Mangoes and Cream – 7 Ways to Indulge

Mangoes and Cream

Mangoes and cream sounds as classic a food pairing as peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, or spaghetti and meatballs to my ears. This combination lends itself to so many variations, each with its own distinctive character.

The recipe and variations that follow are based on malai aam, a classic Indian dessert of mangoes and cream topped with nuts. It traditionally uses rabadi – milk slowly simmered until reduced to one-fourth its original volume. Sweetened and served as a creamy sauce, rabadi is essential in Indian desserts such as the labor-intensive ras malai, cheese dumplings served with a pistachio cream sauce.

Reading about ras malai in Julie Sahni’s excellent cookbook Classic Indian Cooking, I immediately had a strong urge to try it. Making it myself was not an option because it doesn’t make sense to cook something I’ve never had before. There’s also that little problem with the recipe spanning six pages long, making even the most complex sauces and gravies in the book seem like child’s play.

I consider myself lucky that I live in a city with a thriving Indian community and have access to sweets as boldly flavored as their savory counterparts in curries and dals. A walk down Devon Avenue to hunt for unfamiliar sweets never fails to disappoint — I just point at random things not caring what it is knowing full well that I’ll be surprised and pleased at the same time.

Monthly Mingle 23: Mango Mania
Monthly Mingle 23: Mango Mania hosted by What’s for Lunch Honey?

recipe adapted from Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking

Mangoes and Cream
Malai Aam

makes 8 servings

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large ripe mangoes
3 tablespoons nuts such as pistachios, almonds, or walnuts, coarsely chopped

Notes:

  • In this base recipe, I suggest using scalded cream instead of rabadi mainly for accessibility. Using cream also opens the recipe up for a number of interesting twists that stays true to the core combination of mangoes, dairy, and nuts.

Scald the heavy cream. Bring the cream to a simmer over low heat and immediately remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Chill in the refrigerator.

Peel and slice the mangoes and put in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and chill.

Serve the mangoes with the cream sauce on the side.

Mangoes and Cream Variations:

  1. Take time to make the rabadi.
    To make 1 cup of rabadi, bring 4 cups of milk to a boil in a wide pan, preferably non-stick. Stir continuously for about 15 minutes using a spatula or wooden spoon. Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, or until the milk is reduced to 1 cup.
  2. Make Crème Chantilly.
    Replace the sugar with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar. Whip the cream and sugar until the desired level texture and airiness is reached. Add a few drops of vanilla extract towards the end of whipping if desired.
  3. Add a pinch of ground cardamom to the cream while scalding.
  4. Serve on top of flaky puff pastry.
  5. Got some gelatin? Make Mango Panna Cotta.
  6. Douse the mangoes with dark rum and caramelize under a hot broiler.
  7. Use it as an ice cream base. After scalding the cream, put the cream, sugar, and mangoes in a blender and puree. Let the mixture mature in the refrigerator overnight. The fats from the cream and sugar from the ripe mangoes will give you a fine texture. Add the nuts towards the end of churning.
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24 Responses to “Mangoes and Cream – 7 Ways to Indulge”

  1. rainbowbrown says:

    Oh my word. I’m so behind in the times. Classic combination? It’s new to me, but sounds exquisite. I’m there.

    last blog post: Ricotta Bread

  2. magpie says:

    Whoa… this looks amazing. I definitely have to make it.

    last blog post: Classic Guacamole!

  3. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    Given the number of mangoes I’ve eaten throughout my life, I don’t think I’ve paired it ever with cream. Weird, huh? Now, it seems like such a classic pairing, and indeed, how can they not go together?

    The rabadi sounds like, in the parlance of us lazyfolk, a “martyr-ization.” I suppose the martyrization goes for only 15 minutes. . .

    last blog post: Simple Greek Meal

  4. rainbow – Now I’m thinking I might be alone on that one :)

    magpie – Good stuff and easy to put together, too.

    js – I didn’t think mangoes and bagoong would go over well, so yeah.
    The rabadi is worth the time and effort, though.

  5. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver says:

    Man, now *I* want ras malai.

    6 pages!!

    Not to spit in the face of the traditional method, but perhaps I can subsitute a combination of evaporated milk and condensed milk for the rabadi. Teehee. ;D

    (How is the rabadi supposed to be sweetenend?)

    Although, there’s still the issue of making the paneer…

    last blog post: Stuffed Peppers (Lamb and Rice)

  6. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen says:

    Wow this sounds like heaven, I bet it would make an incredible ice cream base! YUM!

  7. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    Indian cuisine does such interesting things with mango. We often find the best mangoes at an Indian market in Providence RI.

    last blog post: Balsamic vinegar, and mango-mint gazpacho

  8. Kevin says:

    That looks really good!

    last blog post: Strawberry Rice Pudding with Balsamic Syrup

  9. mansi says:

    that looks beautiful Jude! thanks for leaving a comment on my blog so I could discover yours!!

    mango is a fav for all indians, and this looks beautiful! I made mango-mascarpone mousse last week, similar to mango kulfi which you might find in that cookbook!:)

    last blog post: Are Nutrition Supplements Necessary & Safe?

  10. Y says:

    I love that first photo. And that dessert sounds truly lovely. My favourite way of eating mango however, is scoring the cheeks into diamonds and getting stuck in. :)

    last blog post: Nuts over bananas, bananas over nuts.

  11. Mona says:

    Mangoes are so essential to an Indian dietary life, each year, when its summer, Indians devour upon these delicious fruits. I agree, mangoes and cream are the perfect combo for me too!

  12. Becky says:

    aaaah, this looks so good! mangoes are my favorite fruit. =)

    last blog post: Warning! Long post: Dylan’s, Papillon, La Maison du Chocolat, and Bo Ky

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Oh my word Jude! Your photography is breathtaking!

    last blog post: Mangoeelicious Mango Cupcakes

  14. Jescel says:

    the simplicity of this dessert is its beauty… mangoes +cream= winning combo!

    last blog post: Hazelnut Tulipe

  15. african vanielje says:

    Jude, I love mango. When my mother was growing up in Africa her mother would always make her eat mangoes at the table with a knife and fork, or in the bath or her bathing suit so she could be hosed down. Your mango dish with the pistachios looks absolutely civilized and delicious.

  16. bee says:

    yum. try this. equal parts mango pulp (you get the can of alphonso mango pulp in the indian store) and sweetened condensed milk. add a pinch of saffron and put it in popsicle moulds. that’s it. bliss.

  17. Paula says:

    Oh Yum! This sounds like a great combo and my hubby and kids would gobble this up … of course they’d have to fight me off to get their servings! :-)

    last blog post: Tater’s and Ta’mater’s

  18. Dee says:

    I love the idea of caramelizing mangoes with rum. I’ve done that with bananas, but never with mango. I have no idea why, but I’m certainly going to give it a go. Thanks for the heads-up!

    last blog post: Tomayto, Tomahto

  19. Mike says:

    This sounds really tasty! I love Indian desserts but never had this one. I also love the plating–its very elegant and inviting.

    last blog post: Blueberry Mango Mille Feuille

  20. Margaret says:

    This mangos and cream reminds me a bit of the sticky rice, coconut milks, and mango prepared in the Thai cooking class I took this month. Ah, wonderful. There’s a magic in the white of a creaminess and the soft organce of the mango, the textures of both, as well. Lovely photos here, too.

    last blog post: Travelogue: Detroit Rocks — and Eats!

  21. ts – I usually just season it to taste. Depends on what I use te rabadi for.
    jenn – Yup. Definitely good stuff.
    lydia – I agree. I’m looking at a mango fool recipe and it sounds delicious.
    kevin – Thanks!
    mansi – Mango-mascarpone sounds good. There are some kulfi recipes I want to try although not specifically for mangoes.
    y – I do that, too. Fun to turn it inside out once scored.
    mona – They just go really well together.
    becky – Can never get tired of it myself.
    elizabeth – Thanks!
    jescel – It’s such an easy dessert to put together and everyone likes it.
    vanielje – Sometimes I just peel it by hand and eat it out of hand. With lots of paper towels
    bee – I can get canned alphonso mangoes here. Saffron and mangoes sound great!
    paula – Can’t have enough of a good thing, right?
    dee – I like how a little bit of heat changes the mango taste subtly.
    mike – Thanks!
    margaret – Should’ve listed coconut milk as one of the variations. Sounds interesting.

  22. Life Chef says:

    OMG this is just wonderful. Mangoes and cream. I’m just going to sit here and drool a while. BTW found you on FoodBuzz and love your blog.

  23. ela says:

    i love mangoes. i will keep this recipe in mind the next time we harvest our mangoes!

    last blog post: Breakfast: Tortang Talong

  24. ポーターガール ジェム says:

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