After I tried and succeeded in making the Paan Thandai, I started dreaming of an ice cream with the same flavour. So here’s paan and gulkand ice cream. For once I think I am loving the summers.
Paan and Gulkand Icecream
Wash the beetle leaves and remove the stalks.
Chop them up roughly and blend well in an electric mixer along with 1/4 cup of milk.
Add the remaining milk and give it a few more churns in the mixer.
Strain to remove the pulp.
Mix the strained paan juice, cream, remaining milk and gulkand together and beat well. [You may use a hand whisk or give it one blend in the electric mixer]
Taste to check on the sweetness. Add more sugar if needed.
Pour into an ice cream tray. Cover with an aluminium foil and seal the edges.
Use a fork or whisk and beat the semi-frozen ice cream well.
Cover and seal once again. Place it back in the freezer.
Repeat step 9 and 10 two more times with an interval of one hour in between.
Freeze for a couple of hours and enjoy your creamy paan-gulkand ice cream.
It is a good idea to choose a combination of the maghai paan leaves [which are tender] and the dark flavorful variety. This would give a lovely colour and flavour to the ice cream.
The sweetness is taken care of majorly by the gulkand. The one I got was pretty sweet and I din't have to add any more sugar. But a taste check before freezing the ice cream is a good idea.
The freeze-beat-refreeze-repeat step is important to get a creamy ice cream instead of a frozen icy block.
Covering and sealing the ice cream tray with aluminium foil, every time it is placed in the freezer, makes sure that ice crystals are not formed. Ice crystals interfere with the texture of the final ice cream and thus need to be avoided.
You can make the ice cream without straining the paan/beetle leaf juice too. In that case, using the tender light green maghai paan leaves would be a good idea since this variety has a melt in the mouth sort of texture.