One of my most magical childhood memories is sitting in the back seat of my parents’ red VW Golf during the mid-nineties, slowly peeling back the red-stained paper from a little bundle of ‘Special Meetha Paan’: Areca nuts, fennel seeds, shredded coconut and rose paste, smothered in a ‘secret’ syrup, then tightly wrapped in a peppery betel leaf.
My last trip to everyone’s favourite paan house got me thinking; I was missing a trick. I’ve always loved the fresh flavours, but all that chewing can be terribly hard work. Then suddenly it dawned on me, why had I never made my own Paan Ice Cream?
It’s swelteringly hot over here (in comparison to last week’s pesky rain) and so I let myself go, forgot the diet for an evening and decided to finally give it a go. The first batch curdled on me because the milk I had steeped betel leaves in was too hot to add to the cold cream and custard. Boo, hiss. As this was not the time nor place for paneer, I binned it and started again.
The second batch was perfect; it had the right balance of sweet, aromatic and peppery. Sounds like my kind of ice cream.
Serve Paan Ice Cream as a refreshing after-dinner treat and an alternative to mints. It’s the most wonderful palate cleanser too, so a little bit between a starter and main course would go down a treat.
Here’s my recipe for Paan Ice Cream.
Want brand new recipes before anyone else? Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for fresh recipes straight from the kitchen, ask me cooking questions, see what I’m munching my way through during the week or just tweet to say hello.
Follow me on social media to tell me how you liked this recipe + get extra recipes!