Mulberry Madness – Ice Cream – Vegan and Vegetarian

Most berries such as strawberries, raspberries and mulberries are said to be Summer berries but considering that they are abundantly available in the months of December through January in the North, which is the coldest region in India might we might as well call them Winter fruits. These are available for a very short span when Winter is on its way out and Spring is just round the corner. It is still Spring for North Indians and Summer for the rest of us (Madhya Pradesh and down under).  We have other Seasons too:
Hotter Summer (March and April)
Hottest Summer (May and June)
Rainy Season (July to September)
Hottest Summer – Phase II (Whole of October)
Autumn (November and most of December)
A pretentious Winter (Last week of December) and back to Hot Summer!We do experience what can be called a semblance of Winter for a week towards the end of December, and what a precious, pretentious Winter week it is! We pretend it is the real thing. How else can one explain people in full sleeved jackets in January when it is not even chilly but just pleasant? Could it be to bring out the lovely stuff one has purchased during the ‘Winter Sale’ from Westside or Allen Solly? My annual trek to the Himalayas makes every ‘sale’ purchase totally worthwhile! I was happy when we saw all the snow, experienced serious cold and actually got to wear the jackets. If I wear them here I would end up looking and feeling like a tandoori aloo!

I gather from the information available on mulberry cultivation that the best temperatures for cultivation of this crop is between 16 and 31 deg. Cel. which is generally May or June in colder regions hence it is a Summer Berry after all!

The other day one of my friends and I were reminiscing ‘those days’ when we would eat berries off trees, and she mentioned that she found a mulberry seller near Thane Station only for a few days in the first few weeks of January. Since we were already into February I knew I had missed my chance and was so very disappointed until I spotted them at the newly opened Reliance Mart at Pokhran II, Thane. There they were, about five small cartons all neatly sealed and sitting in a row – just for Rs.25/- each for 200g. I jostled my way and picked two before they got over.

When I was a kid we had a huge Mulberry tree (Shahtoot ka ped) in our backyard and every day the maali (gardener) would shake the branches and let the mulberries plop on the ground. Most of them would fall with a ‘plop’ and the juice would be squished out but we (I must have been about five and my sister about seven) would run about in our shameez (Frocklike innerwear for little girls) gathering the a few good ones, clean them in salted water and stain our hands, dress and teeth eating the juicy fruit. I don’t remember my Mother ever making any sweets or desserts except for those that might have found their way into fruit custards, so I had no idea what I would do with the two packets I purchased.

Mulberries are mostly cultivated for sericulture, a practice taught by China to the rest of the world. Silk worms needed for weaving silk materials (made from the silk glands present in these worms) are said to only feed on mulberry leaves, and this is the prime reason for cultivation of mulberry as a crop. The fruit is basically only a by-product and as such it has never been given any importance in cooking. I gave up silk since the last three years as I really can’t bear the thought of rearing worms just to kill them methodically for adorning myself!

Coming back to the present, the children were thrilled when they saw the fruit as they had never had it before. I somehow felt that these were not as sweet as what we had had as children but then taste has so much to do with nostalgia so I may be mistaken. I let them have half the quantity and asked them whether they would like me to try muffins – if you can have blueberry muffins, why not mulberry muffins? It was Jr.P who said he would rather have ice cream as Naturals does not have mulberry ice cream amongst its range of flavours, and since it was Summer Jr.H felt he was quite right. When it comes to desserts I always allow my children to decide as their reasoning however quirky always turns out more logical than ours, and their choice I have noticed is always more popular, probably because when P or I choose we unconsciously count the amount of butter, APF and calories before anything else.

I hunted quite a bit before I decided to follow the tried and tested kulfi method given on the ‘Brown and Polson Custard pack’, with a few twists which I added from this recipe I found at ‘Food Down Under‘.

The recipe gave me the perfect ice cream, exactly like the one you get at Naturals. I made my own soymilk version too which was also very tasty but not as appetizing to look at. I am sorry about the pictures. The weather is considerably hot so the ice cream started melting despite the fact that I had taken care to freeze the container and the small ladle I used to scoop out the ice-cream!

Vegetarian Mulberry Ice Cream
(Own recipe)
Whole full fat buffalo milk (I used Gokul) – 1litre
Sugar – 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup
Mulberries – 1 cup (rinsed out twice in clean water)
Vanilla beans – 2
Corn flour – 3tbsps.
Thick cream – 1/2 cup
(I used Amul which I kept overnight in the refrigerator so that the thick cream would rise to the top)

I used the mulberry syrup for both this and the soy ice cream. About 2tbsps for the soy version and rest for this one.

Heat milk in a broad thick bottomed wok or vessel and boil till it reduces to half. Collect the cream on the sides of the vessel. When boiling milk scrape the vanilla from the bean into the milk and boil the milk with the beans. Remove the beans later.

Dissolve cornflour in 1 cup of milk taken from the vessel and add the homogeneous mixture to the hot milk. Mix well till blended uniformly into the milk. Scrape the cream settled on the sides into the milk. Add 1/2 cup sugar and heat again till dissolved. Cool completely.

Updated: It is only when SJ listed the ‘lessons she learnt’ while making this ice cream that I realized the omission:
The cornflour needs to be dissolved in small quantity of cold milk. Take a cup of milk from the vessel. Let it come down to room temperature and then add the cornflour. Whisk it well to blend and add the solution to the hot milk whisking the milk in the pan all the while. If not the cornflour will form lumps. In case you still end up with lumps just blend the milk mixture in your blender before continuing to cook, but leave out the cream on the sides of the pan!

While the milk is cooling prepare the mulberry sauce.

Line a strainer with twice folded cheese cloth. Combine the water and berries and bring to boil. Simmer till the mulberris can be easily mashed. Strain through the cheese cloth and press out the juice. Gave me exactly a cup of juice. Now add 1/2 cup sugar and simmer on slow fire till dissolved and the sauce coats the back of the spoon. Cool completely. Keep a little sauce (About 2tbsps.) aside and fold the cream and the rest of the sauce into the cool milk mixture. It will form a thickish custard (not pudding like but like molten lava).

Pour into an air tight container and freeze for an hour. Remove and using an electric hand blender churn gently in the container itself. Freeze for another hour and repeat. Freeze overnight or for at least four hours.

Scoop and serve with a little sauce. You may chop a few mulberries and fold iti nto the ice cream before finally freezing.

I also folded a few broken pine nuts with the cream.

This recipe will not form icicles at all. Do not blend the cream into the milk while boiling. Wait till it comes to room temperature. For us the sweetness was just right.

Soy ice cream:

Soy Milk – 1 cup (I used organic Silk)
Soyvita powder – 3tbsps.
Corn flour – 1 tsp.
2tbsp. of mulberry sauce from above.
Silken firm mori-nu tofu – 2tbsp.

Dissolve cornflour into sauce and heat whisking continuously to get a smooth custard. Blend everything together in a blender till very smooth. Chop some of the fruit and freeze for an hour. Remove and blend with a hand blender and re-freeze. Repeat once and freeeze at least four hours before serving.

This tastes great but the colour does not look as good as the vegetarian version. It was a weird blue – not what can be called a color for the palette:)

Note: I won’t be able to visit you guys for sometime as work is keeping my on my toes and I am spending some time with myself to get fit for the Himalayan climb. This does not leave me much time to blog or blog hop!!

If you would like to make gujiyas/somasi this Holi, do have a look here at my unhealthy and healthy versions:). Gujiyas are a kind of Indian puff pastry traditionally made during Holi in the North. We grew up on this tradition so I am stuck on this one!!

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Have your say

  1. I heard it very hot this year in india.. icecream looks so good.

  2. mmm. ice cream looks great Harini! Don’t worry about the picture, it still shows nice texture of the ice cream. Nice pink color. I think you forgot to send this to FIC:Pink. 🙂

  3. I actually love the effect of you picture. & I have never had mulberries & ever since i was a kid i wanted to have it & half my life is over I still did not get to eat it. That icecream sounds sooooo good that I feel like having that right now sitting in my back yard.

    I am not getting your updates in the reader… will have to see wht happened.

  4. Ice cream looks fabulous…I like my ice cream slightly melted so the pic looks perfect to me…That was a good read, ur so right about the seasons in India, the dreaded October.

  5. Whoa! H, that hot and hot and more hot there. As much as it’s cold and snowy here, we do love the white all over in December around X Mas but if cold goes on and on, we get pissed! When it’s too hot in Summer, we get pissed again!:D
    It’s 81F now, wonderful sunny days. Love Spring and Fall.

    Mulberry IC looks so yum, it is melting there, must be really hot. Love the color, pale purple. Have fun there, and enjoy! 🙂

  6. Don’t worry about blog hop, u can catch up later. I feel the summer has started… The ice cream is melting….. Oh is still chill here, and u make me crave for some ice cream!

  7. Looks absolutely delish! Can i use any other berry??

  8. you’ve kindled such memories! I used to live in Thane eons ago, behind our house, we had a mulberry tree…remember climbling up a wall to pluck a few berries! The ice cream sounds very delicious.
    And I do envy you your Himalayan trek..been ages since I went on one. Where are you off to?

  9. That is a perfect description for the weather & the months Harini!:-)
    I have seen mulberries being sold in bunches at Mahabaleshwar .. never felt like tasting them though. Thanks to this recipe I can make the perfect ice cream now (even without the berries). 🙂 Happy Holi to you too. 🙂

  10. Thanks all:)

    Uma, thanks for clearing. I thought it was purple but I guess it does look pink:) Lemme see what Priya says!

    Soma, I had changed to google and transferred my feeds. I saw there was a considerable drop in the number but am not able to set it right at my end. Checked google but there is no fix as far as I know!

    Poorna, I like it that way too!! I know – we have to brace up for October each time:)

    Asha, I think it is our climatic variation that makes India very suitable for cultivation of crops and have vivid variety in flora and fauna. It is just that the heat gets to me like you said:), and sometimes we are envious of the cold too!!

    Cham, there is something about having an ice cream in the cold, isn’t it? Enjoy the season!!

    SJ, yes use any other berry. The sauce can be made with strawberries too or you could just chop the berries. The basic ice cream remains the same.

    Aquadaze, it is a nice feeling, isn’t it? I am taking the ‘Har-ki-Doon’ route in Mussorie this year.

  11. Ya really it’s even very hot in Bangalore. But the icecream looks coooooool 🙂

  12. Ice cream looks great. Perfect texture and very appealing color. Here the summer has started at 40 C. Don’t know what is in store for the peak season.

    So you have already made ur summer plans. Enjoy your trek.

  13. Mulberry icecream..Mmmmmm it sounds delicious..Nice color and great clicks 🙂

  14. wow…delicious ice cream…lovely click

  15. It is ages ago i had mulberries, when i was in school there was a tree on theway and in the seaon we used to pluck the mulberries from the tree( well let me put it like this we used to steel )
    Ice cream looks so soft and yummy delicious.

  16. Ice cream looks yummy… Loved the pic feel like grabbing one right away from the screen. I loved the texture.. Planning to try this with strawberries..

  17. Ahh those wonderful days…i remember plucking shahtoot from the neighbors trees near my Naani’s home in Chembur and staining the pockets of frocks where these were STOCKED UP to have it later with friends around.
    And hey the icecream looks wonderfully yummmmmm,perfect for the JUST IN Summer.And hey u had been near our NEW PLACE(P II) 😉
    Happy Holi to u dear ,hope u enjoy the colours of life along with family on this colourful day
    And BTW i am so sorry to trouble u again,but i needed help with BIG-LITTLE WORDS(whts that…no info on net too).Can u help out pls………

  18. Mulberry ice cream sounds yum. Enjoy your trek !

  19. Tandoori aloo!..good one.Sweaters?I don’t remember wearing any in Hyd. either,but I do miss the tropical weather.
    The melting ice cream looks delectable,the mulberries look lot like the blackberries,have to wait for summer to try the cool ice creams.I kinda had a sore throat after eating the icecream I made for DB challenge.
    Himalaya trekking must be a nice cool change not to mention adventurous,have fun:)
    And Happy Holi to you too:)

  20. YUm Yumm..Looks so nice. It is so humid here already, I could have that bowl now..

  21. Actually the picture looks so more beautiful ….lovely ice creams…

  22. You are in Mumbai, I always thought B’lore !!! And Mulberry is Shahtoot, didn’t know that

    The ice cream looks very nice and creamy. All the best for your trek

  23. Quite a delicious Ice cream…for me the pictures r quite beautiful n excellent..soo goodddd..

  24. Mulberries in Thane! Gosh, Harini, where do you find this stuff?
    The times are certainly a-changing. I remember I would almost jump out of my shoes when my bhaajiwalli in Thane would pull out some precious lettuce from her basket. 🙂
    That ice cream looks incredible. Thanks for the vegan version– I still have to work on finding that soy powder.

  25. I used to love mulberry during my school though I never had a chance to eat them for quite sometime now…I am just drooling over the icrcream..its just the way I love it…slightly melted 😉 Please trail back to my blog. I have something waiting for you 🙂

  26. Its pink! 🙂 And whole buffalo milk sounds very good to me 😀

  27. that looks soooo yum!

    Here’s something for you

  28. It looks fabulous! Never thought of mulberries in ice cream, somehow !!! Would love to make this, but with cow’s milk 🙂

  29. hi, i guess i missed a lot of recipes here..that ice cream looks very inviting:)
    nice entry for FIC pink..i have to think of something too:)

  30. We have only two seasons, rainy monsoo and hot-hotter-hottest summer!!
    Perfect ice-cream. I make mine like this too, but tend to leave out the cream a lot of the time, so I feel less guilty about eating it.:)
    I have been telling my husband we ought to drive up to Mahabaleshwar in berry season next.
    Btw, do you know that shameez supposedly came from chemise?

    Goodluck with the preparation for the climb.

  31. Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)

    Your award will go live sometime on March 11, 2009

    Award Code

    Thank you,

    Bill Austin

  32. delicious looking icecreams

  33. ice cream looks yummy yum….

  34. I must have missed the earlier post, but did you say Himalayan climb? You are my hero already. Hope your work pressure reduces soon.

    I never had mulberry as a child, the only thing I heard was “Here we go around the mulberry bush” Sigh!
    Icecream sounds good and soyvita? I need to check that out.

  35. HOPE YOU HAD A DELIGHTFUL HOLI.the icecream looks great.I was thinking of making an icecream for fic the pic,dear,here also the weather is a bit unpredictable.the weather anytime here is perfect for icecreams -hope Jr P &Jr H had a wonderful time,loved your post.I think soy icecream is much easier than the other.Also its better to ask children when it comes to desserts.Never had mulberries 🙁 though.
    An afterthght-no one tght of using icecream as holi colour right,then it would have been much better,

  36. Ice cream looks so creamy and delicious Harini! Perfect snaps!

  37. Oh-My-God!!!
    harini, plz invite me to ur home 🙂

  38. I forgot to tell you,ALL THE BEST FOR THE TRIP THIS TIME AS WELL.Will miss you dearly,but do enjoy the trip and come back with lots of stories and dishes.

  39. Kitchen Flavours

    Oh God got soem relief by seeing those cool delights….Wish to lick it off right now….Well said about the climate…

  40. I made it …I made it… lallaallaaaa….

  41. I never tried to make icecream at home.. ur recipe is tempting me though!!!

  42. I love the aroma of mulberry and I shall scream for your ice cream!
    I used the mulberry fragrance in my cupcake soap once.

  43. hey nominated for BOTDA…and guess what u got it …i am sooo glad 🙂

  44. Thanks all for the luck too! I need it as this is said to be a tough trail, but am going to enjoy it for that very reason!! With Youth Hostels it does become easy as we do not cover too much in one day and have food cooked for us rather than doing it ourselves:)

    Sahaja, thanks to you for nominating me for Blog of the Day award!!

    Bill, thanks for considering:)

    Vaishali, ek baar Thana aake dekhlo! You will not recognize the place, I can bet on that one!

    Alka, Yeah! I almost forgot:) Hum to aape ilake mein gaye the!!

    Sia, come over:) Will be happy to have you here!! Maybe next time when you visit India?!

    SJ, so soon? Thanks for trying and am glad you enjoyed it!! I am so sorry about those little details I missed!! I guess I either swallowed the words or just took them for granted. Will include it now!

  45. Yummy looking ice cream – nothing to beat home made and yours really look tasty!

  46. I’m not able to see the picture at all, but the procedure seems very simple. I have to look what’s the tamil name for mulberries.

  47. for some reason, your pics are not visible. would love to try this.

  48. Can I make mango ice cream using this recipe by just replacing mulberry pulp with mango pulp ?

  49. Preeti, mango ice cream turns out better with thick cashew paste. I haven’t posted the recipe yet on the blog.

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