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Summer Special: Mango Panna Cotta

No, I'm not going to talk about the invisible global enemy in this post. I'm fed up of hearing/reading about it. Instead, I'm going to talk about something that sparks joy 😊

In case you haven't noticed (and I wouldn't be surprised if that happened), Mango season is here! This means something to me probably because of my ethnicity. Like most Indians, I happen to be passionate about truly is a national obsession for us! Indian mangoes are world-famous for their richness, sweetness and unique flavour so it has become a symbol of national pride and identity. Alphonso, malgova, badami, mallika, raspuri, neelam, me, these varieties of mangoes are synonymous with balmy Indian summers. Much like wine, the aroma and flavour of each variety differs from the region it comes from.

Every year, my kids eagerly wait for mango season because the undisputed king of fruits is their absolute favourite too (ties in with raspberries!). During the months of peak mango season, my family and I spend languorous evenings stuffing our faces with this exotic tropical fruit thereby keeping us appeased until next season rolls by. 

I wanted to make Mango Panna Cotta last year but somehow I rarely have extra mangoes lying around to make dessert. No matter how many I think I have, it just gets consumed within the blink of an eye!  Having said that, there are a couple of mango based desserts that I've managed to sneak into my blog You can check out these recipes if your are interested - Easy Mango Sorbet,  Tropical Mango Cupcakes, Mango Chia Pudding and Fresh Mango Cake with Whipped Cream and Dark Chocolate Collar. This year, considering we are cooped up indoors with a lot of free time and could do with anything even remotely exciting, I didn't want to pass up on the opportunity to make mango panna cotta and add it to my arsenal of mango-based recipes.

Three weeks ago, I caught sight of a gloriously abundant (and inviting!) display of mangoes in the fruit stall of my local wet market and I have been buying them ever since. Nobody has the luxury of repeated trips to the market these days so during my bi-weekly grocery trips, I have been buying 3-4 large mangoes each time. And fortunately for us, every single one of them has been delightful so far. 

For those who are unaware, panna cotta (Italian for "cooked cream") is an Italian dessert of sweetened cream thickened with a setting agent and molded. Even though it is a very simple dessert, it is versatile and exceedingly popular.

Yesterday, me and the kids made mango panna cotta using agar (also called agar-agar, china grass or kanten) instead of gelatin which is traditionally used. I must admit that I am using agar after ages! Around 14 years ago, I used to frequently make a chilled variety of pineapple souffle that I used to set with gelatin. But once I became more aware of how gelatin is procured, I completely avoided the use of it in my kitchen. But I somehow never fancied the texture of agar set desserts. They lack the lovely wobbly texture that you get from using gelatin and so I abandoned making any kind of dessert that required a setting agent altogether. 

Obviously, I've made an exception now 😁 This mango panna cotta has been set using agar powder. The powder form is easily available in supermarkets here and is the easiest form of agar to use. I used enough of agar to set the dessert firm but it didn't turn rubbery so the texture was reasonably good. The mango I used, although didn't have the deep orange color that I would have preferred but was at least pulpy and sweet so I didn't have to add too much sugar. I didn't add cardamon powder to the mango puree because I wanted to retain the fresh zesty mango flavour but you can add it if you feel like. The white vanilla cream layer didn't turn out cloyingly sweet so it was just right for me. My husband and kids liked the dessert and I have gotten requests to make it again.

This post first appeared on Meinblogland, please read the originial post: here

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Summer Special: Mango Panna Cotta


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