Hari was born on the eve of Holi and just like the festival of colours, he filled my life with a spectrum of emotions ranging from anxiety, love, happiness and all the feelings that come to a new mother when he came into my life.
He was the first of the grandchildren to my parents and I remember with fondness the milieu that stormed our home to see the newborn; relatives, grandparents, grand aunts, grand uncles, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends who were eager to see him and shower their love. Since this was in 2009, a decade earlier, it already feels like a different era. Many of the elders have since passed on. This also reminds me of the message that my friend Tarika sent me which said: Little Hari has grown up so much and we can tell the passage of time through children.
Hari was also a nightmare to feed and was only interested in play, play and more play. Infact, until recently all he wanted to eat everyday was khichdi for dinner. However, this is not true anymore and the recently turned twelve year old is growing to be a big foodie who relishes his food. The progression has been so much that he has started to cook little things and we even have a series called "Cooking With Hari" on Instagram.
This boy continues to colour my life with various emotions, is a joy to look at, brings so much happiness to my heart and I'm so grateful for his existence each day.
Those of you who have been longtime followers of Divine Taste will know that I always make a special cake for him on his birthday. This year he wanted a blueberry cheesecake and I thought of making my gorgeous and delicious baked yogurt cheesecake with a blueberry topping.
This cheesecake recipe is very versatile in terms of its fruit toppings. Since the base is neutral yet rich in flavour and taste, it perfectly complements fruit toppings like mango, peach, berries or any seasonal fruit of your choice. If you follow the ayurvedic guidelines, then make sure you use sweet fruits that are preferably cooked before topping it on the yogurt cheesecake.
Let me let you in on a secret, this cheesecake tastes absolutely fabulous even without any topping. Infact I love making this plain without any crust or topping at times and its just gorgeous!
I had made a similar cheesecake with mango a couple of years ago and I'm sharing and it tasted wonderful as well. Since it was one of our fasting days (Ekadasi-the day we fast from grains and beans) I had made a gluten free crust with non grain flours like buckwheat and amaranth. These flours can be substituted with any flour you have on hand.
The birthday boy loved the cheesecake and I hope you will love it too!
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Baked Yogurt Cheesecake Recipe
A delicious and comforting cheesecake that can be served with toppings of your choice.
35 gm (1/4 cup) buckwheat flour*
35 gm (1/4 cup) amaranth flour*
50 gm (1/3 cup) almonds, ground
50 gm (1/3 cup) walnuts, ground
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp dark brown sugar (muscovado or jaggery)
2 tbsp water
800 gm (2 cups) thick yogurt
400 gm, 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
400 ml (1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp) cream (I used 25% fat cream)
Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth over a strainer and allow the excess water to drain overnight or for atleast 4 to 5 hours.
Prepare the Crust:
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the base and press into an 8" or 9" springform pan.
Make the Yogurt filling:
In a bowl, put in the condensed milk, strained yogurt and cream. With the help of a whisk, mix together until smooth and creamy.
Pour the yogurt mixture into the prepared crust.
Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree centigrade or 300F for 30 minutes or until set.
After turning off the heat, allow it to rest in the oven for 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before slicing.
Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.
Notes: *You can replace the flour with any other flour or plain flour.
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