30 April 2007

The all Indian Strawberry Cheesecake in Summer Series


Sorry for the longish break, dear friends! I was busy with deadlines and then a wonderul family get-together. Now I am back with the recipe for a strawberry cheesecake made with all Indian ingredients, as promised!
The inspiration came from the Good Food show on NDTV ne
ws channel. I had done a very long post on this a while ago, and lost the whole of it due to some parallel sign in -sign out activity on gmail. It is indeed difficult to recapture all that I'd written, but in case some instructions aren't clear, please write in your queries and I shall be happy to respond!

I must give 100% credit to a recipe I saw on the Good Food show some weeks ago. With frozen strawberries sitting in my fridge, all I needed was to work on getting the hung yogurt and I could start of on making my dream cheesecake. If I had to put in more descriptors, I'd say - No springform pan, no Graham crackers, no cream cheese, no water bath, no baking and hey this is NO JOKING!!!



Strawberry cheesecake with Indian ingredients
Makes a 750 gm cake
Adapted from NDTV cooks


Preparation
How to get hung yogurt
If you'd like to made yogurt at home, first mix in a tsp of good homemade yogurt into One Litre boiled and cooled milk at slightly higher temperature than body tem
perature. Stir the milk well, cover tightly and keep in a warm corner for 5-6 hours. Keep a large strainer covered with a folded muslin cloth over a vessel. Once the yogurt is set well, turn in into the muslin covered strainer. Twist the muslin cloth and clip / tie it at the mouth. If the weather in your area is very hot, keep the strainer with yogurt over a vessel in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours until all the water (whey) is drained out. If you are not making the cheesecake immediately, store this thick block of curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 24 hours so that it does not turn sour.
You can also use store bought yogurt like Nestle Dahi. You will need 2 tubs of 400 mg and one 200 mg tub to get a packed cup of hung yogurt.

Ingredients
200 gm Parle G + Digestive Marie biscuits
3 tbsp melted butter

250 gm frozen strawberries (do not thaw)
1/2 cup sugar

1 cup hung curd
1 cup cream

1 tbsp gelatin
4 tbsp water

2-3 tbsp Blueberry jam for topping

Other equipment
Am 8-9" cake tin
Cling film

or

an 8" springform pan

Directions

In a food processor, pulse the biscuits into coarse powder and mix in the melted butter well into it.
Take a cake tin 8-9" diameter, line it with a large sheet of cling film big enough to cover the sides and come well out of the brim.

Put in the biscuit-butter mix into the pan lined with film. Spread evenly and press well with heavy object such as mortar. Put in the freezer for 20 min or so to set.


Puree the frozen strawberries and sugar together in a mixer to get a sorbet kind of mixture. Remove into a large bowl and keep aside.


Add the hung curd and cream, blend well to make a smooth mixture. Pour it into the bowl containing strawberry sorbet, mix them well with a wooden spoon.

Add 4 tbsp of water in the gelatin in a small heat resistant cup. Using a pair of tongs, hold the cup on the surface of water boiling in a pan. Stir the gelatin mix with a spoon continuously to get a clear liquid.

Pour the gelatin mix slowly into the strawberry mixture, stirring continuously.

Remove the set crust from the freezer and pour the strawberry mixture onto the set biscuit base.

Cover and put in the fridge to set overnight.


Top with a thin layer of jam or sliced fresh strawberries, cut into wedges and serve cold.



Notes
Jam - I used St. Dalfours brand blueberry jam which is made in grape juice and with no added sugar. This is available in most stores in India, imported by Weikfield.
The cream used in this recipe was a 200 ml tetrapack of Amul cream

Verdict
As you can see, the cheesecake looked dainty and mouthwateringly enticing.
The crust was a good mix of sweetness from the Glucose biscuits and crispy crunch of the digestives. We could not make out any gelatiney texture or bad flavours in the cake. The topping made with blueberry jam complemented the strawberries beautifully. My two guests loved this one whole heartedly and DH gave the thumbs up sign as usual!

Me to you
I might just add the melted butter while grinding biscuits, next time for a more uniform spread. With the mango season right upon us, Version 1.2 of the cheesecake will obviously be made with Alfonso mangoes. Wait for the update!

No springform pan? The cling film covering a regular pan till its brim worked just perfectly. While unmoulding, just pick up the cake by lifting up the edges of the film and deposit in onto a serving plate.

I really liked the idea of using yogurt instead of cream cheese. Firstly we don't have any Indian brand of cream cheese, the imported ones have scary manufacturing dates and cost a bomb. Not to mention, how fattening they can be, unless ofcourse you opt for the low-fat version. Yogurt all said has its benefits being rich in calcium, protein and best thing is that it is just such a household ingredient in Indian homes. I promptly drank up the cold leftover whey, which felt heavenly on that hot afternoon. You can use this as stock or use it for binding dough. It is too high is nutrients to let it go down the drain.

Cream ofcourse is high calorie and there's nothing we can do about it except exercise some moderation when it comes to eating this (which is truly difficult, trust me - you don't wanna know how much of this cake i ate up by myself)

You can easily adapt this into a diabetic recipe by using sugar substitute instead of sugar. A word of caution though - since cream is quite rich, diabetics must be content with a small slice at a time.

I have myself been in search of a cheesecake that I can make at home and looks like this is truly the one. So all you cheesecake lovers who don't have access to fancy schmancy ingredients, do give this one a try and let me know how you liked it.

You'll find me here too
Burrp.com is a new foodie review website and I have just begun reviewing on the Mumbai edition. Check here for the review of Pratap's: The Dhaba at Lokhandwala, Mumbai

40 comments:

Helen said...

ohhh this looks and sounds like a very nice cheescake :)

Aruna said...

Nandita, All Indian low fat cheesecake !!! Way to go girl.

The idea of mango cheesecake is more tempting to me, maybe I'll try it... :-)

Nandita said...

Helen- checked out your site, wonderful photography, shall be around often!

Aruna - Thanks dear! It aint exactly low-fat, but if we manage to stop at a slice, it is good...talking of the impossible that is :)

Richa said...

hey, loved the cream cheese replacement, reminded me of the shrikhand making process. pic looks YUM!
thanks

Sig said...

Yummo... that looks too good.
The first pic almost looked like a sandy beach, with red water of course... :)

Mishmash ! said...

yes...it sure does look quite dainty....and when my friend passed a no bake cheese cake recipe, she told me that she used amul cheese for cream cheese...may be thats a good option but using hug curd is a good healthy idea too :)

shn

bee said...

nandita, will agar agar (china grass) work instead of gelatin?

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hay Nandita ur cake look YUM!YUM!.. I realy want to try it...I love it very much....

sudhav said...

Nanadita, cake parka supera irruku...will give it a try soon..thanks for sharing..

riitu said...

oooohhhhhhh

this is yummily inspiring ...thankns muchly....

:))

Raaga said...

Hey Nandita... great recipe... can't wait to try it out. Can I use fresh strawberries instead of the frozen variety? If so, how do I proceed? Much the same way I'd presume.

Nandita said...

Bee,
I actually used a pack of China Grass which I blv is same as agar agar, but the original recipe mentioned gelatin, hence the same appeared on my blog, as i forgot to correct it when i was typing out the second time.

Raaga, You can use fresh, the original recipe calls for fresh strawberries, however I used frozen just because i had them on hand

Swapna said...

I just finished a bowl of strawberry cheeseake ice-cream and I know exactly how yummy that cake must be:)...Thanks for the recipe!

Anjali said...

Nandita thanks dear I'll try it with equal. BTW when you use amul cream do you discard the whey and just scoop up the cream?

Raaga said...

Thanks to you, I started a food blog today :)

Anonymous said...

Anjali, I poured the entire Amul cream into a bowl, with the water that comes out in the beginning and stir everything together.
You can even try a half size cake by cutting all ingredients to half...instead of equal, use Sugarfree Natura (first choice)or Zero cook and bake (alembic).

Raaga - that is so wonderful, will be around to check
Nandita

Anjali said...

Thanks Nandita. To try this weekend.

Anonymous said...

infrared saunas wrote that looks amazing. will give the recipe a go.

Anonymous said...

hi nandita
i enjoy reading your blog!
some questions -
1. 200 gm Parle G + Digestive Marie biscuits -
is it 200 gms of each OR
both put together should be 200 gms?

2. if you used china grass - what brand, what quantity (one packet means how many grams?) and how (directions for how to use?)

3. you had frozen strawberries - you bought them frozen? or did you freeze them? how long do they last like that?

thanks...
d
ps - look forward to the mango version. i have a nice lemon cheesecake recipe - will send it across sometime. its very similar and quite simple, except that it uses paneer as well.
also in a pinch brittania 'malai chaska' is an ok substitute for cream cheese.

Nandita said...

1. 200 gm Parle G + Digestive Marie biscuits -
is it 200 gms of each OR
both put together should be 200 gms?

200 gms combined - i dont have a weighing scale for ingredients, so if the pack was 200 gms, i halved the contents, so that made 100 of parle and 100 of digestive marie
may be next time I shall add a few more biscuits for a thicker crust, if u see the close up, the crust is alright but could be thicker


2. if you used china grass - what brand, what quantity (one packet means how many grams?) and how (directions for how to use?)

one pack of gelatin or agar agar is 1 tbsp
Five star brand agar agar(china grass) or
Dessert King brand edible gelatin, unflavoured - this comes in individual packs of 1 tbsp each, you could use one of this

Add 4 tbsp of water in the gelatin /agar agar in a small heat resistant cup. Using a pair of tongs, hold the cup on the surface of water boiling in a pan. Stir the gelatin mix with a spoon continuously to get a clear liquid.

Pour the mix slowly into the strawberry mixture, stirring continuously.

3. you had frozen strawberries - you bought them frozen? or did you freeze them? how long do they last like that?
I had bought fresh strawberries in Bombay itself when in season, washed them lightly, wiped dry, spread in one layer on a baking sheet and kept in the freezer until individual berries were frozen. Then put into a ziploc bag and sealed. This was it will stay for 3-4 months, if you have a steady power supply (ie. your fridge remains ON at all times) While using i just snipped off tops. You can use fresh as well as I have already mentioned

Hope that answers yours questions D

Anonymous said...

yup - thanks a ton! like i said i really enjoy reading your blog - and since i live in b'lore it is nice to have a blog to refer to that has indian ingredients! now just to go and find some strawberries, and i can make this yum cheesecake. my 4 year old daughter LOVES strawberries. by the way, that nigella show on travel and living just disappeared, right?
- d

Alifiya said...

Sounds really nice and eay i'm definately going to try it...i like the idea of yogurt too was struggling to find an indian cream cheese, this recipe sounds easy and makeable...thanks

Roopa said...

looks like a divine treat yumm! gooto to try this thanks for the recipe!

Gardenia said...

Nandita, this was wonderful. Absolutely accurate quantities, the most patient of instructions: that's Nandita! Well, we tried this one out using chocolate, and substituted the cream with hung yofurt and the butter with 'Nutralite' and so felt not only sated, but virtuous!

Marie said...

Nandita, would love to try your cheesecake recipe this weekend. Can I replace ready made strawberry crush (Mapro/Mala) instead of frozen strawberries and sugar. If so, how much should I use to replace 250 g strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar as your recipe says.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Wow another mumbai blogger! Glad to meet you! Great to see you improvising so well. I'm scared of using replacements for cream cheese, but my mom swears that she's one successfully used paneer instead of Philly for a cheesecake!

AJ said...

Hi..your blog's great. Have tried out this recipe several times..it's quite amazing. Used mango too instead of strawberries..equally good. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I look up your blog from time to time, to eat through my eyes! And am growing fat !!
Was wondering if we could use paneer instead of hung yogurt for cream cheese? And skip the cream altogether?

Sanya Bhantagar said...

Nandita, you have a great blog!
I tried this recipe with mangoes instead and it was an instant hit! Keep posting delicious desert recipes! Cheers:)

M@nju's said...

Hi Nandita,

I tried this a couple of weeks back when we had some guests for dinner.
It was an absolute winner!!!!
Never dared to look at cheesecake recipes before as we dont get ant cream cheese or graham crackers here in India ......
Everyone loved it even my lil 2 year old son :D ... thanks a lot for posting this.
Can I mention this recipe with your blog link on my page, with your permission.
Thanks!!!

Tifosi16 said...

Hi nandita
If i use nestle dahi , I dont need to filter it out with a muslin cloth right? I can use it  as it is ?
Also 1 cup cream equals how much grams Amul cream 

Foot bath detox said...

Thanks for this nice posting i will come again on your site.

Shilpa said...

This is SUPERB!!! can't wait to go home and make one and yeah...mango sounds delicious too 

Kavitha said...

Just to know.. gelatin is not vegetarian right?  

Manjusha Menon said...

Hi Nanditha,

I have posted this on my blog here, with a reference to yours on http://manjusrealm.blogspot.com/. Please do check it out and let me know how I can imporvise on my blog.
My pics aren't as tempting as yours though. Still learning :)
Thanks once again for this delicious recipe!!!

singh said...

you perfectly made as shown in ndtv....absolutely it tastes good

Chilliesncherries said...

i guess u mis typed about yogurt...i think its not 400mg its 400gm

Joshi Sneha said...

it worked splendidly! i simply put in blueberry (dalfour's) in the mix and got that nice mauve colour

Dana said...

Nandita, you do know gelatin is non-vegetarian right?

Foodie said...

Have you used castor sugar or normal crystal sugar in the cheescake?