Chefs from some of the greatest restaurants on earth are joined by gastronomes, celebrities and passionate foodies to share childhood food memories and the recipes that inspired them to experiment in the kitchen... a memory bank which reminds us home cooking can be fun, thrifty, save money and amaze your friends.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Deeba Rajpal - Food Blogger - India

This week we spoke with food blogger Deeba Rajpal. Famous for her blog which receives around 60,000 views a month. She has been featured in The Huffinton Post as one of the "Top 10 World Class Chefs On Twitter" and her account is a great place for all food lovers.

"I have a special word that signifies blogging for me... ~the connect~ as I like to call it. It reflects everything I like about food, blogging and sharing.

The very thought of ‘half forgotten food memories’ takes me down memory lane. I really can’t put a finger on when I became so utterly smitten about food, but memories of my childhood linger on like sweet dreams.

Our childhood was spent in endless long summer vacations languishing at our uncles’ house in the precincts of the River Ganges in North India. I can still feel the cool cement of the airy verandahs of the colonial bungalows that gave us respite from the endlessly long and HOT summer days; days with the fans whirring and everything else silent. While older folk retired for afternoon siestas, we giggled and hung upside down from the boughs of mango trees in the blistering heat, the ‘loo’ threatening to roast us. The ripe mangoes hanging from boughs saw us sharpening our aim to see who would drop the most fruit, in virtual battle with pesky loud brilliant green parrots!

Then we’d troop in, quite exhausted, to find ripe plump mangoes being chilled in these huge rustic metal tubs. The party continued. Amidst great indignation from the elders, we’d dive into the tubs with our full arms and have a mango fight in there, grabbing our pick. The treat was of course when each of us settled down eventually and savoured the ripe luscious mango, the juices dripping down elbows … but that was just the way it was meant to be!

Mango memories underlined my life. We would sneak into a dark cool room which my paternal grandmother kept earthen jars filled with mango pickle under lock and key. One of us would steal the key, and we would each grab a sliver of sun-dried mango pickle & run! All these now seem a thing of the past, though the flavours of my childhood still remain … sweet, salty, tangy, and juicy, above all, vivid and colourful. It’s a small wonder that I love working with fruit in desserts, baked or otherwise.

I’d like to share a simple recipe for a mango ice-cream that I make often, one that spells summer for us. It connects me to the days gone by, the flavours and the colours linked to those memories. I love the visual delight it offers!"

Mango Ice-Cream

500ml low fat cream (25% fat)
400ml can of condensed milk
Mangoes - 2-3 / pureed
Pistachio nuts - a handful / optional

  • Beat the cream & condensed milk well. Add the mango puree and blend well. Add the roughly chopped nuts, if using, & whisk with a balloon whisk.
  • Put it into your ice-cream maker. Else, put into a freezer safe plastic bowl with a tight fitting lid & put into the freezer. Whisk the ice-cream every hour to break the crystals that form from the edge inwards, at least 5-6 times. Leave to set for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  • Top with slivered pistachio nuts! It's absolutely delicious.