Lychee and toasted coconut frozen yoghurt with rose and cardamom

23 Apr

Lychee and toasted coconut frozen yoghurt with rose and cardamom

Lychee and toasted coconut frozen yoghurt with rose and cardamom


The lychee is a ‘happy fruit’ don’t you think? I mean one associated with luscious and smiling memories. Not like the banana.

When I worked in the city I harried to work much earlier (than my husband) in the morning, dashing to the train station under pressure and I returned much later than my husband, carrying the smells of the underground and compressed with the worries of the day. Each morning I would wake early to cook dinner, so that I could go to the gym after work. I would chop fast, scoop spices pensively and go through presentations in my mind whilst doing so. In my husband’s own way, he would help by popping some nuts, apricots and a banana into my bag. Maybe a packet of crisps. All the way to work I would smell that banana and I imagined it bruising and softening. I would eat it as I trawled through emails and often I had a bit of a lump in my throat. I don’t eat bananas so much now.

All the other kid’s loved thepla when I was growing up. Spicy, fenugreek chapatti that are well oiled for extra softness and my mother willed me to love them as they are convenient; they contain some nutritious fenugreek and are easy to transport. They are perfect for picnics, keep well for a couple of days and make for great packed lunches. I just didn’t take to them. I had eaten them once at my dad’s barbers shop with my brother. We sat waiting, legs swinging and bashing against peeling black, faux-leather chairs and pulling thepla out of my pink, ‘My Little Pony’ lunchbox.  We had been waiting so long for my dad’s turn and I was sure that it felt lengthier because the wide-jawed and white mopped fellow talked at length with each of his customers about their line of business, how life was much better when they lived in Africa and the price of petrol. I looked up and around the orange walls at the black and white pictures of Indian cars, Ganesh (the elephant headed God who would of course bestow prosperity to this shop), and sunny Indian plains.  I think I could taste hair in my thepla. It’s what put me off for many years. Until I was pregnant that is. From my second trimester onwards I ate thepla, yogurt and pickle for breakfast every single day.

Fresh coconut takes a long time to chew doesn’t it? It’s the fruit of religious festivities isn’t it? Please let’s not get into whether it’s a fruit or something else. When large, stainless steel bowls in the temple were used to offer coconut and nuts, I would always go for the coconut. That burst of juicy, fleshy coconut then lingered for ages and gave me a light ache on the side of my head but it was something to do whilst being jostled about by hordes of worshippers waiting in line to behold the idols of the Gods being celebrated that day, or the Prasad (blessed food offering) that day.  I grew more aggravated as I grew older. I whined to my mother about why we couldn’t just go home and eat and why people didn’t just queue in an on orderly fashion, why must they push and shove. Apparently Prasad tastes infinitely better than food cooked at home and not everyone knew what a queue is. Nonetheless, coconut IS the fruit of celebration. It formed a thick layer of freshness on my 30th birthday cake, in Mauritius. A layer of fresh cocoa, locally sourced coconut and light airy sponge made for memories that will glisten in the warm waters of my mind forever.

Of course I have been telling you about how I am taking better care of my body these days. This frozen yoghurt recipe is of course made from low fat yoghurt and it contains no sugar. I have used agave nectar to sweeten the yoghurt and it fits better with my low GI eating. Win-win.

Lychee and toasted coconut frozen yoghurt with rose and cardamom


750g plain natural yoghurt

2 tbsp. rose water

¾ tsp. ground cardamom

3/4 cup of desiccated coconut

125ml agave nectar

200g lychees (tinned is fine, as long as you drain the liquid)


  1. Blitz the lychees until they are pulpy.
  2. Mix the lychees together with the rose water and cardamom
  3. Pour the yoghurt into the lychee mixture and then turn it into your ice cream maker. Churn the yoghurt until it reaches a creamy and smooth texture.
  4. If you do not have an ice cream maker then place the yoghurt into a plastic container and allow it to freeze. Once ice crystals appear, beat the yoghurt with a fork to remove the ice granules and freeze it again. You may have to repeat this couple of times.
  5. Whilst the yoghurt is churning or before you’ve beaten it, you will need to add the toasted coconut. To toast the coconut, use a non-stick pan. Heat the pan and then sprinkle in the coconut and toast it gently and stir intermittently. Allow it to catch a sunny and golden colour.
  6. Once the coconut has cooled and whilst the yoghurt is thick but not quite ready, add it to the ice-cream machine. If you do not have an ice cream maker then add the coconut when you are beating out the ice granules.


36 Responses to “Lychee and toasted coconut frozen yoghurt with rose and cardamom”

  1. Deb April 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    Oh my! Rose water and lychees, what a marvelous pairing! Adore the low fat but but with maximum flavor!

    • Deena Kakaya April 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      Lovely Deb, thank you! Yoghurt does leave a little tang but I think that it works well with the coconut in this. No sugar in is one, woohoo! X

  2. Katie @ Whole Nourishment April 23, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    Love the tang yogurt gives to frozen treats and of course love the combination of cardamon, rose water, and coconut!!

    • Deena Kakaya April 23, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      Oh you like the tang Katie? I do too, but sometimes I know that it puts some people off. It’s a sexy flavour combination don’t you think? X

  3. Kate Veggie Desserts April 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Deena, your flavour combinations are always so mouthwateringly amazing!

    • Deena Kakaya April 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      Kate I’m very flattered that you think so, especially as I love your unusual and clever creations x

  4. Sophie33 April 23, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    Ooh Waw, What a lovely special frozen yoghurt ice-cream, Yum Yum yummmm.

  5. kellie@foodtoglow April 24, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    Great simple recipe and lovely story. I had a wee chuckle about your banana in the bag quip. I feel the same! You can almost hearing them bruising in transit 😉

    • Deena Kakaya April 24, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      Glad you like it Kellie!

    • Deena Kakaya April 24, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      Glad you like it Kellie, have to admit, even the smell of a ripe banana gets me feeling queasy now xx

  6. themuffinmyth April 24, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Yum! This recipe is making me miss my ice cream maker. I had one in Canada, but in Sweden our freezer is too small to fit the bowl. One of these days I’m going to buy a deep freezer and then get the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid. Bookmarking this recipe for down the road!

    • Deena Kakaya April 24, 2014 at 11:55 am #

      Glad you like it Katie! I’ve been wondering lately about what motivated your move from Canada to Sweden, apologies if its on a post that I’ve missed. Here’s to that deep feeder & frozen treats x

      • themuffinmyth April 25, 2014 at 5:16 am #

        Ah, it’s a pretty simple story. The husband was headhunted for a job here, and being that we were married, I had to move too 😉 We actually almost ended up in Aberdeen, but Stockholm seemed like a better choice, and although it has not been without challenges (new language, much more difficult for me to find work here, etc) we are very settled and happy in Sweden for the time being.

  7. Joanne April 24, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    This ice cream has so many lovely floral and tropical flavors in it!

  8. Chantal April 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Hi Deena, this a wonderful recipe.
    I like the delicatesse of the lychees and the combination with cardamom must add lot of flavors.
    I really like it.

    • Deena Kakaya April 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Hi Chantal, It is lovely to hear from and also wonderful to learn that you like this recipe. You are right, the rose and cardamom are wonderful background flavours

  9. Johanna GGG April 25, 2014 at 1:28 am #

    that sounds like a really refreshing frozen yoghurt – and I love your stories of wishing for proper queues – makes me laugh because you are now in the UK (yes?) where everyone loves an orderly queue

    • Deena Kakaya April 25, 2014 at 7:56 am #

      Thanks Johanna, I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe and story.

      I was born and raised in Leicester, so I have always been in the UK, but back in the order, where large religious events were in question order was harder to maintain! Of course it’s all different now x

  10. EA-The Spicy RD April 25, 2014 at 4:38 am #

    This sounds so light and refreshing and i love the addition of rose water and cardamom! Lovely memories too 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya April 25, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      Thank you my spicy friend! It certainly is an exotic quencher x

  11. Poppy April 26, 2014 at 3:34 am #

    Lychee and toasted coconut sounds so dreamy!!

  12. Cheesy Biscuit April 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Oh my goodness. Lychees are one of, if not my most, favourite fruit. This sounds divine!

  13. mjskit April 28, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    I can honestly say that this is the most unique frozen yogurt I’ve ever seen. A bite of this is truly a party in the mouth. Thanks for sharing such a creative and delicious treat!

    • Deena Kakaya April 28, 2014 at 6:54 am #

      Love that description, thank you so much! X

  14. thejameskitchen April 28, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Hi Deena, this sounds lovely. I adore rosewater and have a ton of toasted coconut in the larder. This is perfect. N xx

    • Deena Kakaya April 28, 2014 at 11:20 am #

      So glad that you like it! Hope you enjoy it x

  15. Tina @ The Spicy Pear May 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    i bet the toasted coconut and cardamom enhanced the lychee and rose flavours in this ice-cream, giving it warmth and nuttiness.

    • Deena Kakaya May 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Hi Tina, yes they did..the smell is gorgeous x


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