Todays post is a tad different from my usual posts. First , I am participating in an event called the “ The Taste of Yellow “. Its a tribute to a food blogger , Barbara Harris, who lost her battle to cancer last month. She wrote “ Winos and foodies “, a beautiful blog which chronicled her culinary journeys while battling the disease. It is a part of the “Monthly Mingle “ event , which was started by Meeta K Wolff from Whats for Lunch, Honey ? . Its a virtual potluck if you will. Every month it is hosted by a different blog and everyone contributes recipes based on the topic chosen by the host. This month it is hosted by Cook Sister and the theme is Yellow. Barbara Harris created the Livestrong with a Taste of Yellow event which enabled bloggers to contribute yellow recipes and also share stories of loved who are fighting the battle ….or those those who fought but lost.
My paternal grandmother, Rajalakshmi, lost her battle to throat cancer 15 years ago.I was living with her while I went to college. If you are thinking that a grandmother means hugs , kisses , cuddling….no ,she was not that kind of grandmother. She belonged to the generation that did not show affection physically but she loved…….her heart had love for all of us…..I mean all of us. She had 9 children, 14 grandchildren and when she passed away she had 2 great grandchildren !!! This did not include her brothers, cousins and all that. I think she was an amazing lady just to give birth to and raise as awesome human beings….nine children !!!!! I think I take after her….while I am fine with hugs, kisses, cuddles and all that, I cannot put in words my feelings for a person …..I find I do better with laughs and gentle mockery but emotions are harder !!!
I don’t remember her ever kissing me or hugging me but whenever I felt low and lifting myself up was next to impossible, she would be there and tell me that I could ! She would very quietly show me that I had reserves of strength that I could use to pull myself up and get on !!!! She never let anything stop her from doing what she had to. The simplest example I can give you is …….she once had to fly to Paris to spend a few months with her brand new granddaughter. Only one slight hitch, she did not speak a word of english let alone french !!! She also never ate any food other than home cooked !!!! She still managed to fly all by herself ,navigate the airports, customs and immigration….all this before air travel became easy…..I am talking about the early 80s. I think one of the best things we ,as a family ,ever did was…when the time was near, we recorded on video all the stories…. her life, my grandfather’s and the siblings childhood. This way we can pass them on to the next generation. They deserve to be. She was one of the most strong, amazing women I have ever met. Patti, this one is for you. If I can manage to show my daughter even half of the strength that you showed me, I will have done a good job. Thank you.
In keeping with the theme and since it’s also summer, I made MANGO MOUSSE PARFAITS . I saw the recipe on spice goddess by Bal Arneson. I instantly liked it ……….first it had mangoes,the undisputed ( in my humble opinion ) king of fruits , also my favourite fruit and second it was easy !!! It made for a great summer treat when mangoes are at their peak and its cold which makes it perfect to beat the heat !!!!
MANGO MOUSSE PARFAITS
¼ cup Sugar
3 large Mangoes, peeled, pitted and cubed
¼ tsp ground Cardamom Seeds
3 Eggs, separated, only whites are needed
1 cup Whipping Cream
½ tsp Cardamom Seeds
¼ cup Pistachios, chopped
Heat the sugar with ¼ cup water , over medium heat and cook till the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and add the mangoes. Let steep for 2 minutes.
Add the ground cardamom and then puree.
Remove 2 cups and set aside. Transfer the remaining to a large bowl and cool.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream to soft peaks.
Fold in egg whites into the mango mixture and then gently fold in cream.
Refrigerate till cold.
Coarsely grind the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle. Add to the reserved mango puree.
In glasses, layer mango puree and mango mousse. Refrigerate.
Garnish with chopped pistachios and serve.
I did make a few changes to the recipe . She added fennel seeds which I like but V and the kids not so much, so out it went. I also used mango pulp …………the mangoes were missing when I went to make the recipe !!! Gee, I wonder how that happened. I used about 3 ½ to 4 cups of pulp, straight from the can. I used just a few tbsp of powdered sugar as the pulp was slightly sweetened already. I also used pasteurized egg whites as I am not very enamored with using raw egg whites for the children. If you have access to farm fresh eggs, I think egg whites are the way to go.If on the other hand you do not want to use eggs at all, use just a teaspoon of Agar Agar. Add it to the pulp and then fold in the cream. it will thicken it slightly and form the mousse. In the original she also had only 2 layers but I like the look of more so I did more !!!
It was truly a treat !!! Each bite tasted heavenly !!! Luscious mango puree with light as air mousse all enhanced by the intensely aromatic , slightly resinous fragrance of the cardamom. Pistachios provide just the right amount of crunch. The mangoes were slightly tart, and slightly sweet ….just the way mangoes should be !!! If you have never tasted a mango before, imagine if you will a nectarine, a pineappIe and an orange…..combined they form the taste of a mango. Interesting fact time, guys…..India is the largest producer of mangoes in the world but only contributes 1 % to the world ……..it consumes the rest !!!! I think fennel would be a perfect addition….a slight licorice flavor. Give it a try and tell me how it tastes.