My friend Beryl was an amazing and passionate cook who was very generous with her time and her recipes. She was warm and friendly, and really loved to feed people. She was one of my earliest food influencers.
She passed away some years ago, but I was blessed to continue to cook the recipes she gave me; my love for food I passed on to my own daughter. When Beryl taught me this recipe, she used a thinned down version of her own blueberry jam as a topping, but I decided to try it with a strawberry coulis instead. The combination of the luscious mangoes cooked in spicy sugar syrup and the strawberries are amazing. It’s a dessert that can be put together very easily, even if you’re tired and pressed for time; serve it and watch the compliments flow in.
Fresh mangoes are the best for this recipe. You can use any type of mango. The mango needs to be a little ripe, but not completely so.
Cut the mango lengthwise with a sharp knife. You have to remember not to overcook the mangoes, or they will turn mushy and break apart. They should be al dente.
What a lovely burst of colour on the plate — yellow and strawberry pink. You can also serve this dessert with vanilla ice cream.
1 mango, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 sticks of cinnamon
For the coulis:
1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heat the sugar, water, and spices in a pan over medium heat, while stirring constantly. When the sugar has melted completely, add the mangoes and cook gently for around 5 minutes.
Test the mango pieces with a knife; they should be al dente. Remove from heat and cool. Retain the sugar syrup to use in other recipes or to poach other fruits; it will keep well in the fridge.
To make the coulis, blitz the strawberries and the sugar in a food processor. I like my coulis a little chunky; you can blitz to a smooth puree if you prefer. Stir in the lemon juice.
Serve on a bed of strawberry coulis, with some coulis drizzled on top, as shown.
Photographs by: Awanthi Vardaraj, Sybaritic Pleasures