Memorial Day and it’s the season of mangoes! Ripe yellow mangoes have many sweet renditions (kulfi, pie, lassi, …), but here is a savory one.
This is inspired from Kerala’s Mambhayzha-Moru-Kootan (mango-buttermilk-cooked) that a gourmand shared with me very recently. Back in the days, I remember his home always redolent with what I called South Indian deliciousness. His Mom was a terrific cook.
With summer upon us, I adopt a page from gazpacho– uncooked and chilled. The smoothness of sweet mango and sour yogurt contrasted with the texture of crunchy zucchini noodles will keep your palate engaged. Not to mention the aroma of curry leaves and delicate heat of tempered spices. Enjoy!
- Cold soup: 1 cup yogurt + 1 large mango peeled, stoned + 1/2 can coconut milk (200 ml or 7 oz)
+ 2 large sprigs of curry leaves + 1 tsp cumin powder + 1 tbsp grated ginger + chilli powder and salt to taste
- Zoodles: 1 zucchini, spiralized
- Tempering: 2 tbsp EVOO + 1 sprig of curry leaves + 1 tsp whole mustard + 1/4 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds + 2 whole red chillies + 1/8 tsp heeng (asafoetida)
Blend the soup ingredients till smooth. Fold the zoodles in.
Heat the tempering oil in a little saucepan, add the rest of the tempering whole spices and let sputter for 10-15 seconds. Turn off heat and add the heeng and let sizzle in residual heat for 3-4 seconds. Pour the hot spiced oil over the soup. Serve chilled.
NOTES, HINTS, TIPS:
- Gazpacho or Laksa ? You decide. But this mango-coconut-yogurt soup will become your summer go-to.
- Unleash your kitchen toys on this one. I use a very powerful blender– so even though the mango was a little fibrous, it was no challenge. I also directly add in the curry leaves, but the result is still smooth.
The spiralizer produces the zucchini noodles in minutes. Even zucchini haters (I used to be one) will love this.
- Tempering is optional. But If you like that inimitable Indian flavor, do temper.
- You may add toppings like avocado and microgreens to round it out even further.
Sheldon declared the Greek lamb to be “chewy and …”, on national television, via Big Bang Theory. I took the Nobel Laureate Physicist’s criticism to heart and have been tenderizing lamb with extra loving care 🙂 Here too.
In my version of a classic Greek Lamb Pie, I use some curly kale and cauliflower (instead of rice). I also give a Kadhi accent to the yogurt crust. The one-pot, complete meal turned out fantabulous. Enjoy!
- 2.5 lbs (deboned) butterflied leg of lamb, fat trimmed and cut into chunks
- Marinade: 1/2 large onion, finely diced + 5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped + black pepper + 1.25 tsp (edible) citric acid + salt & black pepper to taste
- Vegetables: 4 scallions chopped; 1 cup curly Kale processed; 6 cups of cauliflower processed (or grated)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp besan
- Kadhi Crust: 3 cups Greek yogurt + 3 eggs + 3 tbsp besan + 3 tbsp mint leaves finely diced + salt & red chilli pepper to taste
- Topping: 1 cup grated Greek (Kasseri) cheese
Marinade the meat for at least one hour. In a thick bottomed pan (LeCruset) brown the meat. Deglaze with wine and 1/2 cup of water and cook till the liquid evaporates. Add the scallions and the curly Kale and mix well. Add a little water if too dry. Mix in 1 tbsp besan.
Flatten the top, and pack it in with a spatula. Mix all the kadhi ingredients with a wire whisk. Dot the surface with the kadhi-mix. Then smooth it out lightly and evenly with a spatula, till a uniform layer is formed on top.
Bake at 350 F, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes. Check after 30 mins to see if it requires more time- the top should be lightly browned. Then cover and bake for another 20 minutes. The top will puff up. Sprinkle the cheese topping and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let cool slightly and serve hot.
Notes, hints, tips:
- 1 average sized head of cauliflower yields 6 cups. Here I use all the 6 cups- that gives a very healthy proportion of veggies to meat.
But you could use less if you so prefer (4 cups or even 2 cups). If you do use less, you can reduce the kadhi crust to (2 cups yogurt+2 tbsp besan + 2 tbsp mint) and also baking time by 10 minutes or so.
- Sheldon will have no complaints about this dish: the citric acid is a gentle tenderizer that is very effective!
- You could skip the wine, since the citric acid already gives a light tanginess to the dish.
- Of course, you can use your favorite greens and vegetables to augment the meat in the dish.
- You can kick it up a notch with aromatic Indian spices or Mexican Oregano.