Paan(betel leaf) icecream is one flavor you need to make and try immediately! And if you needed more reason than making your ice cream at home, without any expensive machine or tedious churning, here it is. This beautifully fresh and zingy betel leaf icecream is topped with some homemade gulkand jam (rose petal jam), crumbled pistachios, chocolate chips and finally topped with a drizzle of rose syrup!! Soul sustenance for summer doesn’t get better or more idyllic than this paan icecream right here.
“You know how creative people are, we have to try everything until we find our niche.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri.
Isn’t that true?? We creative people (lets call us that, shall we? NOT crazy, maddening folks who run around taking a billion pics of every thing we eat), do love trying new things, opening ourselves to new experiences, making new friends…meeting new people, sharing our life with random strangers. One moment we decide we cant stand people who are adrenaline junkies, the nest min, during vacation we decide we simply can’t do without trying out an under water sea walk!! (true story :P). One day we think we like designing textiles and the next day we join a pottery class in the neighborhood!! If you are anything like me, you will be in constant dilemma over the path you should take. The obvious albeit stereotypical busy banker life or just follow my heart and do things I want to do.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I click anything and everything. From cute little kittens me and Baby D have been sheltering in our home to vignettes from around my house, from flowers and pretty table situations, to a glorious just-after-rains sky and that you can see the “silver lining” cloud shot! I shoot random people on the street, the odd egret or two. I love designing things, be it my website (this thing right here folks..i even taught myself basic coding so I wouldn’t have to use too mush plug ins) or designing homes, I get pleasure out of the daily life..anything that makes me open my creativity and simply do as my wild and free heart wants. Small happiness is when everyone loves the home you made and did I tell you its going to be featured on a blog!!?? A proper design and decor blog!!?? What?!!!
Needless to say, my photo love with food remains a love affair that’s closest to my heart. I am at my calmest when shooting food..when styling food, when playing with it. Most of us here are the same. We embrace experiences..we open ourselves to the world and let the world carry us on its path. well, sure we plan it..but the point is, we aren’t scared of trying new things.
With that thought in mind, and summer playing havoc on my parched soul, I gave in to my long cherished dream of making my own paan ice cream.
Call me “desi” but I have a thing for “paan” or betel leaf icecream. And I am so so happy that I gave in and made this amazing “no churn, no expensive ice cream maker” needed ice cream at home!!
Betel leaf or paan is a digestif very common in India. We Indians love our paan and the sheer variety of paan in the market these days is enough to put a paan aficionado like me over the moon. Do you know, we even get custom made paans that are worth Rs.2000 each?? While that’s reserved for the richie-rich, the rest of us plebeians derive the same joy from a Rs.20 wala meetha paan. Its fresh, slightly zingy and just amazing for digestion. remind me to do a post about paan soon, shall you? I will take you on a trip about the art that is “paan making” and promise…you will salivate!
My grandparents who lived us on and off were paan addicts. Yup. There is no other word for it, sadly. Grandpa started his day with paan..the old, classic way. No sweet stuff in it for him. Just some choona and supari, along with saunf and elaichi. I hated paan till I was 20, which is when I had my first meetha paan.
After a rather filling Holi lunch of Garlic Mutton and Chickpea Pulao, Garlic naan and Poori, Shahi paneer and Aubergine fritters, Kheer, Shahi tukda and Chaas (buttermilk) we were all stuffed!! And that day when mom bought out these little green triangles with a shiny red cherry on top, I gave in and simply took one. Oh my… Lets just say, I haven’t looked back since.
This year for Holi, we had a typical veggie platter or thaali, North Indian thaali given P isn’t fond of South Indian food. And yes, we did need some paan after the meal 😛
Since it isn’t especially good for your teeth, I reserve my indulgence to about twice a month but with ice creams there isn’t even that problem!! Its such a win- win.
Served in chilled martini glasses here with some home made gulkand or organic rose petal jam, crumbled pistachios, chocolate chips, dried rose and Ruhafzaa (rose syrup), this no churn paan (betel leaf) icecream is creamy and smooth, invigorating and will leave your mouth smelling like a million bucks. This makes great DIY dessert for guests too. Lay out the toppings in pinch bowls and and involve your friends / guests in building their own dessert/ice-cream bowls. Go wild if you wish.. add sprinklers, mint syrup, even chocolate syrup if you wish!
I love adding juliennes of betel leaf on top of the scoop while serving these in company, just pile on top of the scoop ( about 6- julienes per scoop), add some rose jam and top with a single maraschino cherry. Serve the syrup on the side and let people drizzle as per their choice.
Bonus : Wows anyone who sees and tastes this, which makes it perfect dessert for summer soirees!! Lets just say, I am in heaven & yes, I shall survive summer!
FYI, my Paan Shots are pretty legendary too. LOVED by each and everyone who’s had them (lets say about 40 different people!)
Recipe courtesy none other than the guru of all - TarlaDalal
Promise to make this, I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed!
- 1 L milk (prefrerably use full fat)
- 1½ cups (300 grams) fresh cream
- 1¾ cups sugar
- ¼ cup cornflour
- For the paan flavouring:
- 6 Maghai paan patta or betel leaves
- 6 dried dates (kharek), soaked overnight and finely chopped
- 1.5 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf), powdered
- ½ tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
- ¼ cup gulkand (sweetened rose petals)
- a pinch of menthol or mint essence
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Chocolate chips - ½ tsp per scoop
- Dried cherry if you wish or one maraschino cherry
- Pistachios, roasted and crumbled with a mortar and pestle.
- A little gulkand (rose petal jam) for every scoop
- ½ tsp of rose syrup to be drizzled on the scoop.
- Optionals: You can also add sugar coated fennel seeds and cardamom seeds to the scoops, and top with some thinly cut betel leaf over every scoop)
- To make the paan flavoring:
- Lets start by washing the paan leaves.
- Add the leaves to a blender and grind them up with the lemon juice, till its a fine paste. Strain and keep the juice aside.
- Next, deseed the soaked kharek or date and chop it up finely. Be careful while doing this and use a sharp pointed knife rather than a chefs knife.
- Mix together the paan juice, kharek, saunf, cardamom powder and gulkand in a bowl. Keep aside.
- To make the ice cream base:
- Now, mix the cornflour in ¼ cup of cold milk. Mix till completely dissolved and keep aside.
- In a heavy bottom pan, add the rest of the milk and bring to a boil.
- Add the sugar and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Next, add the cornflour -milk mix and simmer for another 5 minutes while stirring continuously. IMPORTANT.
- Stir till it is of a coating consistency.
- Remove from flame and let it cool completely. Put it in the fridge for 30 mins.
- To make the paan ice cream:
- Once the milk is completely cool (be sure of this),take it out of the fridge, add the paan flavouring mixture and cream to the milk.
- Mix well and pour into a shallow dish.
- Put in the freezer for about 2 hours till slushy.
- At this point, remove and beat with a whisk until smooth and creamy (or use a blender).
- Finally, add the menthol or mint essence and mix.
- Freeze for 4-6 hours until firm.
- To serves:
- Add some pistachio into a dessert glass, scoop some ice cream into the glasses, mix in some chocolate chips and cherry bits, top with the gulkand or rose jam, and finally add a drizzle of Ruhafzaa or rose syrup!
- Serve immediately.
Rose syrups are of different brands, I used a well known brand called Ruhafzaa as that's what I had at home.
I love adding juliennes of betel leaf on top of the scoop while serving these in company, just pile on top of the scoop ( about 6- julienes per scoop) and top with a single maraschino cherry. Serve the syrup on the side and let people drizzle as per their choice.
his makes great DIY dessert for guests too. Lay out the toppings in pinch bowls and and involve your friends / guests in building their own dessert/icecream bowls.
Go wild if you wish.. add sprinklers, mint syrup, even chocolate syrup if you wish