Growing up I never ate Indian food because it wasn’t available where I lived. Moving and going vegetarian changed all that. Once I experienced this unique cuisine it became a permanent fixture in my life. For pure exotic infusion and off the charts flavor, I often turn to Indian food for inspiration.
The idea for this dessert came to me in several stages. Spiced ice cream is nothing new. But serving it with sweet mango chutney was. Rich golden Indian-spiced vanilla ice cream. With Indian spiced mango chutney. With all those spices and tropical flavors floating about; it just had to be one of the best ice creams ever.
Best part of this dessert is that no cooking or simmering is involved. Just mix and freeze and before you know it you’re scooping it right into your bowl. I carefully selected the spices making sure not to overpower the vanilla and coconut. Sweet, creamy, and sensuous flavor-hopping was my goal here.
I looked to coconut and cashews for the ice cream base. Both flavors really compliment each other and create a rich delicious ice cream. To make it extra creamy I soaked the cashews overnight. Soaking them beforehand makes blending a breeze and creates a silky smooth texture Sweet Cashew Creme and Milk.
One of the spices I absolutely had to include was turmeric: beautiful deep orange turmeric. Turmeric needs to be a staple in any healthy kitchen. It’s a hero among the robust rainbow spices, born to please and give lackluster dishes exactly just what they need; nutrients, color and heat. Turmeric tastes like a cross between orange, ginger and pepper, landing right dab in the middle of almost curry. Even though I only used a small amount, it’s a key ingredient in this belly-pleasing dessert.
Turmeric has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.
Turmeric has been used to whiten teeth and is included in many natural toothpaste formulations.
Turmeric can give your skin a healthy bronze glow by simply adding a little of it to your make-up foundation.
Turmeric has long been used to tame stomach aches. Four times daily will soothe that indigestion.
Turmeric contains curcumin which can delay liver damage that might eventually lead to cirrhosis.
Turmeric reduces intestinal permeability.
Turmeric is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic agent.
Turmeric is a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, vitamin B6, iron, potassium and manganese.
Whew. Can we agree that Turmeric needs to be a BIG part of our lives?
The sweet and pungent mango chutney consisted mainly of fresh mango, basil, lime juice, light sweetening, and spices. It was chopped and ready to serve. I didn’t even need to cook or reduce it. Dried apricots helped minimize moisture so my chutney would behave like a thick fruit topping. Every facet of this chutney was held accountable. I was going for the golden.
Once served, it won the hearts of all my guests. “Wow” was the most-used exclamation. Glowing, fruitful, deep-rooted, intoxicating, mouthwatering; one of the best ice cream desserts I’ve had. I know I’m being biased here but honestly it was a treasure found. But when you start with such incredible ingredients it’s hard to take the credit. Yes, there is such a thing as healthy and insanely delicious dairy-free ice cream.
Healing spices, natural sweeteners, healthy fats, and enzyme-rich foods make this one exotic and sultry superfood dessert; a great dish for entertaining and indulging your sweet tooth naturally. I hope you enjoy this little bit of exotic paradise: a beautiful bowlful of mouth-watering Indian inspiration from my little part of the world.
This recipe is raw, dairy and gluten-free, and serves 2-4 persons.
Spiced Golden Vanilla Ice Cream with Sweet Mango Chutney
I used both coconut/palm sugar and vanilla-flavored stevia to intensify the sweetness but you can use any sweetener you wish and adjust amount to taste.
Spiced Golden Vanilla Ice Cream:
I like to include apricots for added sweetness and flavor. It also help bind the mixture making it more scoop-able after frozen. You can substitute with dried unsulphured mango or papaya if you want. Make sure you keep the amount consistent with the amount of apricots recommended and soak the dried fruit until soft and drain before using if too hard.
- 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked in water for 2 – 8 hours then drained and rinsed
- 1 1/4 cups coconut water or water (you can use the soaked water from the dried fruit here too)
- 6 unsulphured medium-sized soft dried apricots (if they are very hard, soak until softened then drain)
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp ground turmeric to taste
- 1 whole cardamom pod or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 vanilla beans or 1 Tbsp vanilla or vanilla-flavored stevia to taste
- 3 – 4 Tbsp coconut/palm sugar or other natural sweetener of choice to taste (optional)
- 4 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
- pinch of sea salt (optional)
- additional stevia or flavored stevia to taste (optional)
- Add all ingredients except coconut oil to a high-speed blender.
- Blend until very smooth.
- Add the coconut oil and blend again until well incorporated.
- Add to a covered freezer container and freeze for 6 – 8 hours or until desired consistency is achieved. Stir at least once an hour for even freezing. If using an ice cream maker following manufacturers instructions.
- Yields about 3 1/2 cups.
- Can be stored frozen up to two months. Thaw for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Sweet Mango Chutney:
- 2 cups chopped fresh mango
- 4 unsulphured dried apricots, soaked in water until very soft then drained (optional)
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp raw honey or other light liquid sweetener to taste
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla-flavored stevia or stevia to taste (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a food processor.
- Pulse until loosely chopped. You want some texture to it. You can also chop by hand if you want and mix well in a bowl.
- Set aside or store refrigerated until ready to use.
- Yields about 2 cups.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 5 days.
- Scoop Spiced Golden Vanilla Ice Cream into serving bowls.
- Top with Sweet Mango Chutney.
- Serve and enjoy.