I have never been much of an ice cream fan. The only memory I have of enjoying this frozen treat as a child was on trips up north to the Pakistani hill resort, Murree. Growing in the south where we had eternal summer, northern winter trips were always relished. A flight to the capital Islamabad and a bumpy ride up to Murree has fond memories for me. Watching tourists collect melted glacier water from rocks, stopped for hot coal roasted corn and cardamom doothpati (milky cooked tea) by the roadside, was part of the excitement. When we would finally get to the hill station of Murree, we would feel particular blessed if the town had just received a fresh snowfall. As we would always stop for lunch at the famous nearby restaurant, I remember well that the only thing I would look forward to was dessert. Ice cold, crystallised kulfi – there is something very forbidden about eating ice cream in the snow. Mostly told off and told not to eat cold things when it freezing, would all pass through my head – but here I was, indulging in a forbidden pleasure with no one to stop me. For a child of 12, this was indeed enough of a reason to love ice cream for those ten minutes it lasted.

Far removed from any kulfi I grew with is this recipe. Very rarely, I have a craving for a cold treat – and this is my go to ice cream. Frozen bananas magically blend into a smooth velvety cream consistency to create this – a little indulgence on cold days.

Vegan cardamom, almond butter and banana kulfi

Serves: 3-4 people

Prep and cooking time: 10 minutes plus freezing

4 ripe bananas, peeled, chopped and frozen

2-3 tbsp almond milk

¼ - ½ tsp ground cardamom seeds

1 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp grated dark chocolate

1 tbsp pistachios, chopped

Add chopped frozen bananas, almond milk and ground cardamom in a blender and blend until smooth. Add almond butter and blend again, until combined.

Scoop mixture into a tub and freeze until set. To serve, scoop out ice cream into a serving bowl and sprinkle with grated chocolate and chopped pistachios.