January 12th, 2011
Strawberry Yogurt Parfait
This year, we decided to bring in the new year in our bangalore home. Bangalore always evokes strong emotions within me. It was the place where I was born and spent many lovely summers with my grandparents in my childhood. It was also the place that took away my maternal grandfather when I was eight years old. I met Ro for the first time here and years later we got married in Bangalore too.
This was a much needed break and we had a great time with our family. And when our little angel took a nap in the afternoons, Ro and me had lengthy conversations and discussions on our lives in the lawn over looking the house. And we made plans and resolutions to make our lives better. I also spent quality time with my almost eighty maternal grandmother and met other relatives too. Since, this place is brimming with almost all my relatives, I hardly get to meet all of them which always introduces a tinge of regret within me since many of them have influenced my life in so many ways.
I strongly feel that a day in Bangalore without making food and taking pictures is a criminal waste. A waste of time and under utilization of resources from my point of view. My inlaws have invested so much of their time and energies over the years to create a wonderful home and each part of it is a masterpiece. With its exquisite collection of cutlery, crockery and other accessories, it literally calls out to the photographer and food writer in me and amidst meeting relatives, lunches and dinners in the best eateries, shopping and above all tending to an amiably difficult toddler, I managed to wangle out time to create a few dishes. The best part of it all was to shoot in the garden. And I really enjoyed myself shooting amidst nature on the granite slabs in the roofed seating area of the garden, a luxury that I miss in the apartment ridden life of Mumbai!
If you want an elegant dessert that is easy and quick to make and super on taste, then look no further. This dessert fits the bill perfectly!
I love individual desserts. They are not only glamorous but also makes one feel special. This is a surefire way to impress anyone! And what I love most about this beautiful treat is that it is a breeze to make. It is as much a feast to the palate as it is to the eyes. Hardly any time and efforts go into making this exquisite preparation and once it is done you feel like a domestic goddess! And who wouldnt want to be armed with the secret of such a recipe to tackle an army of guests? Or make it to comfort and delight your family! I would even say there is no harm to make this for yourself! It will only soothe and elevate your senses.
Parfait in French means “perfect” and this couldnt be more true here. I would describe this as “perfection in a glass”. The tartness of the strawberries, the crunch of the biscuits and the smooth sweetness of the yogurt all comes together in a delightful spoon that is so ambrosial, that you can’t resist eating one spoon after another.
Strawberry Yogurt Parfait Recipe
You could use other berries or seasonal fruits like peaches and mangoes here when strawberries are not in season. For a vegan version, substitute the dairy products with vegan cream and vegan yogurt.
500 gm (1 pound) strawberries
2 tbsp sugar, divided
100 gm (1 cup) digestive biscuits or butter cookie
2 tbsp melted butter
200 ml low fat cream
90 gm (2/3 cup) fine sugar or powdered sugar
500 gm (1 1/2 cups) thick yogurt*
2 tbsp strawberry preserve*
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder or cardamom powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 glasses with slender stems to assemble the dessert
Wash, hull and chop the strawberries. Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar over them and toss them around a bit. Allow to rest.
Place the biscuits in a zip lock pouch, seal and pulverize to a powder with the help of a rolling pin. Alternatively, process in a food processor to a fine powder if you love cleaning up extra utensils.
Place the biscuit crumbs in a bowl and add in the remaining 1 tbsp sugar and the 2 tbsp melted butter. Mix with your hands until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Place the cream in a large bowl, add the sugar and whip with a whisk until thick and creamy. Put in the yogurt and whisk until smooth and creamy. Stir in the strawberry preserve and cardamom powder and whisk until well blended. You could also use a hand blender or a stand mixer for this step.
Now that we have the ingredients ready, lets begin to assemble. Place 2 tbsp yogurt in a glass. Sprinkle the biscuit crumbs over the yogurt. Put in a few chopped berries. Spoon some more yogurt over the strawberries and sprinkle the crumbs over it. Finish with the strawberries. Repeat the process for the remaining glasses.
* Place 800 gm yogurt in a cheesecloth or a muslin cloth over a strainer, with a bowl underneath to collect excess water. Drain the whey for 3 to 4 hours, to get 500 gm thick yogurt.
* You could use any jam or preserve. And if it is thick, then cook it with a little water over a medium flame to make it runny.
Makes 6 servings