City Food – Homemade Mango Ice Cream, Gharib Nawaz Guest House
A chilling cordiality.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
This is one of the most sublimely authentic ice creams to be had in Delhi.
The unnamed stall at the entrance of Gharib Nawaz Guest House in the Walled City’s Matia Mahal bazaar sells homemade mango ice cream in summer as well as in winter. (Vanilla ice cream is also available.) Since the mango season is short, the fruit is obtained the rest of the year from cold storages.
Muhammed Zahir prepares his specialty every morning at his house in Gali Sirkiwallan. “I slice the mangoes and mix them with boiling milk, cream, raisins and sugar,” he says, “and then I churn the combination in an old ice cream machine.”
The finished product is brought to the stall in a metal container, which is covered with a wet red cloth. The stall is also patronized for Mr Zahir’s shahi tukda, deep-fried slices of white bread soaked in sugar syrup, drenched with thickened cream and embellished with pistachio nuts. But in the hot months of April, May and June, the fastest moving dish is the mango ice cream.
The pale-yellow scoop, priced at Rs 25, is very sugary and very creamy. Fortunately, these characteristics are lost under the tarty-sweet flavour of the dish’s signature ingredient. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that the homemade ice cream tastes of frozen mango nectar. With no artificial flavorings, the cold sphere seems to be composed of a time when life was less mechanical, and more natural. It gives a pleasure vastly superior to the barren satisfaction borne out of industrially-manufactured sub-zero desserts.
Where Gharib Nawaz Gues House, Matia Mahal Bazaar, Near Jama Masjid Time 2 pm 1 am Nearest Metro Station Chawri Bazaar
Made by hands