Generally, desserts in summers boil down to ice cream and fruit candies. We have the option of either b uying readymade ice creams or making them at home. While ice creams tend to be laden with cream and sugar the fruit candies contain plenty of sugar, colour and artificial flavours. Once in a while it is OK to indulge in them but if a better and healthier product can be made at home, why not?
Let's talk about desserts that are cool, soothing, light on the stomach that will definitely not hamper the digestion in any way. There is no dearth of ideas to serve light-on-the- diet desserts. All we need is a bit of creativity and a ready list of ingredients that are accessible.
Here are some mouth-watering versions of desserts that are no-fuss.
As soon as the mangoes come in, try this out. Cut about two ripe mangoes into smallcubes. Deseed about ten or fifteen fresh cherries. Heat two cups of orange juice lightly and dissolve half a cup of sugar in it. Cool and add two tablespoons lemon juice and one cup of mango pulp. Mix in cubed mango and deseeded cherries. Pour into candy moulds and freeze till set. These are so good that I think you should count all the adults in the house as well while making these.
Shrikhand is sweet and some people find it overwhelmingly so! Well, there is a way to enjoy it more. No doubt it is cooling, what with the base of yoghurt, but it is also heavy to digest sometimes. Yes, if you are going to have your Sunday siesta then it is worth having it! Anyway, I make a variation of this dessert by whipping in some chilled milk and adding fresh chopped seasonal fruits. It is like Fruit Cream but without the cream. Also adding gulkand makes it more of a summer idea. And of course, chopped mangoes in shirkhand taste delicious and different.
Granitas and sorbets do not require any culinary skill as such to put together. You just need some inclination to use to juices and the freezer to best advantage. Make a lemon sorbet: take a saucepan, combine half cup of water with half a cup of sugar. Bring to boil, remove from heat, and let cool. Add half a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, stir well, and transfer mixture to a shallow pan, cover the freeze until firm. Transfer frozen mixture to a blender or food processor and blend well. Freeze again. When ready to serve, use a melon baler and place up to three scoops in a stemmed glass, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and serve.
Granita is still easier to do. In fact, the kids would help out in this. Follow the same instructions for sorbet. Boil half a cup of sugar in one cup of water for five minutes to make a simple syrup. Let cool, then mix in half a cup of lemon juice or a bit less if your kids like it sweeter. Pour into two ice cube trays from which the dividers have been removed, or use a small baking pan. Put these into the freezer to harden. Every hour or so the kids should check the mixture and stir it a bit to spread the icy granules around. The granita is done when it is just solid around the edges and still a little mushy in the middle - about three to five hours, depending on your freezer. Before serving, leave the granite out to soften before scooping it. Have fun!
Great-tasting desserts and sweet treats do not have to heat up the kitchen. There are plenty of ways to make cool desserts like using purchased cakes and toppings. In fact,A traditional mithai like coconut laddoos with condensed milk and desiccated coconut is ready in a blink. It requires just a little cooking (or five minutes on Microwave HIGH)and the end product is something that everyone likes! I make a slight variation. Make the basic mixture ready (one 400gms tin of condensed milk with two and half cup of desiccated coconut.) Colour half of it pink and the other half yellow. Press one coloured portion in a baking tray. And top with the other colour. Press to even out smoothly. Sprinkle extra desiccated coconut to which some chopped almonds and pistachios have been added. Cut into squares and serve.
My summer special is caramel custard with orange, which incidently is also my wife Alyona's favourite. Another good summer treat is jelly. Kids love it and with the vegetarian version now in the market, it is accessible to all households. Along with smooth, chilled custard it is popular summer treat. In fact, the easiest way to dish up the prefect summer dessert would be to get some rasogullas and chill them thoroughly. They are no doubt light though rich in sugar. I love them and usually have them after squeezing out most of the syrup!
-By Sanjeev Kapoor Courtesy: Wellbeing, Aramuc
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