Mango Season Is Upon Us
My name is Parveen Ashraf, aka The Spice Queen. I am a TV chef, author and cookery teacher and now I have the absolute pleasure of being a new guest blogger for SaveCo. I have been teaching Indian cookery for over a decade and there is one thing that people often stress about when cooking my recipes - where can they buy authentic ingredients from? This is one of the reasons that I decided to work with SaveCo. Their huge supermarket sells everything and anything you will ever need to make amazing authentic ethnic and South Asian dishes.
Those who know me from my cooking demonstrations, cookbook and ITV appearances (Parveen's Indian Kitchen & James Martin) will know that I am originally from Bradford. So, when I was asked to come and meet Shiraz, Naz and the team at SaveCo, right away there was a connection. Was it because of their familiar Northern accents, the fact that they have Pakistani heritage like myself or the fact that they are a stone's throw away from my favourite childhood chippy that I used to visit with my dad to buy the best Yorkshire fishcakes in the North!...Well it was all of the above. Plus it doesn't hurt that I am a bit of a food shopaholic so shopping at SaveCo feeds my addiction in the nicest possible way. I could spend all day walking up and down the aisles looking at what's on offer. However, I don't live in Bradford anymore, so luckily for me SaveCo now delivers all over the U.K. and I can get everything my little heart desires delivered right to my door, and so can you!
One of the first things you need to cook really good authentic dishes (apart from a good pan - which SaveCo also sells) is the freshest and finest ingredient. SaveCo is your online 'one stop shop' to cook Indian dishes, but don't get me wrong, it's not just for Asian shopping - you can do ALL your shopping from them. From dry spices, cutlery, crockery, tinned and frozen goods and yes, they sell flour (still in demand due to lockdown). However for me - one of the most impressive sections apart from the 10 types of Himalayan Pink Salt and Tupperware (I love pink salt but I think I love Tupperware even more - must be an Asian thing J ) was their meat products. The Meat Company Bradford work with SaveCo to bring you excellent quality Halal meat. In addition to their extensive range of spiced meats and chicken, they are now stocking Wagyu beef. For those who are not sure what this is - Wagyu beef is a kind of 'super beef' of sorts, which is known for its marbled appearance, finer texture and melt in the mouth effect.
SaveCo also sell a remarkable range of exotic fruits and veg including my favourite fruit - mangoes!!.. Oh, my goodness, I just love mangoes and in particular I love South Asian (Indian & Pakistani) mangoes. These uniquely non-fibrous sweet slimline mangoes are only available for a few short summer months and OMG they taste just heavenly and are as sweet as nectar. Best of all each mango comes with its own bling - lovingly embellished with the traditional two strand tinsel, which is one of the idiosyncrasies that I usually spot at 50 paces. OK, you may think I am being a little melodramatic in my explanation but I kid you not, these are what makes life worth living - oops there I go again with the dramatisation - my family often say that I am less spice queen and more drama queen! Anyway, I hear you saying 'surely you can buy mangoes all year round?..Well, yes you can but in my view, when it comes to the mango family, the more voluptuous fibrous mangoes are not a patch on their Asian cousins.
So once your box of seasonal, sweet, juicy mangoes are delivered to your door, what can you do with them? Sometimes there's really no need to do anything other than just slice, dice and eat - that's what my husband does...He thinks it's sacrilege to do anything else with them, however I disagree, but then again I often do. Well, it wouldn’t be a marriage if I didn't.
One of MY favourite ways of eating mango is in my Mango Mess. I designed this 'East Meets West' dessert for a client several years ago for a garden party. I took the quintessential English dessert 'Eton Mess' and added mangoes instead of strawberries for an ethnic twist. Try it for yourself, mouth-watering Mango Mess - sweet, satisfying and so simple to make.
Happy Cooking, stay safe
RECIPE FOR MANGO MESS - All available from SaveCo Bradford
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Assembly time: 10 minutes
Makes approximately 8 Individual Portions
500ml double or whipping cream
200g tinned mango pulp
2 medium sized mangoes
8 ready-made meringue nests (5x7cm)
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
- Peel the mangoes and dice into 1cm cubes by carefully cutting down either side of the fattest part, sometimes called the 'cheek.' Take that piece and score lengthways and widthways, making small squares. Turn the skin inside out and you should have a mango that looks like a hedgehog. Cut out the juicy little cubes of mango. (See Photo)
- In a large bowl, add the sugar to the cream and whip till stiff peaks, you can do this by hand or with an electric mixer, I do it by hand, doesn’t take very long to be honest.
- Carefully crush the meringues into the cream, add the mango pieces and fold mixture together.
- Into small dessert bowls, or martini glasses as I like to use, add approximately 2 heaped tablespoons of the mixture and drizzle mango pulp on top as a dressing.
- For that extra wow factor sprinkle with a little edible silver glitter and serve immediately.
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