City Food – Fresh Fruit ‘Roller’ Ice-Cream, Mathura Road
Too much natural.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
A moderate crowd of idle pedestrians have gathered about the cart. Their faces are full of wonder. This so-called ice-cream is looking so different from the factory-manufactured nutty-buddy and chocolate-chip. Oblivious to the distraction they are causing on the roadside, the two young vendors are busily slicing apples, papayas, pineapples and bananas. Like in a TV cookery show, they are making their fruit ice-cream step-by-step in full view, which is smelling so fresh, so natural. As if it were not the fruit but the ice-cream itself that must had been growing on the tree.
Resigned to the hot, humid evening, brothers Hameed and Aamir are wordlessly operating their “roller machine”, here on Delhi’s Mathura Road. “This is roller ice-cream,” replies Hameed. Both the men are so involved in the production that they aren’t at all registering the curious onlookers around them.
The machine works logically, says Hameed after much cajoling as if he weren’t wishing to part with a trade secret. The long cylindrical roller is packed with milk-coated crushed ice. Hameed now slowly pours mango smoothie from a small tea kettle. His other hand is constantly spinning the roller’s handle. The smoothie instantly freezes on the rotating ice, which turns mango-yellow in no time. On his part, Aamir is holding a plate of chopped fruit right under the roller. The pieces cling to the creamy ice. When a customer turns up, a layer is scraped from the roller with a knife and served in a disposable bowl. The very first bite wildly invigorates the senses. The soft fruit chunks implode in the mouth, spilling out all their cold secrets within a moment. It’s thrilling.
Sadly, such a delicious delicacy, is so rarely sighted. Equally frustrating are these hard-to-spot brothers. Though they move about with their roller machine only in Bhogal and Ashram areas, they say they have no fixed hours for specific locations. This elusiveness makes their ice-cream even more desirable. Happy sighting.
Emperors of fresh ice-cream