Afraa Deli in Kolkata has come up with its new festival celebrating mangoes, and between 3rd to 30th of June, 2015, you would be able to sample some of the special mango desserts available in the different outlets across the city. Afraa Deli is known for well-cooked dishes which looks and tastes great, and I have been to their City Center I outlet many times, especially for their brie and mushroom sandwiches, which remains one of my favourites. This time, I was joined by the Pastry and Bakery Chef of Ambuja Neotia group, Chef Debopam Sinha, who was kind enough to introduce me to the different dishes, and we were left discussing different aspects of food, and the concept behind the ‘Mango Marvels’ festival at Afraa Deli.
|Chef Debopam Sinha|
Mangoes are definitely summer’s most popular fruit in India, and showcasing it in different forms is the best thing that can be done. The menu is short and comprehensive – for those who prefer eating it simply, there is an option of having the fruit, with some chilled vanilla ice cream. However, for the more adventurous, there are different desserts which taste incredible.
|Mango Panna Cotta with Coconut Jelly|
The Mango Panna Cotta with Coconut Jelly is a very South-East Asian dish, the smooth mango purée topped with the intense coconut jelly on top, complete with bits of desiccated coconut which would hit your tongue quite deliberately, creating a contrast in texture that is definitely addictive to any coconut lover.
|Chocolate Mango Lava Cake|
The Chocolate Mango Lava Cake was an interesting concoction – a dense chocolate cake spewing sweet mango purée from within. This was a heavy dessert, and needed the lashing of vanilla ice cream to balance out the intense mango and chocolate flavours.
A slight deviation from normal desserts, the Mango Empanadas were a welcome twist from the usual desserts. The classic South American snack has been given a lovely twist with the addition of cooked mangoes inside, with a savoury pastry encasing it. I think this would have been my favourite among the desserts, if not for what was coming up next – the sweetness of the mangoes were balanced beautifully with the crunchy savoury pastry, and the vanilla ice cream and mango sauce served with it was slightly superficial, I thought.
|Red Velvety Mango Mousse Slice|
The Red Velvety Mango Mousse Slice was my favourite among the lot – probably because of the multiple elements – from the soft, mousse, to the spongy base, the thin layer outside which had a lovely zigzag pattern, to the cubes of aamshotto (mango leather) which were served with it, and the crunchy macaron on top – this was the dessert which stole the show. Without being too sweet, it showcased different elements seamlessly, and before I knew it, the platter in front of me was empty.
The Mango Marvels festival at Afraa Deli is on till the end of this month, in all their outlets around the town, and the prices of all the desserts are around 60-80/- INR (without tax).
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee dined at Afraa Deli at the kind invitation of the management.