I think we can all agree that the very best thing about summer in Pakistan is all the mangoes everywhere.
I was never a big mango fan when I was younger (blasphemous, I know!). However, over time, I’ve become more fond of them. Not only do they satisfy the sweet tooth, but are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are high on fibre and water content, which makes their consumption a win-win situation.
I’ve also become more interested in finding novel ways to use them in my baking and cooking.
Ease comes first for the two recipes below. Both require minimal effort and time in the kitchen - a plus for the upcoming Ramazan season - while highlighting mangoes in simple but delicious ways.
I practically live on tea and, during the summer months, iced tea is a refreshing change when I can't bear the idea of a hot cuppa. While iced tea with lemon is great on its own, flavouring it with fresh mango puree makes it extra special. This makes for a great Iftar drink too; you get water, sugar, and caffeine all in one go.
For simple syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups boiling water
1 cup fresh mango puree
1 teaspoon lemon juice
A pinch of salt
Ice, to serve
1) To make the simple syrup: Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from stove and set aside to cool.
2) Add the teabags to the 3 cups of boiling water, cover, and leave to brew for 3 to 5 minutes.
3) Remove the teabags and discard. Leave the tea to cool.
4) In a large jug, mix together the cooled tea, mango puree, lemon juice and salt.
5) Sweeten the tea with the simple syrup, according to your taste. I added 4 tablespoons, but you can add more or less according to your preference.
6) Refrigerate the iced tea until you’re ready to serve.
7) Serve over ice.
Tip # 1: You can make a large batch of simple syrup and store it in a jar in your fridge for up to two weeks. Use it to sweeten all sorts of drink; it beats having to stand there stirring away until all the sugar dissolves!
Tip # 2: You can you use other fruit purees or juices to flavour your iced tea as well. Try swapping out the mango puree for fresh peach puree. A personal favourite of mine is to use 1 cup cranberry juice instead of fruit puree.
While you can't go wrong with a big bowl of mango chunks for dessert, this trifle elevates the simple mango without much effort. I’ve left out trifle standards like custard and jelly here, but you can add more layers if you wish.
½ lb plain cake, cut into cubes
2 large Sindhri mangoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
4 tablespoons caster sugar
1 cup mango puree, chilled (use a more flavorful mango for the puree, like Dosehri or Chaunsa)
1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream), chilled
½ to 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1) In a mixing bowl, add mango and caster sugar. Mix well, cover, and leave for 20 minutes.
2) In a large glass serving bowl, add cake in an even layer and then top with mangoes.
3) Prepare the mousse: Using an electric beater, whip the cream until stiff peaks form (when you remove the beater from the cream, the peaks formed should hold their shape).
4) Add the chilled mango puree and ½ cup icing sugar, and continue to beat until well combined. taste the mousse and add more sugar if desired.
5) Spoon the mousse over the mangoes in an even layer.
6) Cover the trifle and refrigerate, preferably overnight.
7) Decorate with chopped or sliced mango and serve.
Sahar Habib is a technical writer by day, and maintains the blog www.chaipluscake.com in her spare time.