Vegan Spiced Coconut Pudding, Mango Compote, and Orange Macadamia Gremolata

I just love seeing my name written in chalk.

I just love seeing my name written in chalk.

I feel compelled to rat myself out on this one: The recipe and photographs for this post were taken back in August. Yes, as in summer.

*hides face*

Between the farmer’s markets, special bakery orders, being a mom to kids AND puppies, plus a full time job that involves a 2-4 hour daily commute I’ve just been tired exhausted.

Yes, I have let things slip. All work and no play makes JC a dull girl.

But let’s not pretend I’m the only person with a laundry basket full of clean, yet wrinkled and unfolded clothes and a case of the “I’ll do it Laters”, yeah?

My friend, Prit, graciously took myself and a few of her other friends to a local Indian grocery store for a personalized tour. I’m a huge grocery store nerd, anyways, so I had to fight off the urge to skip through the aisles. It was so much fun seeing all the different snacks, ingredients, and veggies I’d never even seen or heard of before.

Ladies, I'm gonna need you to go about your shopping duties while I skulk behind you and take "natural-looking" pics, mmmmkay?

Ladies, I’m gonna need you to go about your shopping duties while I skulk behind you and take “natural-looking” pics, mmmmkay?

I saw these cute, little veggies called tindora. So cute! So tiny!

I saw these cute, little veggies called tindora. So cute! So tiny!

Woah! Not so cute! Not so tiny! But, oh how colorful!

Woah! Not so cute! Not so tiny! But, oh how colorful!

Prit took us throughout the store, explaining in detail what many items were generally used for in Northern Indian cooking. We were going to her home for a meal afterward, so she filled our shopping cart with all kinds of fresh veggies and such. As did I, except…umm….well you can say I went a little crazy on the Cadbury just by looking at the pic below:

I like English chocolate, okay?

I like English chocolate, okay? It tastes different than its American counterpart, I swear!

Back at Prit’s home, she prepared a number of dishes while explaining what spices she was using, the preparation method, etc. I’d never had Indian food prior to meeting Prit and I really had no idea about traditional preparations or such. It was so much fun watching her make foods that I’d never tried before. The most surprising dish that I enjoyed was Guju Mango relish, made of green (unripe) mango, grated onion, and fresh toasted spices. It was more of an accompaniment and it was all at once fresh, lightly fruity, spicy, and cool.

Knock, Knock.

Knock, Knock.

Green mango is peeled and then finely grated.

Green mango is peeled and then finely grated.

Shred white onion, not knuckles.

Shred white onion, not knuckles.

Squeeze the juices out of the green mango. This is a GREAT stress reliever.

Squeeze the juices out of the green mango. This is a GREAT stress reliever.

Add some fresh spice, and mix it up.

Add some fresh spice, and mix it up.

Here's a random picture of a tiny eggplant that Prit later sautéed. Why can't produce this cute be more readily available in mainstream American stores?!

Here’s a random picture of a tiny eggplant that Prit later sautéed. Why can’t produce this cute be more readily available in mainstream American stores?!

Northern Indian cooking, aside from bountiful use of produce, relies heavily upon fresh spices, herbs, and infused (usually on the stovetop during preparation) cooking oils. Prit had a pull-out drawer next to her stove into which a silver spice holder-thingy (gosh dang it! I can’t think of a descriptor word) was nestled. This had been Prit’s mother’s and had been in use for several, several years. Check out how cool it is:

Prit simply removes the spice tin from the drawer and all her frequently used dried spices are right there!!!!

Prit simply removes the spice tin from the drawer and all her frequently used dried spices are right there!!!! Here, Prit has heated some cooking oil and is quickly infusing it with flavor by sprinkling the spices into the pan.

I don't recall that anyone knew the proper name for this spice, but they sure are neat looking!

I don’t recall that anyone knew the proper name for this spice, but they sure are neat looking!

I want a magical herb tree in my kitchen! I can't even grow basil!

I want a magical herb tree in my kitchen! I can’t even grow basil!

So much fresh, flavorful food!

So much fresh, flavorful food!

Afterward, we got to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Afterward, we got to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Yep.

I somehow managed to take that picture with one hand while holding my wine glass with the other.

Seasoned professional over here. No, not professional photographer…..

Prit’s good friend Jan (pictured in the mango and grocery store pictures) is vegan, so I offered to bring in a loosely Indian-inspired, vegan, dessert. No, it is NOT traditional Indian fare, but the flavors fit right in. This sounds like a pain in the butt recipe. Yes, and no. All the ingredients are inexpensive and most of them are pantry staples. All your prep and all your assembly can actually occur the day before you plan on serving. Also, the prep methods used are pretty basic.

PLUS: It’s freaking delicious. The coconut pudding is mild yet richly creamy. The spiced mango compote is tangy. The Orange Gremolata is crunchy and adds nice texture and an interesting complement to the pudding and compote. Don’t inhale this dessert. Eat it slowly to really appreciate the flavors and textures. It’s definitely an experience.

Enjoy!

IMG_4783

Vegan Spiced Coconut Pudding, Mango Compote, and Orange Macadamia Gremolata

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Pudding Ingredients:

3 T. cornstarch

2 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk

1 vanilla bean

2 whole cloves

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/3 cup sugar (I used a certified vegan, organic sugar)

2 T. vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), softened

Gremolata, for topping (see recipe below)

Mango Compote (see recipe below)

Pudding Directions:

1. Combine 1/2 cup coconut milk with cornstarch. Whisk vigorously until combined and smooth, with no lumps remaining.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add remaining 2 cups coconut milk, vanilla bean, whole cloves, nutmeg, and sugar. Whisk to combine.

3. Cook until mixture begins to steam; whisk in cornstarch mixture.

4. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for about 3 – 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower heat to Low and continue to cook until thickened, about another five minutes or so.

5. Pull saucepan off heat and stir in softened vegan butter. Remove whole cloves from pudding. Remove vanilla bean and, when cool to the touch, scrape the seeds back into the cooked pudding and stir to incorporate. Discard vanilla bean pod.

6. Pour pudding into individual ramekins and let cool slightly. Refrigerate pudding for 2 hours prior to serving.

Spiced Mango Compote

2 cups frozen mango cubes

Squeeze of orange juice (about 1 T.)

1 T. water (if fruit begins to stick to bottom of pan)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

pinch each of cloves, nutmeg, cardamom

Mango Compote Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mango is softened. Use wooden spoon to break up mango chunks.

2. Once mango is softened, sugar has dissolved, and mixture is thick and bubbly, set aside to cool.

Orange Macadamia Gremolata

1 cup raw, unsalted Macadamia nuts, chopped into small pieces

2/3 cup unsweetened coconut shavings (you can find these at Sprouts, Whole Foods, or Natural Grocers)

2 tsp. orange zest

1 T. olive oil (I used Texas Olive Ranch Rio Orange Olive Oil)

Gremolata Directions:

1. In a 375 degree oven, roast macadamia nuts on a rimmed, parchment paper lined baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Stir every 2 minutes or so.

2. Once fragrant, add unsweetened coconut shavings and add back to oven for two more minutes, stirring every minute, or until browned.

3. Mix toasted nuts, coconut, orange zest, and olive oil in a small bowl until combined.

 

Is that toasted coconut....or sharkfins???

Is that toasted coconut….or shark fins???

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