Have a FRUITY Diwali!

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Hey, if the Aussies can switch from ham to prawns for their traditional Christmas feast, why can’t we move from khoya to fruit at Diwali??

Things nutty and syrupy are in abundance, and generally, everything is finger-lickin’ good.

And that is just as it should be. For not only is it a time of celebration, it is also perfect weather-wise. In the north at least, summer has just faded away and the weather is getting pleasanter, as everyone braces for the upcoming winter. The nuts and the khoya and the sugar are oh-so-appropriate.

In Australia on the other hand, at Diwali, we’re getting ready for summer! Are the nuts, the khoya the sugar, the ghee, really so appropriate for us? Wouldn’t you prefer something light, something cooling, something fruity?

Well then, here’s to Diwali with a difference. Hey, if the Aussies can switch from ham to prawns for their traditional Christmas feast, why can’t we move from khoya to fruit at Diwali??

 

Chocolate Strawberries

(This one comes from my chocoholic daughter Devna)

1 punnet strawberries

½ cup thickened cream

250 gms cooking chocolate slab (milk)

 

Break chocolate into squares and put in a mixing bowl. Boil cream in a heavy-bottomed pan. Tip cream into chocolate and mix well till smooth. Don’t stop mixing or the chocolate will set in lumps. Leave aside for 3-4 minutes to thicken. Dip washed strawberries by the thin end into chocolate-cream mixture. Arrange neatly on a white platter and refrigerate.

 

Orange Delight

400 gm tin condensed milk

400 ml fresh cream

600 ml fresh orange juice (strained)

3 tbsp gelatine.

 

Mix condensed milk and cream with a whisk till well blended.

Soak the gelatine in a little orange juice and place over a pan of hot water till melted. Quickly mix in with the rest of the orange juice. Introduce this to the condensed milk-cream mixture and mix well. Pour into a flat dish and leave to set in the refrigerator.

To serve, decorate with segmented oranges, kiwi fruit slices and strawberries.

 

Pineapple Cream

400 ml fresh cream

400 ml can evaporated milk

1 pack pineapple flavoured jelly

400 gm can pineapple slices.

 

Dissolve the jelly in a cup of hot water.

Blend together in a food processor the cream, milk, jelly powder dissolved in water and pineapple syrup from the tinned pineapple.

Pour the mixture into a flat dish and leave to set in the refrigerator overnight. Serve decorated with sliced pineapple.

 

Mango Mousse

2 mangoes, chopped

1 200 gm carton plain yogurt

1 packet mango jelly crystals

1 cup boiling water

1 tbsp caster sugar

Sliced fruit of choice for garnish.

 

Mix jelly in boiling water and stir till dissolved. Refrigerate till it reaches the consistency of unbeaten egg-white. Blend together mangoes, yogurt and sugar until smooth. Gently introduce jelly. Pour into individual bowls (or glasses), cover tightly with cling-film and leave to set overnight. To serve, decorate with fresh fruit.

 

Orange Surprise

1 ½ cup fresh cream

2 cups vanilla ice cream

½ cup orange juice

4 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp gelatine

A few drops orange food colour (optional).

 

Whisk cream with sugar until well-blended.

Soften ice cream and add orange juice and colour if using.

Sprinkle gelatine in half cup boiling water and stir till completely dissolved. Mix together ice cream, cream-and-sugar mixture and gelatine, and combine well. Pour into individual serving bowls, cover tightly with cling-film and leave to set in the refrigerator overnight. To serve, decorate with fresh fruit.

 

Date and Orange Pudding

1 ½ cups seedless dates, chopped

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ tbsp gelatine

1 cup yogurt

2/3 cup orange juice

1 tsp grated orange rind

1 cup fresh cream

Orange segments for garnish.

 

Mix dates with sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pan. Simmer over a low fire for five minutes. Sprinkle gelatine over 1/3 cup of boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Add to the dates and allow to cool. Whisk yogurt till smooth and add orange rind. Add to the date mixture. Pour in orange juice. Refrigerate until thickened but not completely set. Then fold in the cream. Pour into a deep bowl and return to the refrigerator to set, overnight. Serve decorated with orange segments.

 

Strawberries with Orange and Mascarpone

500 gms strawberries

Juice of 2 oranges

200 gms mascarpone

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp brandy or orange liqueur

1 tsp vanilla essence.

 

Hull and halve strawberries. Put them in a large bowl and sprinkle 1 tbsp caster sugar over.

Combine orange juice and brandy or liqueur and pour over strawberries. Stir and set aside for ten minutes. Beat remaining sugar, mascarpone and vanilla essence well until combined.

To serve, spoon mascarpone into serving glass or bowl, top with strawberries and drizzle syrup over.

 

Banana Frozen Yogurt

1 kg thick yogurt

1 cup caster sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ cups banana puree.

 

Combine yogurt and sugar and mix well. Introduce the banana and cinnamon. Pour into a metallic container and freeze for 1 ½ hours. Remove from freezer and beat until smooth. Return to freezer for an h our, and then beat again. Return to freezer and allow to set. Serve with chocolate sauce, or fresh fruit.

 

Yogurt Jelly

1 100 gm packet raspberry jelly crystals

1 tbsp caster sugar

¾ cup boiling water

1 ½ cups frozen raspberries

3 200 gm cartons berry-flavoured low fat yogurt

For serving, plain low-fat yogurt, fresh berries, fresh mint leaves, icing sugar.

 

Dissolve jelly crystals and sugar in water and refrigerate until cold. Thaw raspberries on kitchen towels.

Combine jelly mixture and yogurt in a bowl; introduce raspberries. Spoon mixture into dessert bowls or glasses upto ¾ capacity. Cover tightly with cling-film and refrigerate overnight. To serve, decorate with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh berries, mint leaves and sifted icing sugar.

(Use any other fruit with appropriate jelly and flavoured yogurt).

 

Orange Apricot Cream

425 gm can apricots in natural juice

1 tsp grated orange rind

½ cup fresh cream, whipped

200 gm low fat apricot yogurt

2 tsp gelatine dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

½ cup fresh orange juice

2 tsp gelatine extra, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

Kiwi fruit slices, orange segments and mint leaves for garnish.

 

Drain apricots and puree, reserving a few pieces for garnish. Combine puree with orange rind, cream, yogurt and gelatine. Spoon the mixture into dessert glasses or individual bowls and refrigerate until set. Combine the orange juice and extra gelatine and pour over the set apricot cream. Refrigerate until set. Serve decorated with apricot pieces, orange segments, kiwi fruit slices and mint leaves.