Curry Carrot Ice Cream

I have an absolutely sensational, hysterical and eye-opening book on my shelf: Asian Ice Cream for You and Your Kids by Arron Liu. It’s not intended to be funny, but it is. I also don’t have any kids, so I’m not sure it’s intended for the sole delight of an adult beyond growing age, either. But, it’s a powerhouse of serious ice cream recipes, and while flipping through it, I was struck by the saffron glare of a full-page spread depicting one called “Japanese Curry Ice Cream.”

I often browse the Asian cookbooks at Kinokuniya Bookstore in Midtown, but rarely buy them. This discovery was a very special case. The book’s introduction reads like a sweeping, romantic poem about the author and founder of u Ice Cream in Hong Kong — in third person and entirely in Engrish. Within the first few lines, our hero leaves his good job in telecom to study in England, where he was “arrested by a pretty girl,” but his crush was unrequited. So, he decided to lure her by learning how to make the most exceptional ice cream in the world. I’m not going to give away the ending, but it goes on for four more pages, and is killer. Then the really good stuff begins, the ice cream recipes.

In addition to the flavor that initially captured my fancy, these recipes include flavors based on soy beans, Chinese rice, sake and ginkgo. (My head nearly exploded by the time I flipped to the end.) I’ve never made the proper recipe for “Japanese Curry Ice Cream” in it, but used it as inspiration for the dessert we served at the Hapa Kitchen‘s May Day debut dinner. Because in each dish, we wanted to incorporate both Eastern and Western elements, we added shredded carrots (a la a previous Carrot Cake Ice Cream experiment), making it Curry Carrot Ice Cream.

served alongside ginger whipped cream and a deep-fried cinnamon-sugar “dosa” (photo by Joe DiStefano)

The recipe I eventually honed for it is fairly simple — one cup of heavy cream, one cup of whole milk, one cup of coconut milk, carrots, egg yolks, brown sugar and spices. However, this is the only dish from the dinner menu that I tested at home twice, to satisfactory results, but the one I had the most difficulty with the night of the dinner. I’ll save you the string of disasters, but it ended with one of our crew members making a mad dash to Brooklyn two hours before service to borrow an ice cream maker from a dear friend, Winnie.

Thanks to her, the venerable Mr. Liu, and everyone else on the kitchen team, this ice cream turned out being the food I heard the most compliments on, and requests for its recipe. One diner wrote in a thank-you note that she she felt “a little violated by the juxtaposition” (I’m assuming that pertains to curry in ice cream), but that it was “super delicious” and “badass” with a double underline. An unusual compliment for an unusual ice cream flavor, I suppose.

So to violate even more people, here’s how to make it.

Curry Carrot Ice Cream
(makes about 1 quart)

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup packed finely shredded carrots
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Indian or Japanese curry powder
squirt of lemon or lime

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks and brown sugar until fluffy and the lighter in color. Set aside.

Combine the milk, cream, coconut milk, carrots and curry powder in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to very low. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. (Do not let boil.)

While beating the egg yolk mixture, pour in a small spoonful of the hot milk mixture and continue to beat. Repeat process with a larger spoonful, while beating, then repeat again, and again. (This will temper the eggs, so that they don’t cook lumpy.) Next, scoop all the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture. Return heat to medium-low. Cook about 8-10 minutes longer, stirring frequently with a spatula to scrape all corners of the bottom of the pot. Do not let boil. The custard should be just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but have no lumps.

Let custard cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and completely chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. Follow your machine’s instructions for churning length. Add the squirt of lemon or lime juice in the last minute of the churning process. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours to “ripen.”

Cost Calculator
(for 1 quart)

1 cup milk: $0.65
1 cup heavy cream: $1.50
1 cup coconut milk: $0.80
4 egg yolks (at $4/dozen): $0.50
1/2 cup shredded carrots (at $3/big bag): $0.20
3/4 cup brown sugar: $0.40
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder: $0.50
squeeze of lime: $0.10

Total: $3.85

Health Factor

Eight brownie points: I’m considering omitting the Health Factor rating from all ice cream recipes from here on. It’s too unsettling. Anyone who’s serious about ice cream would no doubt balk at any attempt to “lighten up” the dessert, or at least demand it be called something else, as real ice cream has a rich, custardy base to give it its quintessential texture and, well, richness. The addition of coconut milk in this one is no saving grace either; it’s naturally high in saturated fat, one of the “bad fats” along with cream and eggs, too (though there are many claims to its various benefits).

Green Factor

Six maple leaves: We bought all our dairy for this dish from Ronnybrook, the Hudson Valley dairy farm ubiquitous at the Greenmarkets, and our eggs from Queens County Farm Museum. That’s pretty much the bulk of this batter, aside from all that coconut milk, which was shipped in from somewhere tropical to the shelves of grocery stores in Chinatown.

27 Responses

  1. Joy

    Awesome! I was just wondering what to do with the carrots I got from my Boston Organics delivery (other than carrot cake and carrot cake ice cream), and I think this is the winner!

  2. dawn

    I would love to try that!

  3. Kerstin

    How unique – I would love to try it too!

  4. Nora

    Thank you thank you thank you for posting this! This was one of my very faves from the dinner. Can’t wait to make it (who am I kidding? Make Mayur make it for me.)

  5. Katerina

    I have often that the green curry ice cream would be fabulous!

  6. serena

    this is now added to my ice cream making list! that cookbook has been on my wishlist too! i remember standing in the midtown store copying down recipes into my notebook… do you recommend the purchase?

  7. Gabrielaskitchen

    Love it! On my summer to do list. I’m the kind of girl who relishes Lavander or Saffron or Basil flavored gelatto. Yum!

  8. Morta Di Fame

    This looks amazing. I need a ice cream maker!

  9. Johnna Knows Good Food

    Makes me want to get an ice cream maker…

  10. […] the recipe for the Curry Carrot Ice Cream courtesy of Cathy Erway’s awesome blog, Not Eating Out in New York. Curry Carrot Ice Cream(makes about 1 […]

  11. diane

    interesting…i’d love to try it!

  12. […] Carrot curry ice cream […]

  13. […] cream, one cup of whole milk, one cup of coconut milk, carrots, egg yolks, brown sugar and spices. (Source | […]

  14. […] possui creme, leite integral, leite de coco, gemas de ovos, açúcar mascavo e … cenouras. (Fonte | […]

  15. Figaro

    Saturated fat is BAD?

    Then why is it that our ancestors in the US 100 years ago–who ate large amounts of whole milk, butter, eggs, lard, cheese, and fatty meat–had virtually NO atherosclerosis…

    …while we fat-fraidy consumers of margarine, hydrogenated fats, rapeseed oil, cottonseed oil, etc., have it in epidemic amounts?

    The real killer is low fiber, high sugar (including grains) diets with a sedentary lifestyle.

    As for me, I’ll gorge on ice cream any day…whether I’m just playing first violin, or out splitting firewood!

  16. Bill

    Sounds great – I made a cinnamon ice cream recently which was a hit. The thing that threw me in you recipe was I looked at the whole article, read the ingredients, and then as I read the directions I came upon “Add the chopped nuts in the last minute of the churning process.” What chopped nuts? They sound like a great addition but nowhere are they mentioned. I would guess pecans or walnuts might go great.

    Thanks for your great recipe.


  17. […] flavor, with some adaptation (if it seems necessary, for instance, to amp up the egg or cream if carrots are steeped in it, which will lend liquid, or to lessen it if something like peanut butter is going […]

  18. […] Inghetata cu morcovi si curry. Ciudat … o reteta aici. […]

  19. […] Not Eating Out in New York has a recipe for Carrot Curry Ice Cream. Care for an Asian spin on your favorite summertime […]

  20. […] found a recipe for Curry Carrot Ice Cream at the blog  Not Eating Out in NY .    That recipe is from a book called Asian Ice Cream for You and Your Kids by Aaron Liu.   […]

  21. this site

    this site…

    […]Curry Carrot Ice Cream » Not Eating Out in New York[…]…

  22. […] Curry Carrot Ice Cream […]

  23. NYC Fitness Events

    Curry Carrot Ice Cream is not for me.However i do love Carrot Ice cream I make it in my Vitamix.

  24. […] Photo courtesy of […]

  25. Dan

    At work we occasionally have a themed potluck where everyone must use a specific ingredient (like Iron Chef). I made this ice cream for our Curry potluck and it took 1st place. Thanks for the really interesting recipe!

  26. Arron Liu

    I just surfing around on internet and found your article, it’s so interesting to see you have caught an idea and developed a new recipe of ice cream. I love your idea so much. By the way, thank you very much for reading my book and my story, I am still working as ice cream and dessert chef in Hong Kong. Would like to keep in touch with you! thanks again.

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