Eventually it’s March! And it is the beginning of mango season in India! A week ago I yielded to temptation to buy the first hardly ripe, a bit pale and not so sweet mangoes (which tasted good anyway!) and today I was in gastronomic euphoria when I was enjoying every succulent bite of Alphonso for breakfast!
Mango… The king of fruits…. There are so many amazing things one can make with it! Sauces, salsas and glazes for the meat, fillings for the crepes, toppings for the cakes, garnishes for mousses and parfait, nothing to say of enjoying this juicy fruit on its own. Blissful delight – we are up for it for the following couple of months!
Last year one of the most amazing desserts that I’ve managed to make with mango was called “Trio of melons”. The recipe was found in Elle magazine – in one of the last pages which I usually look through first (a weird habit, I know, but I believe I’m not the only one who “reads” women magazines in such a way!). Since I had just got my parisienne scoop (a cute piece of kitchen equipment I was craving for) and was in a mood of making scoops out of everything, the dish was a perfect choice.
The dessert turned out to be very delicate and light: juicy melon balls, refreshing touch of mint, tangy kick of curd with subtle flavour of vanilla and – the hero of the dish: Alphonso coulis, irresistably delicious and more-ish, that brought all the elements of the dish together and made them transform into a beautiful unforgettable combination. I’m looking forward to making the dessert this year again!
The original recipe by Chef Marut Sikka (from “Magique” restaurant in Delhi)
Trio of melons
balls of watermelon
balls of cantaloupe
balls of honeydew
1/2 cup sugar
400 ml water
1/2bunch mint springs
3 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod
60 gm castor sugar
60 gm butter
20 ml lemon juice
2 Alphonso mango
a few mint springs
1. For trio pf melons, combine sugar, water and mint springs in a pan. Bring to boil over medium heat, cook for a couple of minutes, then let it cool completely. Soak the melon balls in the syrup and refrigerate.
2. For lemon curd, mix butter, sugar, lemon juice and scraped vanilla pod in a bowl. Place it over a pan of simmering water and cook, stirring, till the mixture thickens. Add vanilla seeds and discard the pod. Chill in the refrigerator.
3. For mango coulis, place the mango flesh in a blender and puree till smooth.
4. To serve, spoon mango coulis on the bottom of the bowls. Remove melon balls from the syrup and place of them into each bowl. Top with lemon curd, drizzle with some more coulis. Garnish with mint leaves.
You can make all the elements of the dish in advance except the melon balls: scoop them out a few hours before serving type and place in the mint syrup; make sure you do not soak them for a very long time as they will become too mushy.