Secret Recipe Club: Curry Ice Cream with Mango and Pistachio

I know, I know.

You’re probably wondering if I’ve finally lost my mind in a fit of post-wedding insanity. I mean, curry ice cream sounds about as appealing as sardines with chocolate sauce, right? Nevertheless, I assure you that I am totally in possession of my faculties.

Mango, Pistachio and Curry Ice Cream

I had pretty much the same reaction when I first spotted this recipe on Cheap Ethnic Eatz as I was browsing around for a recipe to recreate for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.  But the more I thought about it, the more my thoughts started to shift from ewwww to hmmmm.

So, after some deliberation, I decided I needed to make this ice cream for three reasons.

Firstly, my blogger for this month, Evelyne, happens to be from Montreal… and everyone knows that people from Montreal are super-cool and have awesome taste in food. (The fact that I’m originally from Montreal as well doesn’t make me biased in any way whatsoever. Pinky swear. I mean, aren’t I super-cool and endowed with awesome taste in food?)  So, if she says curry ice cream is delicious, then it must be true.

Mango, Pistachio and Curry Ice Cream

Secondly, Evelyne explains in her post that the recipe was partially inspired by a spicy curry raisin ice cream from her favourite ice cream shop in Montreal, Meu Meu… which, as it happens, is also one of my favourite ice cream shops and a frequent pit stop during summertime visits to my hometown. And I’ve never, ever, ever had a bad flavour there. Ever.

Which brings me to my third reason, which is that there’s no such thing as bad ice cream. No matter what kind of wacky nonsense you try, it’s pretty much guaranteed to always turn out at least somewhat edible. (Except maybe for sardine ice cream with chocolate sauce. That’s just gross.)

Mango, Pistachio and Curry Ice Cream

And so I took the plunge.  I tweaked Evelyne’s recipe a little bit to suit my tastes, though the version you see below isn’t very different from the original –  I cut back ever-so-slightly on the amount of curry and added a little ground ginger to the mix for a little kick, and also added a dab of dark rum, since I find a small dose of alcohol helps keep homemade ice cream nice and scoopable, even after a few days/weeks in the freezer (particularly in eggless recipes like this one).  Finally, on a whim, I decided to add some chopped pistachios right at the end, since Evelyne mentioned she had actually planned for this recipe to be a pistachio ice cream at first.

That first spoonful of ice cream, scooped straight for the ice cream maker bowl, blew away what few doubts remained in my mind.

Mango, Pistachio and Curry Ice Cream

I won’t lie.  The dominant flavour is unmistakeably curry, but it’s kept firmly rooted in dessert territory by the sweet cream base and the chunks of candied mango, and by the subtle background notes of ginger, cinnamon and cardamom that I normally associate with Indian sweets.

It’s exotic and sweet and subtly spicy, and interesting enough to keep my tastebuds dancing right through to the bottom of the bowl. In other words, Indian take-out curry this ain’t.

The moral of the story?  Sometimes it’s worth taking chances on a weird pairing. especially if you might potentially get some awesome homemade ice cream out of the bargain. And Montrealers really do have super-awesome taste in food.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Curry Ice Cream with Mango and Pistachio
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Curry ice cream might sound a little strange, but the sweet cream base and chunks of candied mango keep this ice cream firmly anchored in dessert territory. Indian take-out this ain't!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup dried mango, cut into small dice
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamon
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
  • ½ cup chopped pistachios
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine dried mangoes and boiling water. Set aside to rehydrate for about 30 minutes, or until the mango pieces are soft and plump. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine milk, sugar, curry, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, salt and cayenne. Heat until wisps of steam start to rise from the surface of the milk, then remove from heat and let stand to cool off and allow the flavours to blend.
  3. Once the mangoes are rehydrated and the milk is cooled to room temperature, set up your ice cream maker as per the manufacturer's directions. Stir the cream and rum into the cooled spice milk, then pour the mixture into the bowl of your ice cream maker.
  4. Prepare as per the manufacturer's directions for your machine, adding in the rehydrated mangoes and chopped pistachios once the mixture is almost completely frozen (it should be roughly the texture of a very thick milkshake).
  5. Transfer the finished ice cream to a freezer-safe container and chill for 2-3 hours to allow the ice cream to harden to a scoopable texture.



  1. says

    I admit – I did a double take when I read the title of this post but you quickly persuaded me that this is all kinds of delicious amazingness! I’m all for trying funky and different dessert flavours so I’m glad you tried this and loved it! There’s a gelato place in Vancouver that’s famous for having a bazillion weirdo flavours. My best friend tried their porcini mushroom ice cream and said it was one of the most vile things she’s ever tasted. That would be up there with sardine ice cream for disgusting ice cream flavours ;)

  2. says

    I have never heard of that, but my girls just went to an ice cream place in Portland, Or and they served some very interesting flavors. Great job in choosing something so unique

  3. says

    Oh my gosh, this looks and sounds amazing! I have two mangoes in the fridge just waiting to be used up too. I need to buy an ice cream maker so I can make this and the delicious Banana-Nutella ice cream recipe you have posted (I was seriously eyeing that one for my pick this month).

  4. says

    VERY interesting! I probably would not jump onto this one just because I tend to eat the same flavors of ice cream over and over. lol

    BUT I absolutely AGREE with you on trying new flavor combos you may not think you would like. It’s a topic we address in our eCookbook for picky eaters … about trying new things with your kids, and the same new thing more than once (important with kids!)! We have found ourselves surprised at many things that we or our kids tried that we didn’t think would be liked. And you just can’t know for sure how certain flavors will meld until you actually try it… so GOOD FOR YOU!

    Who knows…. the next time I’m in the mood for a new ice cream flavor, I may have to come back and revisit this one. I do like curry!

  5. says

    I am SO impressed by this recipe! I know if I’d had her blog, I would likely have chosen it as well since it sounds so interesting and unique. I really want to make this! I need to see what curry in ice cream tastes like. Love the addition of pistachios as well. This sounds amazingly creative!

  6. says

    Isabelle, such an awesome choice by my fellow super-cool Montrealer! My mission is to make people try food they never would so I am thrilled. And I am so happy you liked it. Nice changes. So next time you are in town let me know and well go to MeuMeu?

  7. says

    This ice cream sounds amazing! I love the add ins of pistachios and candied mango, and the curry flavor sounds great! Love this. :)

  8. says

    You are brave! I love curry, but am having a hard time imagining it in a sweet application like this. Glad your risk paid off. If I had an ice cream maker I would definitely have to make this out of curiosity, although I totally believe you when you say it was delicious. Great choice, Isabelle.

  9. says

    One more reason why I need an Ice Cream maker – this dessert sounds so interesting I have to give it a whirl! Will also have to remember your rum tip for the future.

  10. says

    Well done on taking that chance as I think I would have run the other way. Love the addition of mango though! Looks beautiful! :)

  11. says

    I don’t think you’re crazy because I’ve made curry ice cream myself and know how fantastic it is. I’m going to have to try it again, this time with the other spices you added in. Just thinking about it makes me hungry.

  12. says

    Definitely a flavor I would have never thought of–but you’re right–ice cream is always good—except maybe sardines with chocolate sauce, I agree with you there.

  13. says

    You had me at ‘curry!’ No, seriously, my son just asked if we could put curry in a dessert and I was drawing a blank. It’s it favorite spice. Now I might just have to make this this week. Have you ever tried the curry bar from Theo Chocolate? Genuis…and amazingly delicious.

Crumb Divider