Quirky ice-cream flavours invade Mumbai restaurant menus

Innovative ice cream flavours are on the menu with everything from wasabi to fresh fruit and even popcorn, discovers Ismat Tahseen

Can’t take the heat? Don’t get out of the kitchen, but get into it to dish up some cold goodness! And going by what a few city-based entrepreneurs are doing it’s a delicious task that’s going to leave you chilled and wanting for more. Forget the usual chocolate, butterscotch, strawberry and other run-of-the-mill flavours. The new ice cream entrepreneurs are getting cold and innovative with much more than that.

Fresh fruit ice creams by Bina Doshi seem lickingly-good! pics/bipin kokate
Fresh fruit ice creams by Bina Doshi seem lickingly-good! Pics/Bipin Kokate

Jamun and popcorn ice cream, anyone?
What started out as a suggestion from her daughter-in-law finally ended up with foodie and entrepreneur Bina Doshi making delectable frozen flavours. The Napean Sea Road resident has been churning out icy delights like Variyali, Chocolate Wasabi, Nougat and Ginger Crunch. These are fresh fruit and hand churned, something she insists on as a firm philosophy. “My ice icreams have absolutely no essence or colour. I don’t believe in compromising on taste.

Watermelon popsicle
Watermelon popsicle

Spicy Guava
Spicy Guava

Right since I started about eight years ago, when my husband’s friend’s daughter asked me to make it for her pre-wedding functions and it’s been the same ever since.” While those watching their health opt for her Black Jamun and Lemon Grass flavours, others might love to indulge in her Spicy Guava, Muskmelon, Thandai, KitKat and yes, there’s a Popcorn flavor, too! “Why not be different,” reasons the affable ice cream maker. “Some time back, I was doing this rose flavour and a friend said, ‘Why not add almonds to it?’ The mosambi(sweet lime)-almond flavour came about as a twist to that.

Fresh Mango
Fresh Mango

It was delicious — slightly tangy, but very pleasing to the palate,” she says. Her popcorn ice cream, made by first churning popcorn in a blender and then adding it to milk, is getting to be quite the palate pleaser, too. And the Jamun variety has more a meticulous preparation. “You have to first wash then deseed the fruit and mash it, but only slightly. I keep it whole as people like pieces too,” she says. The pulp is then added to the chilled milk and (the ratio is: roughly one-third of fruit to the milk) and then chilled. When it’s semi-done, she adds more jamun pulp to it and freezes it. Right now, Rose-Sabza, is another fast-selling choice as it has takmariya (sabza or sweet basil seeds) and the essence of rose flowers. She also does a Thai Tub Tim Krob, which has water chestnuts, coconut, sabudana, rose flavour and milk. “Very soon, I’ll be doing a vegan ice cream with almond milk or coconut milk and fruits; you have no idea how many vegans are out there,” she smiles.

Try it with chillies too
Who said the frozen dessert only has to be sweet? At Bachelorr’s Ice Cream Parlour, Chowpatty, one of the most popular buys is the green chilli and ginger ice creams. “It’s a huge seller; people love how the taste surprises them,” says Parvez Khan of the stall. They also do brisk business with their orders for fresh fruit flavours all around Mumbai. “Right now, mango is in huge demand. People also ask for watermelon, litchi and orange — sab fresh banta hai (it’s all made with fresh fruit).” Also popular during the summer is the Shahi Gulab flavour, which uses rose flowers.

Kala Jamun
Kala Jamun

Hand-churned ecstasy
If you make your way into Imdadiya Street at Bohri Mohalla, every Ramzan, chances are you would have ended your repast with the delicious chilled hand-churned delight from ice from Taj Ice Creams. The 120-year-old shop run by brothers Abbas, Hatim and Yusuf Icecreamwalla, has been dishing out ice cream ‘sancha’ style (it is churned for several hours with an iron rod). Foodies are known to make the delicious fare a part of the culinary walks here, so what gives the taste secret? “The secret lies in cooking the milk well, it must be done gently and if I take 100 litres I reduce it to 50 litres. Also I use only full cream milk.” There is also a certain ratio with regard to the fresh fruit used. “For two kgs of pure mango we use 3 kgs of cooked milk,” he says. Almost 100 kgs are made here daily in flavours like Sitaphal, Mango, Litchi, Guava, Roasted Almond and more.

Choco Paan
Choco Paan

Fruit popsicles:
kiddies delight
This might be just what mums are looking for! Can’t get your kids to have their daily intake of fruits? Do it popsicle-style! Besides being the ideal answer to hydration in the hot summer, the frozen delights are easy to eat and as they are natural, they are loaded with fibre and vitamins. The convenient part is you can use practically any fruit for this. We suggest oranges, watermelon, kiwi and musk melon, which are pulpy and have over 75 per cent water. Most of the fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C and apt for detoxification. You can add berries, mint or basil leaves, honey or lemon and even smaller fruit like pomegranate. For older kids, add some ginger to the popsicles as it is anti-inflammatory and can improve digestion.

Rose Sabja
Rose Sabja

Health benefits
If it’s made with natural ingredients and eaten in moderation, ice cream can do a world of good. Here are a few of its benefits:
>> Can it help with infertility? Apparently so, A Harvard study suggests that the consumption of full-fat milk or ice cream could improve the chances of having a baby.
>> Did you know ice cream also has key nutrients such as B vitamins as well as niacin, folate and protein?
>> Ice cream doesn’t make you happy without reason! A study found that ice cream triggered in the pleasure area of the brain, akin to winning a lottery. It is also said to improve the symptoms of insomnia.

Watch out!
Fruit ice creams may taste delicious and seem like you’re doing a world of good, the treat might also make you put on some weight if you aren’t careful. Don’t use thickened milk. Go with a plain sorbet made of just the fruit juice and pulp as it’s sans preservatives and colouring. Do not use sugar while making them and do not over indulge either.

We recommend...
Try a low-fat ice cream with berries instead of your usual smoothie or bowl of breakfast oats. It’s summer, so there’s nothing like beginning your day on a chilled note!

D-I-Y: Kiwi popsicle

D-I-Y: Kiwi popsicle
>> Take one kiwi fruit, mash it and spoon this into the popsicle mould.
>> You may also add some honey or juice for added taste.
>> Place this in the freezer for 15 minutes till it solidifies a little. Now, insert a stick in the mould and re-freeze for 10 minutes. Serve.

Price check (per litre)
Ginger: Rs 860
Green Chilli: Rs 790
Shahi Gulab: Rs 936
Mosambi-Almond: Rs 450
Thai Tub Tim Krob: Rs 600
Black Jamun: Rs 500
Popcorn: Rs 500
Spicy Guava: Rs 450
Lemon Grass: Rs 450
Nougat: Rs 550
Musk Melon: Rs 450
Rose-Sabza: Rs 450

Party bite
Got guests coming over for an alfresco lunch? This time, serve them some chilled ice cream in specially wrapped cones, instead of the usual cupcakes and other desserts.

Colour-changing ice cream?
It’s called ‘Elixir of Love! After last year’s ‘glow-in-the-dark’ ice cream created by Brit ice cream maverick Charlie Francis, a Spanish physicist cum chef has recently come up with a tutti frutti ice cream made with strawberries, almonds, cocoa, caramel, banana, pistachio and vanilla, that changes colour as it  starts to melt. Called Xamaleon, the ice cream turns different hues of pink due to a formula that creates a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with saliva plus acids.

Get it here
 Bina Doshi’s home-made ice cream 57, Jal Darshan, Wing 5, Napean Sea Road, Mumbai-36 Tel: 9930312999

>> Bachelorr’s, Chowpatty Sea Face Tel: 23681408

>> Taj Ice Creams, Khara Tank Road, opp Imdadiya Bakery, Bohra Mohalla, Tel: 23461257

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