I love sour. If it stabs you right at the soft spot behind your jaw, I am all of over it like butter on toast. So when my chef got me a few spices to play with, I was enamored by amchoor’s intense sourness. It is made from the seriously unripe mango, which is dried in the sun and ground to a powder, and is chiefly used in chutneys, masalas and marinades in India. I wanted to find a way to incorporate it into a sweet, because I thought it a very interesting flavor.
I first tried a ginger frozen yogurt with green mango. I quickly discovered that, yeah, it curdles dairy in a quite a spectacular fashion. So I had to make an intense sugar syrup with it and then stir it into the chilled frozen yogurt base. My first attempt used up all my green mango syrup and it still wasn’t strong enough, thinking that perhaps it was being hidden by the yogurt’s tang. I then just added more of the straight powder to the mix to get the intensity I was looking for. Then I discovered the next kink in using green mango powder— you need to cook it. It had a strange powdery taste and texture when just stirred in raw. So some more testing will need to happen on that front, because aside from the green mango powder problem, the texture of the frozen yogurt itself was all wrong. But I still liked the flavor combination, so I decided to use it in a dessert as a ginger panna cotta and, to get around the curdly (yeah, I just made that word up) problem, a green mango gelée set between the layers of panna cotta.
Ginger Panna Cotta
2 tsp gelatin
2 tbsp cold water
3 cup heavy cream
3/4 oz of peeled ginger
1/2 cup of sugar
A pinch of salt
A pinch of ground turmeric (optional to punch up the color a bit)
8 oz of Greek yogurt
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and set aside to bloom. Pour cream into a saucepan and grate the ginger in. Stir in the sugar, salt and a pinch of turmeric. Bring just to a simmer, not a boil. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the ginger and pour a portion of the hot cream into the bloomed gelatin, stirring to melt. Combine with the rest of the cream. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth, whisk in a portion of the cream to loosen the yogurt and to avoid lumps. Switch to a spatula and stir in the rest of the cream.
Green Mango Gelée
1/3 oz gelatin
Enough cold water
2 cup simple syrup
3 tbsp green mango powder
Place the gelatin in a small bowl, and add just enough cold water to evenly moisten and set aside to bloom. In a small saucepan, whisk together the simple syrup and green mango powder. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Pour the syrup through a very fine chinois. Stir in the gelatin to melt.
To assemble the dessert, chill your serving glasses. Pour in bit of panna cotta and allow it to set fully, then top with a thin layer of gelée and allow it to set fully. Continue the layering as you see fit. Garnish with some appropriate fruit and cookie.
Portions for this dessert will vary depending on your serving size, and you will probably have more gelée than you actually need. The panna cotta recipe also doubles perfectly. To make this easier, you can just top the panna cotta portions with a layer of the gelée, but the layering ensures every spoonful has the flavor combination. You can make it even easier, by just skipping the gelatin in the gelée and just make a green mango syrup to pour over the top of the panna cottas.