The Sweet of My Dreams
Until I dreamed the idea of a Kulfi-Gelato, I hadn’t realized how present both sweets had been throughout my life. Like all concoctions we have conjured at Tikka Hut, the Kulfi-Gelatos are a fusion of my Indian-East African-Islamic past and my passion for authentic Mexican cuisine.
My mouth waters at the six refreshing flavors I enjoy at Tikka Hut, all combining my heritage with that touch of Mexicano and a pinch of Middle Eastern.
The first time I tasted Dulce de Leche was at a Cuban restaurant in Miami. It reminded me of the caramel flan pudding my Mum spoiled us with on special occasions.
Our Dulce de Leche Gelato blends the original base for Kulfi – the rich and creamy milk-based indian ice-cream infused with cardamom and saffron with the natural sweetness of slowly melted caramel. We let this beauty cool and serve her to you from the gelato ice cream machine instead of a freezer.
Kulfi, the dessert of my boyhood in East Africa crowned every Friday evening family BBQ after mosque and every Sunday afternoon after playing with my friends. I can’t recall what I loved most about the flavor of this odd-looking delight – dense with funny colors topped with pistachios – a favourite of the Shah’s of Iran.
It was more a feeling of royalty that massaged my senses, like I was the king of my palace deserving of being served the most decadent treat in the land made especially for me, knowing in that moment no one merited this indulgence more.
At an early point in my career I worked the kitchen in a 5-star hotel in Kenya. That was my first experience with vanilla bean, in Creme Brule. I was dumbfounded. This luxurious intensity of fresh vanilla bean is reflected in our Mexican Vanilla Gelato.
Born of the vanilla bean cultivated in Mexico, the original birthplace of the vanilla plant, this treat is a creamy, sweet and spicy tribute to its country of origin and to Mexico’s global cultural and culinary influence, especially on me.
The Guava Gelato reminds me of my youth and the two most significant influences in my life – my mother and food. She took me on several of her trips to India and on each one we roamed hand-in-hand on the streets of Delhi interacting with the myriads of street vendors, devouring dahi puri, then jalebi with masala chai. No food tastes the same. Every vendor infuses a part of his hometown into his street-food recipes making each stall a unique wonder, causing me the experience of an insatiable desire for more and more.
Guava, a fruit in ample variety and abundance in India and known for its health benefits, was our snack of choice for digestion between street stalls.
My favourite part of fatherhood in the USA has been reliving the memories of my childhood with my own children through food. Alberqerque is where I have transported the memories of travelling with Mum and the memories of my tropical Swahili Coast past.
The freshly cut and served tropical Indian Ocean staples of passion fruit, mango and pineapple – bringing to life the fresh fruit open markets of Mombasa have been converted into sweet and spiced Gelatos. They are dedicated to my children.
My son introduced me to gelato when he was 4 years old. Since then we have indulged at local gelaterias enough times for the vision of fresh fruit creaminess inscribed with Indian and Mexican flavors to travel through the creativity of my culinary taste buds into reality.
Come and gelato with us at Tikka Hut as our senses sail the flavours of history and culture into the present fusion of a sweet dream.