It’s been a long time since I first thought of making curry ice cream, and I finally got around to it this winter. I thought this was a good time to share it, for those of you in seasonal climates, feeling the first signs of spring among the remaining chill of winter. You might associate ice cream with balmy weather, but the many spices in this recipe provide an earthy, invigorating, and overall warming effect.
I have a friend who’s lived most of her life convinced that she strongly dislikes Indian cuisine, especially any dishes having to do with curry. Things have changed for her recently, after taste testing many curry-centric dishes in my kitchen, which I have, somewhat strategically, asked her to try. For better or for worse, I’m the type of person, who often makes it their goal to get people to like whole food-based ingredients they have rejected. That might be one of the reasons I have this blog! To end the story, my friend has grown to not just like, but love curry, and she now frequently makes it at home. She has also turned out to be the number one fan of this ice-cream, so this one’s for her.
This story might be proof of the theory that any type of food can be delicious if made from scratch, with the right ingredients and attention. It also reminds me to keep trying foods I think I dislike, in hopes of developing a taste for them.
This ice-cream was a big hit among those who tried it. The mingling of sweet and savory, creamy and spicy makes for a bold and complex flavor. And you might be thinking this same thing at this point – it would be interesting to try making curry ice cream with no sweetener, to serve next to savory dishes. I will certainly be doing that one day soon.
Curry Coconut Ice Cream
Note: If you are looking for a trusted source for buying your spices, Mountain Rose Herbs is an excellent online herb and spice shop, stocking all the freshest, organic spices you will need for this recipe and beyond.
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole cloves
3 green cardamom pods
2 black peppercorns
2 cups coconut milk
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1-inch fresh ginger root – peeled, sliced and crushed with a knife
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon xanathan gum or 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1. Toast whole dried spices in a medium, heavy-bottom sauce pan over medium low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. Coarsely crush spices in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. Return to the pan, add coconut milk, turmeric and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium heat, lower the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes, partially covered. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. If you have a high-speed blender such as Blendtech or Vitamix, pour milk with spices into the blender, add maple syrup and xanathan gum/arrowroot powder and blend until smooth. If you have a regular blender, strain the milk and discard spices. Add strained milk into the blender with maple syrup and xanathan gum/arrowroot powder and blend to combine.
3. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and let chill thoroughly, preferably overnight. Churn in an ice-cream machine for 20-25 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop into a container and freeze for at least 4 hours. When the ice-cream becomes hard, let it soften at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.