I have been on an ice-cream/ gelato making spree of sorts. You can blame it on the hot, hot summer. Thankfully, this summer is over and the monsoons are here. However, I have a variety of my summer time ice-creams/ gelato to share with you all. Today it’s Vegan Coconut Gelato.
I’m from Kerala and we love coconut. We like it not just as coconut, but also as coconut milk and coconut oil. Our traditional cuisine would just not be itself without coconut. So it’s not surprising that we love coconut. I would go so far as saying the love for coconut is not just in our blood but in our genes!
Going temporarily vegan has meant that I have got very creative with dessert especially that are milk or even egg based. Our traditional daily cooking is mostly vegan so going vegan hasn’t been much of an effort at all. Dessert has been occasionally challenging as a lot of Indian desserts are milk or ghee based.
We recently had guests for dinner and so I needed to find something that was vegan but not so obviously so. It’s not at all easy denying oneself dessert and then watching someone else eat it in front of you with obvious enjoyment. I wanted something I could make ahead, preferably a frozen dessert given how hot it was.
This Vegan Coconut Gelato was an obvious choice. Let me tell you, if you love coconut, this is one of the best out there. This Vegan Coconut Gelato is all coconut milk and very little else. You can use fresh coconut milk but if, like me, you were looking for an quick recipe, go with canned or dehydrated coconut milk. Making fresh coconut milk is just not something you want to do on hot summer days.
Use the thickest coconut milk you can find, not coconut cream. I prefer to use dehydrated coconut milk because it allows me to decide how thick I can make coconut milk. For this recipe, I used six 25 gm sachets of dehydrated coconut milk dissolved in 4 cups water.
Thickening the coconut milk on the stove with a little cornstarch gives the Vegan Coconut Gelato a beautiful creamy texture. Cardamom makes it extra special. I don’t have an ice-cream machine but if you do, then this gelato takes even less time to make. If you would like to enjoy a pure coconut experience then have this gelato as it is. Toasted coconut or toasted chopped nuts (pistachio or cashewnuts) work well. Otherwise serve with fresh mango and a vegan chocolate sauce.
Vegan Coconut Gelato
- 4 cups thick coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cups sugar or sweetener of choice
- 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 to 5 pods cardamom powdered
- Whisk together the coconut milk, sugar and cornstarch in a large pot. Put it on the stove and bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let it simmer for a few minutes until it thickens a little. The consistency should be that of a thin pouring custard.
- Stir in the powdered cardamom and take the custard off the stove. Let it cool. Stir frequently while it cools to prevent skin from forming. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze till it sets.
- Take it out a couple of time in between, and break up the ice cream to prevent crystals from forming. I do this by running it in my food processor till smooth.
- Serve with chocolate sauce. Mangoes also go very well with this Gelato.