The approach of summer in Pakistan is a signal that it's time to pay homage to the "king of fruits".... The Mango! June and July are peak Mango season in my country of birth and Mango Mania hits the nation! Street Vendors push carts piled high with mangoes for sale. Five star restaurants feature decadent mango desserts on their menus for the entire two month period. Every family and friend lunch or dinner will have mango in some form on the menu. It's literally mangoes for breakfast lunch and dinner. With June approaching, I definitely felt the need to jump in with my first seasonal creation in the form of this Easy Mango and Cream Dessert.
Mangoes have been a staple in Pakistan for over 2000 years. The country is amongst the world's top few mango producers, alongside India, Thailand and Mexico per dailytimes.com.pk. Of the 1595 known mango varieties worldwide, I can honestly say that some of the sweetest and juiciest varieties you are ever likely to try hail from South Asia.
Some of the most well known Pakistani mangoes are Chaunsa, SIndhri and Anwar Ratol with each one having its own die hard fans.
As a child in Pakistan, Mangoes are amongst one of the first fruits you are likely to taste. That first bite is the moment of instant love! There's no turning back from that point on.
My personal favorite mango is a Sindhri, large and fleshy, it's one of the earliest mangoes of the season. Many prefer the smaller chaunsa or anwar ratol, which are so sweet and juicy that you need to prepared for sticky hands and face when you sit down to eat these.
I love my mango peeled, chopped and chilled on its own or mixed with cream! This is one of my favorite desserts during the summer! Chop a Sindhri, Mash it a little so you have some chunks and some smoothly blended pulp and stir in some heavy whipping cream.
Chill this mixture, called "Doodh Aam" which translates to mean "Milk Mango" and serve as a dessert. Eaten after a typically spicy Pakistani lunch in the extremely hot climate, it's my favorite summer dessert!
This Easy Mango And Cream Dessert is a version of my childhood favorite mentioned above. I’ve made a few adaptations to accomodate the absence of authentic Pakistani mangoes.
Mango pulp from authentic Indian/Pakistani Mangoes sets the tone for the dessert. Basil seeds are added for texture and the resulting taste is light and fruity. Presentation wise the pulp and basil seed mixture mimics passionfruit.
The cream is lightly sweetened and infused with cardamom, adding the familiar notes of kulfi (Pakistani Ice Cream) to the dessert. Continuing with the Kulfi theme, I chose to add crushed pistachios as a garnish. Check out my mango kulfi recipe and you'll see how I've used some of the components of the original dessert here. For a final finish I sprinkled some pretty dried spring flowers on top (edible)
I wanted some mango chunks in my dessert so decided to use some fresh chopped mangoes along with the pulp. Since I could only find Mexican Mangoes, which tend to be a bit sour, I marinated them with a little bit of sugar. Finished with some fresh edible flowers and served on the side, the mangoes truly complete the dessert.
The dessert can be layered and presented in a large trifle bowl or served in smaller individual cups. It's the perfect dessert to make ahead of time and keep chilled in the fridge. Great for those summer Barbecues and poolside picnics! Try it soon and let me know in the comments if you liked it!
Easy Mango and Cream Dessert
- 2 cans mango pulp (SEE NOTES)
- ½ cup basil seeds (SEE NOTES)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp cardamom powder (SEE NOTES)
- 6 mangoes (SEE NOTES)
- ¼ cup sugar (OPTIONAL-SEE NOTES)
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 2 tbsp dried spring flowers (OPTIONAL)
- Edible Flowers (OPTIONAL)
- Take mango pulp out of the cans and stir in the half cup of basil seeds. Refrigerate for ½ an hour so the seeds can absorb the liquid from the pulp and plump up.
- Whip the cream with the sugar, cornstarch and cardamom powder till it holds shape but make sure it's texture is fluffy and not buttery.
- Peel and cut the 6 mangoes. I personally use champagne mangoes but you can use whatever you prefer or have available where you live. If the mangoes are sour, mix a ¼ cup sugar with them and set aside in the fridge to use later.
- Once every thing is ready, layer the mango/basil mixture with the cream and garnish with the pistachios and dried spring flowers.
- Serve with a bowl of the chilled and diced mangoes (garnish with fresh edible flowers prior to serving).
- Mango Pulp - The mango pulp used should be of an Indian/Pakistani variety, Either Kesar or Alphonso Pulp. This is sold in 1 lb cans at specialty South Asian Stores or can be found on Amazon. Some popular and easily available brands in North America are Swad, Laxmi and Deep. This specific pulp has a taste and flavor that can not be found in other types of mangoes. If you use an alternate variety, the resulting dessert will not turn out the way it should.
- Basil Seeds - Also known as Tukh Malanga or Tukhmaria, these look like chia seeds but taste very different. These can also be found at specialty South Asian stores or on Amazon. Once again, I would not recommend using Chia instead as that will alter the desired taste and texture of the dessert.
- Cardamom Powder - I use cardamom powder for this dessert rather than actual crushed seeds.Due to it's slightly milder taste and finer texture it blends in better with the ingredients and doesn't overpower. Make sure not to use more than the prescribed quantity as too much can leave a slight bitter aftertaste in the mouth.
- Mangoes & Sugar - Living in North America I usually have access to Mexican Mangoes which tend to be a bit sour. I've found that I like the taste of Champagne Mangoes the most and although they can, at times, be very sweet, they are still not close to the mangoes I grew up eating in Pakistan. Depending on the batch you get, you may need to add a teeny bit of sugar to your chopped mangoes.
- Garnishes - I love using edible flowers, both dried and fresh as garnishes. They liven up the simplest of foods and look so pretty, especially in Spring and summer. However, these are not essential so if you don't have them or can't find them don't worry!