato Latke, Malaysian Apam Balik and Banana Roti from Thailand.

India has several varieties of pancakes too. Pudla or Besan Cheela, as mentioned above, Appam and Pathiri from Kerala, Patishapta from West Bengal, Dosa, Adai and Uttappam from Tamilnadu, Pesarettu and Sarvapindi from Andhra Pradesh, Alle Belle from Goa and Pitha from the North-East are some examples.

More about Besan Cheela or Pudla

These Besan Cheela or Pudla are savoury pancakes, extremely delicious ones at that. They are made with gram flour aka besan (usually powdered split Bengal gram or chana dal), which is slightly different from chickpea flour or garbanzo flour (powdered black or white chickpeas). I believe besan and chickpea flour can be used interchangeably, but I have never used the latter. Besan is what is commonly available in India, and is used in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes.

Coming back to the Besan Cheela or Pudla, they are super easy to make and quite nutritious too, full of the goodness of gram flour. Here, I have added veggies too, to make them more flavourful and healthy. These gram flour pancakes are completely vegetarian and gluten-free. I have used some curd here, but you can skip it completely in case you want to prepare a vegan version.

Savoury Gram Flour Pancakes for Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

This post is brought to you in association with Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge, a fantastic group of food bloggers that I’m part of. Members of the group cook as per a pre-determined theme every month. We form pairs, and each pair exchanges two ingredients which should be used in the dish. Isn’t that so very interesting?

The theme for the group this month is ‘Pancakes’, wherein all of us are presenting different types. The theme was suggested by Archana of The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen. Archana has a wonderful blog, full of recipes for healthy foods, traditional Goan dishes and various baked confections. Her Mango Fool recipe has been on my to-do list for quite some time now, as has her Kande Pohe and Chana Cho Ros.

Archana happens to be my partner for the month too, and she assigned me the ingredients ‘gram flour’ and ‘onions’ to work with. I chose to use them in these Savoury Gram Flour Pancakes. You must check out the gorgeous, fluffy Japanese Souffle Pancakes Archana made using the two secret ingredients I gave her – vanilla and milk!

How to make Besan Cheela aka Pudla or Savoury Gram Flour Pancakes

Here’s how I go about it.

Ingredients (makes about 10 pancakes):

  1. 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. Red chilli powder to taste
  5. 1/2 cup thick curd
  6. 1 small onion
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  8. 1 small carrot
  9. 1 small snack pepper
  10. 3/4 to 1 cup water
  11. Oil, as needed to make the pancakes
  12. Tomato ketchup, as needed to serve the pancakes (optional)

Method:

1. Take the gram flour in a big mixing bowl. Add in the salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder.

2. Chop the onion finely. Reserve some chopped onions for garnishing later. Add the rest to the mixing bowl.

3. Reserve some chopped coriander for garnishing later. Add in the rest to the mixing bowl.

4. Peel and grate the carrot. Reserve some for garnishing later and add the rest to the mixing bowl.

5. Chop the snack pepper finely. Add to the mixing bowl.

6. Add the curd to the mixing bowl too.

7. Now, add 3/4 to 1 cup water to make a lump-free batter that has a pourable consistency. The batter should be runny, but not watery. Let the batter sit, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

8. When the batter has rested, we will start making the pancakes. Place a heavy pan on high flame and get it nice and hot. Now, turn the flame down to medium. Pour a ladle full of the batter in the centre of the pan. Spread it out using the back of the ladle. Drizzle some oil all around the pancake. Cook till the pancake starts browning on the bottom and appears mostly done on the top. Take care to ensure that it does not burn. At this stage, flip over the pancake and cook for about a minute on the other side. Now, transfer to a serving plate.

9. Drizzle some tomato ketchup over the pancake (optional). Garnish with the leftover grated carrot and finely chopped coriander and onion. Serve immediately.

10. Prepare pancakes from all the batter in a similar fashion.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use curd that is sour but not overly so. I used home-made thick curd.

2. I have used home-made tomato ketchup here. You can use a store-bought version, instead, too.

3. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the pancake batter.

4. I have used a snack pepper from Gourmet Garden here. Gourmet Garden is a farm that grows zero-pesticide vegetables and greens hydroponically, and delivers all over Bangalore. I have been using some of their veggies, and marvelling at how very fresh and delicious they are. To read my review of Gourmet Garden produce, on Instagram, head here. I would highly suggest you check them out! Use my code TGND30 to get a 30% discount on your first order with Gourmet Garden!

5. You may use finely chopped capsicum instead of the snack pepper.

6. Finely chopped green chillies can be added to the batter too. I chose to use red chilli powder instead.

7. The turmeric and red chilli powder in the batter can be substituted with dried Italian herbs. You may or may not use the curd in this case, making the batter entirely with water.

8. Some people add a little baking soda or Eno Fruit Salt to make the pancakes softer. I don’t.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Thakkali Kai Kootu| Green Tomato Gravy

Presenting Thakkali Kai Kootu, a recipe from our family kitty

Do you cook with raw tomatoes? You know, those hard, green ones, which may or may not be speckled with red? There’s no ‘squish’ to them, as in case of a ripe tomato, but they do have a fresh, earthy feel to them and a beautiful tart flavour.

Green tomatoes! Aren’t they beautiful?!

I’m here today to tell you about something absolutely delicious we make using these raw tomatoes, called Thakkali Kai or Pacchai Tomato in Tamil. Read on for my family recipe for Thakkali Kai Kootu or Tamilnadu-style green tomato gravy!

Thakkali Kai Kootu aka Tamilnadu-style Green Tomato Gravy

Thakkali Kai Kootu for the win!

This Thakkali Kai Kootu is a specialty of my maternal uncle’s, who is a wonderful cook. I’m not a big fan of tomatoes, really, but this kootu happens to be one of my most favourite things. This is a heritage Tamilnadu recipe, very simple to prepare, but very delicious!

The green tomatoes lend a unique tartness to the kootu. A special paste made using roasted spices and coconut goes into the kootu too, which makes it supremely fragrant and flavourful. Served hot with rotis or rice, this Thakkali Kai Kootu is comfort in a bowl.

Is this Thakkali Kai Kootu vegan and gluten-free?

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, one that is suitable for someone on a plant-based diet.

Skip the asafoetida used in the tempering, and you can easily make it gluten-free as well. This is because most Indian brands of asafoetida include wheat flour to some extent, and should therefore be avoided in case one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely use it.

How to prepare Thakkali Kai Kootu or Green Tomato Gravy

Here’s how we go about making this kootu.
Ingredients (serves 6):

1. 4 medium-sized green tomatoes

2. 1/2 cup moong dal

3. Salt to taste

4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

5. 1 teaspoon + 1/2 tablespoon oil

6. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

7. 1-1/2 tablespoons chana dal

8. 2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut

9. 4-5 dry red chillies

10. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

11. 2 pinches of asafoetida

12. 1 sprig fresh curry leaves

13. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)

Method:

Top: Step 1, Bottom Left: Step 2, Bottom Right: Step 3

1. Wash the moong dal well under running water. Drain out all the water. Transfer to a wide vessel.

2. Chop the green tomatoes. Add these to the vessel.

3. Add about 1/2 cup water to the vessel, along with a little salt and the turmeric powder. Pressure cook on high flame for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

Top left and right: Steps 4 and 5, Bottom left and right: Steps 6 and 7

4. In the meantime, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add in the coriander seeds, chana dal and dry red chillies. Roast on medium flame for about 2 minutes or till the dal starts turning brown and begins to emit a lovely fragrance. Stir intermittently and make sure the ingredients do not burn.

5. Add the grated coconut to the pan at this stage. Roast on medium flame for about a minute more or till the chana dal turns a nice golden brown. Again, stir intermittently and avoid burning of the ingredients.

6. When done, transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate. Allow them to cool down fully.

7. When completely cooled down, grind the roasted ingredients together to a paste, using a little water. Keep aside.

Top left and right: Steps 8 and 9, Centre left and right: Steps 10 and 11, Bottom left: Step 12, Bottom right: The kootu when it has thickened and is ready

8. When the pressure from the cooker has fully gone down, get the cooked tomatoes and moong dal out. Mash them gently – not too much. Keep aside.

9. In the same pan we used earlier, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add in the mustard, and allow to sputter. Now, add in the curry leaves and asafoetida. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds.

10. Lower flame to medium. Add the cooked tomatoes and moong dal to the pan.

11. Add in salt to taste and the paste we added earlier. Mix well. Taste and add red chilli powder if needed, otherwise skip. If the mixture is too thick, you can add in water too, as required.

12. Cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes, or till the mixture thickens up and comes together nicely. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas when the mixture is still a bit runny – it thickens up further upon cooling. Your Pacchai Tomato Kootu is ready. Serve hot or warm with rice or rotis.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use firm, raw tomatoes that do not have any softness to them. The tomatoes should be fully green, green with bits of red, or red and yellow, but do make sure that they are unripe.

2. I used green tomatoes from Gourmet Garden, a farm that grows zero-pesticide vegetables and greens hydroponically. I have been using some of their veggies, and have been loving how fresh and lovely they are. They deliver all over Bangalore – do check them out! Read my review of Gourmet Garden produce, on Instagram, here. Use my code TGND30 to get a 30% discount on your first order with Gourmet Garden!

3. Make sure the roasted ingredients do not burn. Let them cool down fully before grinding.

4. I have used a mix of the hot Salem Gundu dry red chillies and the milder Bydagi dry red chillies here. You can use any variety you prefer.

5. If you feel the spiciness from the dry red chillies is not enough, you can add in a bit of red chilli powder. However, that is perfectly optional.

6. Make sure you keep the Thakkali Kai Kootu a little runny. It thickens up on cooling.

7. Adjust the amount of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the kootu you require.

8. Make sure the moong dal is fully cooked before adding it to the pan.

9. Adjust the quantity of coconut you use as per personal taste preferences.

10. Sesame oil (nalla ennai) or coconut oil (thengai ennai) works best in the making of this kootu.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Mixed Fruit Cream With Mascarpone| Fruit Salad With Cream

Get summer ready with Mixed Fruit Cream!

Summer is slowly setting in, and I’m here today to share with you all a gorgeous dessert that is just right for the upcoming hot days. Here’s presenting to you Mixed Fruit Cream, a sweet treat that tastes just as beautiful as it looks. Serve it chilled on a summer’s day, and I’m sure it will win the hearts of your family and friends. It is a no-cook recipe, too, a simple thing that can be put together in bare minutes. You don’t have to sweat at the kitchen stove for hours on end, to make this!

A closer look at the ingredients used

Mixed Fruit Cream – you could also call it Fruit Salad With Cream – is most commonly made using fresh cream. However, here, I have used a combination of mascarpone cheese and whipping cream, which gives it just the perfect thick, non-watery consistency. Thanks to this combination, and the sugar that goes in, this is definitely a calorie-heavy dessert. However, take my word for it, it’s nothing short of heavenly! I make this very occasionally, when I’m in the mood to indulge myself and the family. 🙂

I am guessing the mascarpone can be substituted with cream cheese, though I have never tried it that way. I haven’t ever tried healthify-ing this Mixed Fruit Cream by replacing the sugar with another sweetener. Some desserts need only sugar, and I think this is one such.

You can use any fruits of your choice in this dessert. I have used banana, apple and pomegranate, all fruits that my family likes.

Mixed Fruit Cream recipe for A-Z Recipe Challenge

This recipe is brought to you in association with the A-Z Recipe Challenge, a Facebook group that I am part of.

This challenge is hosted by Vidya of Masalachilli and Jolly of Homemade Recipes. Every month, the group members share recipes made from ingredients in alphabetical order. The letter for this month is M, and I chose ‘mixed fruits’ and ‘mascarpone cheese’ as my star ingredients.
Ingredients (serves 6-8):

  1. 250 grams mascarpone cheese
  2. 200 ml whipping cream
  3. 4-5 drops of vanilla essence
  4. 8 tablespoons sugar or to taste
  5. 1 medium-sized apple
  6. 2 medium-sized Robusta bananas
  7. Arils from 1 large pomegranate

Method:

1. Remove the stems and core from the apple and chop into cubes. Cut the banana into rounds. Keep aside. Keep the pomegranate arils ready.

2. Take the whipping cream in a large mixing bowl. Add in the sugar and vanilla essence. Cream together until it gets thick and all the sugar is well integrated into the cream.

3. Now, add the mascarpone cheese to the mixing bowl. Whisk together till the mixture is nice and thick.

3. Add the chopped apple and banana, as well as the pomegranate arils to the mixing bowl. Mix well.

4. Place the mixing bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Serve once it is nicely chilled.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use good-quality mascarpone and whipping cream, for best results. I have used mascarpone cheese from Vallombrosa, which was fresh and extremely delicious. I have used Amul whipping cream here.

2. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use, depending upon personal taste preferences. I have used regular granulated sugar here.

3. You can use whatever fruits you like, to make this Fruit Salad With Cream. However, if you are using water-laden fruits like watermelon or muskmelon, it is best to serve the fruit cream immediately after making, to avoid it getting watery. Also, be careful while adding fruits like orange, pineapple and sweet lime – they sometimes make the Mixed Fruit Cream bitter. I usually stick to ‘safe’ fruits like apple, bananas and pomegranate.

4. Since I didn’t use fruits high in water content, I served this Fruit Cream chilled. I personally believe this dessert tastes best when slightly chilled. Alternatively, you can prepare the base (whipped cream, sugar, vanilla essence and mascarpone) in advance and refrigerate it, covered. It stays well for up to 2 days. When you want to serve the dessert, get the base out, keep outside for some time for it to thaw a bit, and then mix in the chopped fruits.

5. If using refrigerated mascarpone and whipped cream, get them out and allow them to come to room temperature before beginning to make the dessert. Mascarpone is easier to whip when it is nice and soft.

6. I used a regular hand-held whisk (not electric) to make this Mixed Fruit Cream.

7. You can adjust the quantity of fruit you add to this dessert, depending upon personal taste preferences.

I hope you liked the recipe. So, go ahead and make it, and let me know your feedback!