Tuesday, October 13, 2015


This is healthy and delicious and tastes better the next day.
I got the recipe from a cousin, years ago. As HD loves it, I've kept improving on it till it found a place in the family 5 star cookbook.
This is what I used today as our ripe tomatoes aren't really juicy...they've travelled a long way in refrigerated trucks and are beautiful and shiny red but flavor wise I had to use other ingredients to get the taste I wanted.
If you have great tomatoes use about eight.
2 cups Basmati rice...cook and cool.
3 Tbsps Olive oil
1 oz butter or ghee.
Bay leaf, cloves, elaichi, cinnamon.
1 huge tomato, chopped.
1 16 oz can peeled chopped tomatoes.
2 ozs tomato sauce.
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional).
1 large/2 medium onions, chopped.
I really good, firm, tasty, tomato. (Chop and set aside.)
1/2 cup chopped haridhania/fresh coriander.
5 mint leaves chopped fine.
1/2 cup haridhania, 4 cloves garlic...ground fine.
1 tsp biriyani pulao masala or garam masala powder.
Salt, chilli powder and pepper powder...to taste.
!/4 tsp haldi.
Heat oil. Add bay leaf, cloves, elaichi and cinnamon. As you get the first whiff of spices, add the butter or ghee and lower the heat.
After 2-3 mins when the smell is great, put in chopped onion. You might have to remove the spices first, if you are making this for folk not used to eating 'around' our spices.
Fry onions golden brown, remove 2 Tbsp and set aside.
To the rest, add ground masala and the huge chopped tomato.
(If using all fresh tomatoes, add them now.)
Fry for about five mins on medium heat.
Add the canned tomatoes and sauce, frozen peas, chopped haridhania, salt, chilli powder, biriyani masala powder, pepper powder and haldi.
Cover and let it cook on medium for ten minutes. It should thicken to the consistency of thick dosa batter.
(I usually make extra so this is a large quantity. It freezes well and tastes great on it's own with dosa or chapati)
Mix rice lightly with your hand to make sure grains are separate. Pour tomato mix over rice (I used one cup mix for 1 cup rice but it's your choice whether you want the rice barely or richly coated...both versions taste good).
Mix well, then place on stove on low for 5 mins or while you fry the vades.
You can dot the top with a little more butter before you do this. 
Place in bowl, surround with freshly chopped tomatoes, sprinkle with reserved fried onion and finely chopped fresh mint.
The fresh chopped tomatoes were done by a chef at a catered party and are really a great idea. If the rice is a bit spicy, the fresh tomatoes cool your mouth so well.
The chopped mint gives a really good taste as well, but it really has to be fine.
The tomato rice pairs really well with the channa dal vases (especially the chill one HD says) and it tastes better the next day.
Tomato rice freezes and reheats well but I prefer freezing the mix and then adding freshly cooked/day old rice to it.

Tips: You could blanch the tomatoes first if you like.
Also chop them small or cook them longer so they disintegrate in the cooking.
I add a few pieces at the end and cook for a couple of minutes as HD likes that but that's just my twist on it.

When you can, try a recipe/veggie totally different from what you are used to...you may surprise yourself.
I've watched chefs on cooking shows use celery bulbs so many times and talk so highly about the flavor. Finally picked up one and a few hours later was wondering why I'd waited so long.
After the photo shoot (for pic 1), I washed and sliced the bulb, removed the leaves and chopped those and stored them for future use in soups.
I sprayed a frying pan and put the sliced fennel and sliced carrots, turned them over when brown and covered lightly to make sure they cooked through. I put half the amount of salt I would normally use and pepper to taste. Then I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese and pepper on top and put it in the toaster oven for the cheese to melt. (Remember the earlier comment about half the salt...that's because the cheese might make it too salty). After sprinkling some finely chopped fennel leaves on top, I served it with hot sauce on the side and it was gone in a few minutes!
The fennel did not have a strong anise/somph flavor, looked like onion slice but melted in the mouth like only fennel can...the carrots made a nice contrast. Chilli powder would go great with this too but I was making it for someone who cannot have any because of diet restrictions.
Some shortcuts for busy folk who still want to present the best dishes possible. These are made and stored in my Food Bank and I get a good return on my investment on days filled with other demands on my time.
1. Fry some rai, urad dal (use jeera instead of dal or with), karipata and red chillies with hing in oil and keep this 'agar/phodni/talchu' in a bottle in the fridge. When mixed with any cooked/steamed veggie, you have a side dish in mins. Proportion for rai is 1 to 2 urad dal for this.
2. Dry roast the above ingredients, grind and store in a small jar in the fridge. When I'm making coconut chutney, I add a spoonful and it enhances the taste.
3. Clean, cook veggies and freeze them in small bags when they are fresh and they are ready to be cooked alone or in a curry as needed. PLEASE NOTE: I also serve something fresh at the meal to compensate for the loss of any nutrients and encourage those who worry about frozen food to take a vitamin.
4. My most used ingredients are peeled and grated ginger and garlic that is frozen on a plate and then cut into cubes and stored in the freezer. The juices from the fresh ginger and garlic help 'bind' it to burfi like cubes. Ration I use is half a piece of ginger to one piece of garlic.
5. Slice a batch of onions in the food processor, fry them golden brown and bag them (one tablespoon per bag). Freeze this and use as needed.
6. In a little oil but mostly pure ghee, I fry 10 bay leaves (ours are small), 5 1 inch cinnamon sticks, 30 cloves (buds removed of course), big and small elaichi and 10 anise. This has to be done on medium till the aroma is really strong. Bottle, cool and store in the fridge.
7. In summer when it is raining tomatoes, I chop these too and freeze the surplus neighbors give me. One to two tomatoes per bag...they are easy to separate.
8. ditto with all herbs.
Having a 'no free time day'? Take out one bag of onions, one of tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cilantro and a bag of frozen fried cauliflower and some peas. Add garam masala, chill powder, haldi, salt and any other masala you use. Simmer ten mins. If you like you can finish with a tablespoon of each or all of the following: coconut milk, ground khus khus/cashewnut powder.
If you're not making chapatis, cook some rice in the rice cooker with a tablespoon of the ready bay leaf/spices mix and salt. I add fried onions to this too.
While the rice and curry are cooking, chop up a salad or make a chutney/raita to finish the meal. i usually start the rice and I'm done by the time its ready or sooner. All this prep means I have fewer dishes/gadgets to wash too.
Now all you brilliant chefs, share your shortcuts here...

Try this:
When making idlis I sometimes pour half the batter in the pan (has to be thick), then put a tsp of thick chutney in the middle and then pour the other half of the batter on top and steam.
Here I've used coconut chutney (brown because of the tamarind paste plus there has to be a color contrast), but using different kinds...green, red and brown would make for a colorful and surprise presentation.
I serve extra chutney on the side for those die hards who need to drown their idlis in chutney.
Saba Rahman and Florence Graves, the recipe link is here for the idlis:
If you don't get to it please Google Paytpooja.blogspot.com and then a search for 5 star idlis. My blog is where the best family recipes are.
Idlis depend on so many things though, the weather, the fermenting, the kind of rice...even mine don't come out the same twice in a row so it needs a little experimentation.
Re-reading my recipe I have to point out I use a Kitchen Aid blender now as I no longer have the stone electrical grinder. With the Vitamin I don't seem to get as good results as it heats up the dough while grinding it.
Pre-made powder for chutney: I have this powder ground and ready and a spoon of it goes into fresh coconut chutney. 1 rai, 2 urad dal, 1whole jeera, 1/3 methi seeds, red chillies.
Roast each in a pan or in the mic if you are familiar with that method. Grind, cool and store.
Fresh chutney: 1 cup grated coconut, 2 Tbsps fried channa/pottu kadalai, roasted gram ( ready to eat kind without the skin) 1 green chilly, 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 tsp tamarind paste (its a concentrate so err on the side of caution and use less first), salt to taste. Halfway through I put in a tsp of the powder.
I add another red chilly here after I take out some chutney for me as HD likes chutneys spicy. This was ground in the Vitamix as it does a good job when very little water is used.
Curd chillies...a delicious accompaniment to a meal.
We are in the midst of summer here with temperatures in the high nineties/low hundreds. The heat got me trying this very old recipe from my mother and in laws, with a new twist in the way of additional spices from Aayi'srecipes.com.
Curd chillies have been preserved for ages in the summer and my in laws made them at home. These salted chillies are delicious deep fried. They are not just an accompaniment for Indian meals...when the kids were young we had spaghetti once a week and these fried and crumbled on top of the sauce would just make the dish so much better.
They are made in large quantities but as I was experimenting with the dish for the first time, I made a small amount. For those who don't want to bother with the process they are available in all supermarkets in South India.
For 10 chillies:
Powder 2 tsps cumin seed, 1/3 tsp fennel seeds, pinch of hing (aayi'srecipes.com)
Mix the above powder with 1/2 cup salt
Green chillies (use serrano if you can get them otherwise jalapeƱo are fine).
Wash, pat dry and slit.
Stuff with salt mix.
Soak in 2 cups curd whipped with 1 tsp salt or use very thick buttermilk.
Soak chillies for 3 days in this curd. (I refrigerated it).
Remove chillies from curd and place on plate to dry in the sun reserving curd mixture.
Every night place the chillies back in the curd and dry the next day till all the curd is used up. I just did this for three days and then let the chillies dry completely in the sun till they are really crisp.
Some people lightly fry them, store them and re fry them. 
I store them and fry them in a very little oil before eating. They have to be fried well...note the dark one (fried) on the plate below.
Mine seem to have a thick coating of curd that the store bought ones don't have...I guess they use thin buttermilk.
First picture was half way through the drying process when I just had to fry and taste one. Second pictures shows color of finished product.
Summer Bounty: Fig Jam and Mascarpone tarts.
A generous neighbor who keeps giving me figs, Sabena Winkle's comment about figs and link to a post, Sonal Gupta's help in finding her friend's recipe for mascarpone all added up to some new, delicious tarts for the granddaughter's party. What would I do without my good friends?
Crust for tart shells (can be made 2 days early and stored in an airtight container after cooling): I used the ready made pie sheets, defrosted them and rolled them out to about 1 mm thin. Cut them to the size you want, place the circles in muffin pans, dock them (prick the bottom with a fork) and bake according to package directions. You might have to gather up the sheet into a ball and re-roll to get the proper thickness.
Mascarpone (can be made a couple of days early too):
(only change in the making was I heated the cream in the microwave.)
Before using: Whip two table spoons of heavy cream into peaks, add mascarpone, 1/3-1/2 cup honey, 1 tsp lemon zest and 1 Tbsp lemon juice and mix well. (do not over beat.)
Fig Jam:
I follow the instructions on the Sure Jell pkt for making jam. For this recipe the jam has to be thick. When I want to use it as a topping I make it thinner and always freeze both versions. I make the jam with less sugar than the recipe calls for as the Sure Jell makes sure it jells.
Some assembly required: On cooled shells place half a tsp of refrigerated mascarpone cheese and top off with fig jam...do this just before serving.
My picture shows the reverse as I took the shells topped off with jam to the party and then just before serving added the refrigerated mascarpone.
The taste of the mascarpone and the combo of pastry, jam and cheese are worth trying these tarts for. You can use any jam to make this.

My neighbors have been extremely generous sharing the summer bounty from their gardens with me and to thank them I made them a tray each of bread pudding. The recipe is one of the first in my cookbook as a 14 year old and I continue to use it. The additions of toppings are 51 years later! 
4 cups of crusty bread (please use crusty bread like French bread or crusty rolls).
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (increase to taste)
Raisins... to your hearts content...I used quarter a cup fat, golden raisins.
Vanilla 2 teaspoons. (less if you're anti vanilla) OR
1 tsp vanilla essence and 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg powder.
Heat your oven to 375 degrees.
Make your bread into small chunks and layer in a baking tray (I used a foil tray).
Beat/whisk eggs, milk and sugar till combined. Add vanilla and raisins.
When you pour this over the bread make sure the bread has enough liquid to soak in properly. I turned the bread over after fifteen minutes and there was still enough milk mixture in the pan to come up to two thirds of the bread content. If the bread soaks up all the milk add a little more.
If I hadn't been giving it to the neighbor who's grandkids are over every day in the summer, one option is to add a spoon of good rum or brandy at this stage.
Stir everything after another 15 minutes, place in oven to bake. 
Check in 45 minutes...if a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, its done. Mine needed another 5 minutes as I have a slow oven. 
TIPS Do not dry out the pudding too much by leaving too long in the oven. 
Surprisingly HD liked the moist center the most.
These days there is a whiskey sauce to have with it (recipe easily found online) but we prefer it the way it is.
As a diabetic (my neighbors are too...Wait! Will Mabel Tauro say I live in Diabetic Colony now or I'm infecting everyone with my diabetic germs here?) I used less sugar...the raisins, fig jam and sugar free whipped cream gave it the perfect sweetness.
After I gave their trays to the neighbors I fixed a plate for each of us like this:
Warm bread pudding, 1 Tbspn of Fig jam which hadn't set properly yet (needs to be at the pre-set pouring stage for this), and a dollop of whipped cream. 
Chopped walnuts on top might give some crunchy appeal.
HD actually loved it enough to say, "This is really good!" twice. 
High praise from a man not fond of desserts.
Mathri and Samosa Bites:
2 easy dishes with my 2 GRANDkids.
I try to make their visits as stimulating as possible, with a different project each time they come so I'm winning against their tech stuff. One such visit took us into the kitchen and we made these two dishes a couple of weeks before their summer vacation ended. 
The granddaughter has developed a taste for samosas and the grandson likes the salty taste of the mathris. I chose the easiest recipe for themas I didn't want them to abandon me half way through the process.
I got a pleasant surprise...they both showed such effort with their dishes.
Both dishes are shortcuts to the traditional dishes and I have mentioned them here before but not dedicated a post to them.
For Mathri:
1 sheet pie pastry
1-2 tsp omum/ajwain
1-2 tsp whole pepper
1-2 tsp rock salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
1 sheet pie pastry, thawed.
(These come 2 to a box in the freezer section. Don't have it where you are? Follow any pie pastry recipe online.)
Gather up the sheet into a ball, then roll it out to 1 mm thickness.
Sprinkle with crushed (not ground) omum/ajwain/carom seeds, crushed pepper and rock salt (if the latter has particles that are too large, crush that too). How much you add at this point depends on your taste.
(i crush with mortar and pestle but even a rolling pin does the trick.)
Lightly press these ingredients into dough.
Using a cookie cutter, cut out circles. We re-rolled the 'extra' edges and cut them into diamond shapes, so nothing was wasted.
Place on foil lined tray (to avoid difficult clean up) and bake as per package instructions...it was done in 10 mins at 350 but it depends on individual ovens. Remove when golden brown.
Enjoy with pickle or just by itself.
I've had this with Punjabi mango pickle as a kid so love that memory...here I have it plain or with the 'masala' from the lime pickle.
For samosa bites:
1 packet of 4" by 4" puff pastry sheets.
Samosa filling...this can be the usual potato filling, leftover veggies or keema filling... made the day before. I've even used salmon prepared with chopped, fried onion, chopped cilantro and masalas to taste.
Bowl of water.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Thaw pastry sheets, lightly dust with maida and gently roll out to six" by five". You can leave it as is for thicker crust...I prefer thinner.
Cut with a pizza cutter into 4.
Place a tsp of filling in the center, dab with water around edges and fold over and seal. Using a fork press edges down.
Place on foil lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins depending on your oven. Tops should be golden brown.
We had two trays of this so half way through I changed shelves to get even browning.
Served it with hot and sweet chutneys.
The puff pastry makes a perfect crust. HD's family actually made samosas with the traditional puff pastry crust from scratch, so he loves them.
As bites these are perfect for appetizers or those trying to curtail the amount they eat.
The kids got an A+ from me for focus and patience. Their mother couldn't believe they had made it...I couldn't believe their patience. Future home chefs in the making, I hope! I would love to know the cooking gene has been passed on to them.
Enjoy! For HD and me, 4-6 of these 'samosa bites' each made a perfectly satisfying, healthy TV dinner later on.
Peda Research:
Pedas have been a long time favorite sweet of my mother's, sister's and mine. The kind one gets in a particular sweetmeat shop in Bangalore, Bhagatram's, are not available anywhere else. The last time I went back the taste had changed as the grandson had altered the recipe! I almost cried when I tasted the new version!
Finally, have my results ready for publication here.
The topmost pic with the pistachio topping in Vidya Bandur's recipe...made in the microwave and a real shortcut...it came out good. Heeding Vidya's warning I might have become too anxious and taking it out too soon as it has a tendency to 'melt' if left outside for too long. Hers were the quickest to make, very tasty, and held their shape great as long as they were not left outside the fridge in this heat!
On the right is the tri color barfi from Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey...the colors were from my own imagination. The taste is super as is the tip of roasting milk powder (I did it in the microwave). Again, this melts quickly when out of the fridge so it goes straight from there into my mouth...should have left the half and half and sugar to cook a little longer.
At the bottom is my own peda recipe made with chenna and crushed almonds in the mix...I thought I was doing something unique when I put in crushed almonds then I saw the above recipes had almond meal too. This one held its shape the best. 
On the left is Hilda Mascarenhas' rose syrup barfi...sorry I couldn't add the rose syrup to it. Tastes really great!
So what does a diabetic do with all the mithai? Well, first of all I downsize proportions drastically while making which might be why some of them don't come out perfect the first time, and then the results are frozen in individual snack bars and enjoyed one per day for as long as they last. Hd will eat it the first day its made but after that its all mine unless daughter and grandkids come over and help!
All mistakes are mine and the recipes will be re-tried BUT do roast your milk powder in the mic before using...the aroma and taste is great.
Thanks to all the expert input and I'm getting good with making different pedas...at least taste wise great.

A perennial favorite: SOUTH INDIAN CURD RICE
It is going to be over a hundred degrees today and the only thing I want for dinner is curd rice. The TV anchor said Monday was the last day of summer. For me it is summer till the heat is over.
Sandy Nag's post about curd rice reminded me I haven't posted my recipe which has been 'on hold' all summer. Better late than later...
Curd rice (Thair saadam) is very popular in Tamil Nadu, where both my parents grew up. Both were originally from Andhra where its know as perugu annam. Whatever the name, it is said when a South Indian is eating and reaches for the curd rice it is their Jana Gana Mana...meaning end of the meal; the same way the Indian National Anthem was played at the end of a movie, when I was growing up.
Curd Rice was the first dish I was asked to bring to a potluck in the US. Too nervous, as a newlywed who had to wade through the snow in a grand saree, wearing knee length leather boots, holding the saree above my knees (that's how high the snow drifts were that first winter in Michigan), I gladly agreed to HD's suggestion that he make the curd rice and we not mention the source to anyone! Everyone loved it and I passed my first cooking challenge in the eyes of the South Indian community married ladies! (Re. the boots they were removed in the foyer and one then slipped on dress shoes or fancy slippers for the party.)
Over the years I thought I had perfected my curd rice till a year ago I was asked to make it for a special birthday and came up with the final version with ideas from my mother's recipe, HD, and 7 cooking blogs; each giving me one idea and enabling me to come up with the perfect version of this beloved, traditional dish....
1 cup plain rice. (not Basmathi)
1/2 gallon more or less cold milk. (I used non-fat)
1/2-1 Tbsp thick curd at room temperature PLUS
2 Tbsp curd PLUS
1 cup thick, cold curd.
1-2 tsps sugar.
1 Tbsp fresh, grated ginger.
2 tsps ghee.
Seasoning: Rai, urad, karipata, red chillies, hing.
Wash and cook the rice with extra water so it is soft. Some people add salt while cooking; others add it later.
When rice is cooked, add ghee and mash rice with back of spoon to get half mashed consistency. (Don't omit the ghee step...you will be surprised how good the end result is.)
Add cold milk and mix first with a spoon, then with your hand, to ensure there are no lumps...it will be lukewarm...be generous with the milk as it shouldn't be too thick.
In the center, make a small depression and place a tablespoon of curd at room temperature in it.
Cover and keep dish in a warm place if you live in a cold place...mine is kept on the counter top.
In a separate pan, in one tsp of oil and season rai, fry urad golden brown, add karipata, red chillies and hing to taste. Remove and reserve 1/3 of the seasoning. Add grated ginger to the rest and fry for a minute...cool, add two Tbsps curd mixed with 1/3 cup water to this with sugar, stir to combine and refrigerate. This HAS to be done ahead for flavors to develop and permeate the curd properly. I use extra ginger as we love the flavor and it helps with 'pitha/bile' in the heat...use less till you find your own satisfaction level with the taste.
Eight hours later your curd rice should be ready for the next stage (6 on a very hot day). You have literally made the curd in your curd rice dish!
My mother always said our Brahmin neighbors made curd rice this way overnight and took it to work the next day as it was the most inexpensive way to do it.
I refrigerate for 6-8 hrs at this point as curd rice needs time to develop the perfect tinge of slight sourness and has to be cold. Some people prefer it at room temperature.
If you can't wait for this, buy one of the sour yogurts like Mountain High or Dannon and add that at this point.
Just before eating, add the last cup of thick cold curd, your rice should be ready. I do this just to move the taste from grand to perfect. It should be thick dropping consistency.
Decorate with the 1/3 seasoning, set aside earlier.
Enjoy with lime pickle and paapad/appalam.
TIPS: for a shortcut version I just season the curd and keep it in a container and add it to my rice. 
I would only use the 'perfect' version for an occasion.
September's Tomato Chutney.
Did you know September is fruit and vegetable month in the USA? I saw this mentioned in an article yesterday, so before September is over:
Please name your favorite 1. fruit and 2. veggie recipe.
I can get away with tomato chutney as its a veggie that's a fruit!
How do you tell if its a veggie or a fruit: the Internet says 'if it has seeds, its a fruit." Well, all my veggies has seeds or are the seed of the plant except for spinach/greens/mushrooms but that's discussion or another day.
One of HD's great loves in the world of food is tomatoes, so when my neighbor came over with tomatoes from her garden (2 large ones and a bowl of cherry tomatoes...yes its still warm enough for the tomato plants to keep producing), I made the chutney that was a favorite on my mother's table at breakfast time. I didn't tell HD about the cherry tomatoes being incorporated in the dish as he's a food 'purist' and for some recipes wants exactly what was used in the past/original recipe with none of my 'let's try something new' methods....but I digress.
He loved it and I just smiled all evening. 
Thanks to Donna Pinto mentioning her mother's recipe...I remembered I had yet to post this.
Tomato Chutney
4 Tomatoes, cubed.
1 onion chopped.
1/2 Tbsp grated ginger.
Rai, jeera, hing, karipata.
Haldi, chilli powder or chopped green chillies, salt.
Chopped coriander.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil, season rai, jeera, hing and karipata.
Fry onion till light golden brown, add tomatoes, ginger, haldi, chill powder/chopped green chilies and salt.
Let it cook till semi thick. (The more guests that showed up without warning for breakfast in India, the more watery this chutney became.)
Top of with chopped coriander or incorporate the coriander while cooking tomatoes.
We had it for breakfast with parathas in India, but it goes with any type of roti/dosa. I thicken the leftover and have it as a sandwich filling with cheese or cream cheese the next day for lunch...satisfies my Indian taste buds.
Quick, simple, very tasty.
At the doctor's today picked up a magazine and started reading about FOOD RESEARCH, one of my favorite topics. Here's one of the tips from the article,'50 Things Food Manufacturers Won't Tell You.'
IT emphasizes what Indian culture used to stress in the past, and I hope will continue to do in the present: Variety is the spice of life but it is also a MUST for health.
Kantha Shelke, PhD, a food scientist who specializes in ingredients at Corvus Blue, a Chicago based research firm, writes:
"The concept of 'the dose makes the poison' is very important in the realm of food, especially when it comes to natural flavors and artificial colors. All food ingredients and nutrients-even those we need to survive-have a threshold for safety. When caramel color was approved, nobody anticipated how much of it would be used in the food and beverage industry. It's in a lot of foods you don't expect: certain soups, pilaf, and hamburgers for example. So if everything you eat is from a box, a can or a bag, then you may get too much and have reason for concern. But if you eat a variety of foods, you don't have to worry."

Mango Fool
"Try this Fool."
"What! How dare you? Who are you calling a Fool. YOU *&^#* fool."
"No, no, no, no! Not that kind of fool Ms. Short Fuse...this kind...."
"Foole is first mentioned as a dessert in 1598 (together with trifle),[1] although the origins of gooseberry fool may date back to the 15th century.[2] The earliest recipe for fruit fool dates to the mid 17th century." Wikipedia.
This desert was brought to India by the British and has an original version that combines heavy whipped cream, custard, sugar, flavorings. Strawberries, raspberries and the original gooseberries are the fruits named but try any fruit you think will do well in the recipe.
My version lives up to my reputation of one always on the lookout for 'simple' and 'quick' recipes. The original version is available on the Internet.
A fool can be made with any really ripe fruit you want...at a pinch you can use canned fruit like peaches too.
I found some Kent mango slices in my freezer and decided to use them. Kent is the best variety of mango we get in Southern CA and so when the short season is at its peak, I freeze some of the fruit.
I cut up a couple of slices to tiny cubes and set that aside.
I whisked the slices of fruit in the food processor till pulpy, not smooth.
Then I folded in whipped cream from a tub (you can use fat free, sugar free or the original version.) I added a spoon of vanilla, 1/2 a tsp of fresh ginger juice and half a tsp of cardamom powder (all optional). Instead of folding in by hand, you can continue doing this in the FP at it's lowest setting. When done add the mango cubes set aside.
This recipe does not have proportions as you have to fold in enough whipped cream till you see a setting consistency then spoon into dessert cups/servers and chill thoroughly. The advantage is you can add more or less fruit.
To the small tub of whipped cream I added roughly the same amount of fruit.
Top off with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cardamom or a piece of the fruit you've used. Chill thoroughly...it thickens/sets more.
This dessert literally melts in the mouth, takes little effort and is light and healthy. 
And so I say..."Enjoy this Fool and your weekend".