Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Light, Spiced Dessert To Try At Mango Grove

Again, October is the cruelest month because cell phones need day light.
Let's be honest that I usually don't order dessert because I overeat from the start of the meal.

Indian and Chinese foods both reheat well, so we often justify ordering a third entree by factoring in the savings from two lunches that we'll box up for later in the week.  At Mango Grove, I need only the weakest justification so that I can get a crispy dosa, a vegetable curry and then either a meat or a lentil dish.

But now, I will have to weigh a nice samosa appetizer against a scrumptious, lightly-sweet dessert.

On our last visit to Mango Grove, the folks offered us dessert on the house so we could try the sheera -- which they described as being made from semolina and almonds.  Again, it was dark enough that I couldn't snap a photo of the dish.  But again, you should take a look yourself.

Imagine a bowl with a drier, lighter cousin to rice pudding.  Okay, distant cousin.  The tiny beads of wheat have a chewy texture, more like the oats from the top of an apple crumble than the soft mass of pudding.  They have been cooked into a rich flavor with milk, almonds and butter, then given a heady flavor and perfume with spices.

It's a beautifully light dessert.  Sweet, but flavor from far more than just sugar.  We spooned up the bowl even stuffed with masala dosa and paneer tikka masala.  It's hilarious to me how foreign desserts are sometimes hard to translate in words, but they're so accessible on the spoon.  "Semolina and almonds" created no picture to me.  One minutes eating the bowl of sheera, and I could imagine it finishing off any dinner in the world.

A quick Web search shows that sheera also goes by the names "halwa" and "sooji."  Dozens of recipes vary the spices and nuts, but I bet a night at Mango Grove will inspire you to try to warm yourself again with one of these variations.

If you'd like some weekend entertainment, keep an eye on Mango Grove's Facebook page.  They're trying to set up live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, maybe alternating between an American band and Bollywood shows.  

1 comment:

Jess said...

I had the lunch buffet at Bay Leaf in Linthicum today and had what they referred to as "halwa" for the first time. Delicious!