It all began on Sunday, the first day of the new year, when we were on the way back from buying jackfruits from our regular vendor. My sis had an inspired thought, she said, "hey ka, you should make some awesome dessert with jackfruit... like jackfruit ice cream!" I laughed at first but then I got to thinking for a moment and I was like, "you know what chinni, I think I could!"
My little sis is craaaaazy about jackfruit! In fact, I think it is her favorite fruit in the whole wide world. If she were left on a deserted island with nothing but jackfruit trees, she'd happily survive.
Every time she arrives at the cart, the vendor has a huge, welcoming smile on his face. Maybe it's because he knows he's getting big business or perhaps it heartens him to see someone express so much joy while they eat the fruits of his labor.
Jackfruits are very commonly sold by street vendors here in South India. These men and women open shop in the morning and spend all day cutting open the large fruits, oiling their palms and separating the juicy jackfruit pods from the body of the fruit and selling them. It's a slow, sticky, not so easy procedure but the vendors are pros at it and thanks to them we get to relish the sweet, delicious flavor of these heavenly tropical fruits.
We add jackfruit to a variety of South Indian dishes (we even save the seeds and make some yummy stews and curries with them) but as far as I know, jackfruit ice cream has not been done before. I can proudly say that I invented this whole recipe from scratch. And this means I did keep a note of the measurements, well mostly. :op
10 Jackfruit pods - deseeded and sliced
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 very small drop Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 C Cashews
2 200ml packs of Coconut Mylk (I use the Dabur Hommade brand)
3/4 C Vegan Whipping Cream Liquid (I use Merry Whip but Rich's can be substituted too)
2 T Agave Nectar
Pinch of Salt
Place the jackfruit slices in a heavy bottomed pan, add the brown sugar and the tiny drop of apple cider vinegar on top and cook them together on low heat while stirring continuously to allow the brown sugar to caramelize and the jackfruits to cook and become soft. You should reach a halwa/jam like consistency (5-10 mins). Keep aside and let it cool down to room temperature. Warning: This jam/halwa is highly yummy by itself so you'll have to overcome the temptation to finish it off straight.
In a blender, turn the cashews into a fine powder. To this add the coconut mylk and blend again. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the caramelized jackfruit, and blend some more. Taste and add more agave nectar if required.
Chill everything in the fridge for 8 hours or more.
If you have an ice cream maker, follow the instructions and freeze into ice cream. If you don't, then pour the ice cream liquid into a freezable container and freeze for half an hour, then whip and freeze again for another half an hour and then whip again and so on for 2-3 hours until you get the consistency you desire.
This thing turned out absolutely amazing!! My dad who recently turned vegan, but still has some misgivings about the superiority of vegan desserts over the non vegan ones, was totally blown away by the Jackfruit Ice Cream. He was like, "Wow! This doesn't taste vegan!" Well, I am now on a mission to teach him that the *best* tasting desserts are the vegan ones. :)