Since going Vegan, the one thing I really missed was delicious Indian desserts as most require dairy products which Vegans do not take. I now also avoid processed sugars and use mostly only puréed dates, maple syrup or fruits to sweeten my deserts. But excellent puddings can also be Vegan and so I have tried my hand at new Vegan desserts. I have made Vegan Phirni and Vegan cakes (both recipe shared here in earlier issues) and they both turned out really delicious. But now, with the onset of summer, it was time for a new Vegan dessert. Something light and summery, so I came up with this recipe of making Fruit Cream Pudding using fresh coconut cream and fruits. The results were astonishing. The only time consuming thing in this dessert is making the coconut cream. Once this is
made you can use any fruit of your choice for the desert. I chose strawberries and peaches as these are the sweetest available fruit these days. Of course, in summer, I would use Alphonso mangoes and I’m sure this dessert would be much yummier.
● Two coconuts
● Strawberries (about 10-15)
● Mint leaves
● Maple syrup (optional)
Remove the coconut from the shell. Give this a quick rinse, then peel the outer skin. Another quick rinse and then chop up into smaller pieces. Then let this go into a blender, add about 2-3 cups water, then blitz this for a few minutes. You will know when to stop by checking whether the mixture is moving easily, the coconut is finely ground up and you can see the water has turned milky white. Then using a muslin cloth separate the coconut from the coconut milk. Squeeze this well to remove as much milk as possible. Your coconut milk is ready. Cover this and leave in the fridge overnight. Alternately, leave the milk in the fridge for a few hours and then place it in the freezer for about an hour or so. You will be able to see the cream rise to the top just like in dairy milk. It is easier to collect this if you put this into the freezer for an hour before you need to use it as the cream solidifies a bit more. Remove the cream just before use and place in another bowl.
I used strawberry purée and fresh peeled peaches for my fruit cream. Whisk the coconut cream very delicately and place this into two desert cups. To one, I added puréed strawberries and to the other one I added peeled chopped fresh peaches. I garnished both with mint. This is not a very sweet dessert on its own, but should you wish to sweeten it more, you can always top up with a little bit of maple syrup or add a dusting of powdered sugar to your desert before serving.
To all Vegans and to others too: Do try this dessert. It is simply mouth watering.
Ms Aditi Pathak Is based in Singapore. Widely travelled and from a Services background, cooking is one of her many passions.