Thandai Ice Cream

IMG_2302

Thandai is a refreshing drink popular in north India, especially Uttar Pradesh. Its made using a number of ingredients believed to have a cooling effect, hence the name; Thandai in hindi means ‘cooling’.

It is a delicious and decadent blend of Almonds, fennel seeds, cardamon, pepper, rose and saffron, mixed with milk and served chilled on hot summer days. But cravings do not understand such weather limitations, besides I live in California!! So I didn’t just make a glass of Thandai to drink, I made a batch of Thandai flavored ice cream as well.

Time for Prep: 20 mins     Time to freeze: 12 hours      Yield: 8-10 Servings     Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk, chilled
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • For the Thandai flavoring:
    • 1/4 cup almonds
    • 1 tbsp roasted fennel seeds, corse powder
    • pinch of Cardamon powder
    • 2 tbsp poppy seeds (khas khas)
    • 10-12 white peppercorns
    • 2 tbsp rose water or 2 drops of rose essence
    • a few strands of saffron

Process:

  1. In a blender add all the ingredients for flavoring and grind to a paste.
  2. Add milk and sugar, blend them together.
  3. Chill overnight, then strain the milk mixture. Its important to let the paste and the milk be kept aside overnight to ensure that all the flavors are fully absorbed.
  4. If using an ice cream machine, pour strained milk and heavy cream and follow instructions by the manufacturing company.

Process if Not using an ice cream machine:

  1. Whip the heavy cream till you get soft peaks, mix in strained milk mixture.
  2. Transfer to a shallow container and freeze.
  3. Take it out in a couple hours or after the mixture gets slushy. Whip or blend it and freeze again. Follow this step a couple times to get a very smooth ice cream.

Scoop and serve. You can garnish it with a pinch of saffron to give it some extra kick.

Notes:

  • For a nuttier flavor, first roast the Almonds for 5 mins at 350F. Cool and then grind into paste.
  • The Milk and cream has to be chilled before you add lemon juice to avoid it from curdling.
  • If you do not want to whip in between freezing, then replace milk with a 10 oz can of condensed milk and 12 oz can of evaporated milk. Skip the sugar completely.
Advertisements

Paan Ice Cream

Paanwala
Paanwala crafting a Paan.

Paan is a preparation which combines various ingredients all wrapped up in a betel leaf. It has been an integral part of Indian (South East Asian) cultures for centuries, eaten at the end of a meal and believed to help with digestion. There is a whole host of varieties available for the hard core connoisseurs; Ram Pyaari, Meenakshi, Lal Pari, Kasturi, Surabhi, Mohini, Calcutta are just a few of them.  A Paanwala is the master craftsman who uses his skills to create the most perfectly delectable paans. Its a niche skill, really.

IMG_0578
Meetha Paan

Our Sunday family ritual growing up was a heavy lunch, usually Mangshor Jhol and Bhaath (Mutton Curry and Rice) followed by my dad treating us all to some paan and chocolates. Calcutta Ram Pyaari for them and Chocolates for my sister and me, which slowly turned into a delicious Meetha Pan. One summer my cousins were visiting and we followed the usual ritual. The kids chose to have a lollipops. While I was slowly enjoying my lollipop, my cousin, who is just 2 years younger to me, finished his in one bite and started to eye mine. He watched for a minute or so and then in one swift motion snatched my lollipop and quickly gulped it down. Typical boy!! To get me to stop crying my dad bribed me with a meetha (sweet) paan.. and thats how my love for paan began.

FullSizeRender
Gulkand (Rose petal preserve)

Its nearly impossible to find good paan in US, even in Bay Area where you get everything Indian. So a few weeks back I decided to attempt in making some on my own. The main ingredients of a meetha paan are Betel Leaf, Gulkand (Rose petal preserve), Kharek (Dried Dates), roasted fennel seeds, cardamon powder, coconut powder and lime paste. I set out to find the ingredients. All ingredients are very easy to find in any Indian stores, unless your really particular like me, then you just make your own Gulkand at home. I ordered the betel leaves from Amazon, big mistake because by the time they reached me they were moldy and rotting, California heat! So I decided to beat the heat with some ice cream instead, paan flavored ice cream.

Time for Prep: 20 mins     Time to freeze: 12 hours      Yield: 8 Servings     Level: Easy

FullSizeRender 6Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk, chilled
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Gulkand (Rose petal preserve)
  • 6-8 Dates- soaked, peeled and chopped (Kharek)
  • 1 tbsp roasted fennel seeds, corse powder
  • pinch of Cardamon powder
  • 1 tbsp Coconut powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp betel leaf juice
  • 1/2 tsp menthol (optional)

Process if using an ice cream machine:

  1. Mix all ingredients and follow instructions by the manufacturing company.

Process if Not using an ice cream machine:

  1. Whip the heavy cream till you get soft peaks, slowly add the sugar and continue whipping. Mix the milk in and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  2. Mix the paan flavoring- Gulkand, chopped dates, cardamon powder, coconut powder, lemon juice, betel leaf juice fennel seeds. Mix this into chilled cream mixture from step1.
  3. Transfer to a shallow container and freeze.
  4. Take it out in a couple hours or after the mixture gets slushy. Whip or blend it and freeze again. Follow this step a couple times to get a very smooth ice cream.

Scoop and serve. You can garnish it with a pinch of saffron to give it some extra kick.

IMG_2017

Best served on a betel leaf, just don’t order them online.

Notes:

  • The Milk and cream has to be chilled before you add lemon juice to avoid it from curdling.
  • If you do not want to whip in between freezing, then replace milk with a 10 oz can of condensed milk and skip the sugar completely.