If you have ever lived in Bombay, chances are very rare that you have missed an iconic mango cream from Haji Ali Juice Center set against the backdrop of the majestic Haji Ali Dargah. Their branch in Oud Mehta in Dubai, carries a similar scent of fresh fruit juices and grilled sandwiches mixed with nostalgia and offering a taste of my hometown in every bite. It is one of those places to grab a mid-night snack after movies or satiate our cravings for high-calorie creams, with no frills and flaunting of freak shakes in posh interiors across the city.
The batch of Ratnagiri Alphonsoes seem to be disappearing from the markets with an onset of monsoon season in India; so we are enjoying the last few as summer come to a close back home. Although short-lived and a distinct variety from all the different kinds of mangoes that make an appearance, each alphonso carries the sweetest flesh and is every bit bountiful. Of all the desserts I make with alphonsoes, mango and cream combination is a classic I love repeating every season; and one my family cannot resist.
Back in Bombay, each household had their darling vendor who delivered at the doorstep or some who pulled carts near the houses calling for people to buy Hapus from them. If we consumed our box of mangoes before our vendor came to deliver the next one, my sister and I accompanied mom to the market located just a few steps away from our apartment. We sneaked up to a watch repairer who pulled our cheeks and explored every new vegetable on our way; we’d shield cautiously behind mom’s dupatta as a street dog made its unexpected appearance and then walking into an enclosure of a structure that was a fish market, made us pique our noses in displeasure for its pungent smell. Then we’d watch mom’s teaching habits flow into her tactful bargains with Alphonso-selling dealer as politely as she could. Those mangoes were either eaten from the skin or blended into voluptuous aam-ras and served with a dollop of fresh cream and pooris for breakfast.
Having shifted to Bombay a few years prior, our commute from suburb (where we lived) to South Bombay was only limited to mom’s shopping sprees in cramped up lanes of Bhendi Bazaar to buy ornaments or religious attires and hence we missed on many elevated assortment of experiences the city had to offer. My early memory of having a bowl of luscious mango cream was during our visit to Haji Ali Dargah in the interim of our summer vacation with a group of mom’s friends from school where she taught. I should be in my early teens and can recollect how magnificent my first look of Dargah was – standing in the middle of an Arabian sea with full pride and glory untouched and unwithered yet a fascinating figure holding many stories to tell. The only path snaking to the tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah sees a lot of devotees from every religion bereft of any religious or creed differences. With sun so bright and strong, an only way to cool down was to stop at Haji Ali Juice Center, situated on the promenade, and indulge in many frozen delights, milkshakes and ice creams. That was the first time we tucked into a bowl of velvety and rich mango cream after huge patience. And then during my working years, I’d stop at the juice center for mango or sitaphal (custard apple) cream, if they were in season, each time I was worked on audits in Worli and enjoyed them just as I did the very first time!
And since summer is all about the holiday season, a dessert should be sweet, tropical and satisfying. Isn’t it? You can either call it mango mousse, mango fool or mango cream, however I wouldn’t lie. This is hugely inspired by the fruit creams we procure from Haji Ali Juice Center. It is a perfect no bake, no cook easy dessert to grace Iftar tables during Ramadan – so smooth, seasonal and summery in one!
Hope you enjoy this really simple sweet treat. And if you make one, don’t forget to share your creations with my on Instagram using #thoughtsoverchai.
Rich and exotic, yet simple and easy mango mousse with only three ingredients makes for a delicious summer treat.
- 6 alphonsoes
- 2 cups heavy cream chilled
- 1/3 cup sugar
Peel the mangoes and make a pulp of 4 mangoes in a blender, adding sugar as required. Chop the remaining mangoes and keep aside.
Whip the heavy cream with sugar until stiff peaks form. Keeping about a cup mango pulp aside, gently fold in the pulp with whipped cream.
Layer the jars with pulp, mango cream and add chopped mangoes for garnish. Repeat for remaining jars and chill for atleast two hours before serving.
Ramadan mubarak tags template downloaded from www.sweetfajr.com website.