Monday, July 09, 2018

Nandini's Nolen Gur er Ice Cream -- No Ice Cream Maker needed

Nolen Gur Ice Cream

Over the weekend, we had some deep discussion with friends, who are trying to learn the intricacies of Vedanta.
They shared pearls of wisdom like

"we have to accept that we have no control over our or anyone else's destiny"

"that we need to identify with our atman as we ourselves are Brahman"

Needless to say, I did not understand any of it. I mean I do understand but I cannot really internalize yet. For that, I need to meditate, my friends told me.

And then we watched the Russia-Croatia match. Since the teams I was supporting with all my atman had already bid adieu from the World Cup, I had nothing at stake in this particular match. Even when the winner was to be decided by penalty shots, I kept calm, which is very unusual of me. I get riled by penalty shots and at the Russia-Spain penalty shoot out, I was literally hyperventilating. In contrast, during the Russia-Croatia penalty shoot outs, I was far more relaxed and gently rooting for Croatia. It helped me enjoy the game better as I had little expectation.

And that is when my friend said, that I should watch life like a "Russia-Croatia" match instead of "Belgium-Brazil" match. I should detach myself from the process, accept whatever is to happen and merely hover over life without having too much at stake.

This I kind of understood-- at least soon after the match. To detach myself from the process, not expect anything and go with the flow of life. I can strive to do the best but I have no control on the results

Nandini making Nolen Gurer Ice Cream

Like say, my friend Nandini. I have written about my friend Nandini, many times in this blog and also in my book. I guess I have never mentioned her by her name and always referred to her as N, but she has been omnipresent throughout the blog.

Many years ago, I had forced my friendship upon her. I had accosted her at our local K-mart, had walked up to her(a total stranger) and given her our home phone number. This is not what I usually do, but I was lonely in a new country, didn't know a single Bengali in town and was desperate for some "adda" in mother tongue. So I had gathered enough courage and even in the face of husband-man's immense chagrin, I had done the impossible. Thrust a scrap of paper with my phone number written on it to another person of the same sex, saying "call koro"(Call me).

On hindsight, this does sound kind of creepy.

Ideally, she should have rolled that paper into a ball and tossed it into garbage. But she didn't. She didn't call me either.

Until at least 2 weeks passed and then she dialed my number.

And since then, I think, I have talked to her almost every day for the last 18 years. She has become the younger sister I never had (without all the sibling rivalry and jealousy). She shares her recipes with me and also brings over new dishes to try out. There are many simple recipes like Jhaal er Jhol or Lebu Paata diye Maach that I have learned from her. Also she keeps me updated on Bollywood!

I badger her with all my problems, be it parenting or political. She listens, gives judgement, criticizes me and at times makes fun of me. I know at the end of the day she and her family has my back. She will bring me food when I am sick and come and dress up my daughter for her dance recital without asking. I can always, always blindly trust her.

If I think of it, did I in anyway have control on the way things went from K-mart?

No.In all practicality she would have just moved on and we would have never talked. There was very little chance that we would meet and become such good friends. But it happened. And I hope it remains that way into our sunset years.

We can try and try and try for the best but whatever will happen, will happen. Our job is to keep on trying without any expectation. 

The lesser we have in stake, the happier we will be.

Now to this Nolen Gur er Ice cream which is Nandini's recipe. The original no-ice cream maker ice-cream recipe came from my neighbor and then Nandini fine tuned it. Trust me, it is the easiest way to make ice cream and also with the most delicious, creamy result. I have made it twice with excellent result.

Be sure that the Khejur Gur (Date Palm jaggery) you use for this recipe is strong on flavor and not those fake ones. The ice cream is so so good that those who had it said it was better than any at the Kolkata restaurants.

Now this is one thing in life you kind of have control on. If you follow the recipe and get the right ingredients, the result will always be delicious ice-cream!

Nolen Gur er Ice-Cream

Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream -- 2 Cups

Condensed Milk -- a little less than 1/2 Can (5oz - 6oz)

Khejur Gur/Nolen Gur -- 1/4th of a disc of Khejur Gur. When melted on low heat, it should amount to about 1/2 Cup

How I Did It

Beat heavy cream/whipping cream at high speed setting until soft peaks form.

Add little less than 1/2 Can Condensed Milk to the heavy cream and stir to mix.

Meanwhile in a saucepan gently heat Khejur Gur with 3-4 tablespoons of milk. Stir continuously until the jaggery forms a  smooth thick syrup. Make sure the syrup is not lumpy.

Add the Khejur Gur syrup to the Cream mixture and fold it in until you get a light caramel colored mixture.

Pour this in an air-tight glass container. Cover with lid. Put in freezer.

Take out after 8-10 hours. Ice cream will be set by then.

Right before serving, make some more of the Khejur Gur syrup. Drizzle the ice cream with the fresh syrup and sprigs of mint

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  1. love this recipe..thanks to you and Nandini..Nandini is my school friends from years before...

  2. Nolen gur is one of my favourite item & ice cream in nolen gur flavour is awesome.

  3. OOoo, looks simple enough even got me to try it out. Watching France-Belgium.


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