Raita Ice Cream with Indian Pistachio Brittle

Total Time:
4 hr 35 min
20 min
Inactive Prep:
4 hr
15 min
4 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • Pinch salt
  • Ice, for chilling
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk Greek-style yogurt
  • Indian Pistachio Brittle, for serving, recipe follows
  • Special equipment: Ice-cream maker
    • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
    • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons mild honey
    • Pinch sea salt
    • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped


      Bring 1 cup of the cream and the milk to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan.

      Puree the cucumber in a blender or food processor (or juicer if available), and then strain the juice through a fine sieve until you have 3/4 cup cucumber juice.

      Combine the sugar, cilantro and mint in a food processor and process until the herbs are finely ground.

      Whisk the yolks with the herb sugar in a heatproof bowl until combined. Gradually whisk in the hot cream mixture until blended, tempering the egg yolks. Return the mixture to the saucepan and add the salt. Stir over medium-low heat (do not boil) until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 170 degrees F, about 3 minutes.

      Pour the custard through a strainer into a medium bowl set over a slightly larger bowl filled halfway with equal parts ice and cold water.

      Stir the mixture until the custard is cool to the touch, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the ice water and whisk in the cucumber juice and yogurt. Refrigerate until well chilled, and then transfer to the ice-cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Cover and freeze in a freezer container until firm. Serve with the Indian Pistachio Brittle.

      For Indian Pistachio Brittle:
      Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper.

      Toast the coriander, cumin and fennel seed in a small heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring until fragrant, about 4 minutes, and then transfer to a plate.

      Heat the sugar, honey and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pistachios and spices and remove from the heat. Pour the mixture onto the parchment, smoothing the top and spreading thinly with a metal offset spatula, and let cool to room temperature.

      Break the brittle into pieces using the bottom of a small heavy saucepan, and then crush into coarse bits. Transfer to an airtight container.


      The ice cream can be made up to 3 days before serving.