I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream and … kulfi? Yes. At least that’s the goal of Dhanraj and Dhaval Patel, brothers-in-law and co-owners of Mobile’s first traditional Indian ice cream parlor. There’s nothing vanilla about this sweet spot located on Government Street in the Skyland Shopping Center (although vanilla is on the menu). Everything from the decor to the tubs of frozen cream is a jewel-toned smorgasbord for the eyes. As for the palate, nothing compares to the rich, natural flavors that await.
If the idea of trying to choose between exotic scoops feels intimidating, don’t fret. Dhaval’s wife, Gayatri Patel, and niece, Jhanvi Joshi, are eager to take you on a tour de flavor — many of the tasty stops are flavors you’ve probably had before.
“The salted caramel is our best seller,” Gayatri says while excitedly handing out mini taste-testing spoons and explaining that all of the options are eggless. Butter pecan is a close runner-up and is just the tip of the ice(cream)berg when it comes to the parlor’s more “traditional” Western flavors, which also includes mint chocolate chip, coffee bean, strawberry and the ever-so-indulgent Ferrero Rocher. These familiar flavors are accentuated with an excitingly unfamiliar dense, creamy texture.
Back to the kulfi for which we will all be screaming. What is it, and how does it differ from ice cream? Both concoctions begin with a base of milk and sugar. But for kulfi, pronounced “kool-fee,” the milk mixture is cooked down to about a third of its original volume, leaving a thickened sweet cream. Instead of being whipped and aerated as done with ice cream, kulfi is taken directly from the stove, poured into molds and frozen slowly, reducing the formation of ice crystals. The result: a smooth, velvety bite in every spoonful.
Shakes, sundaes and decorated kulfi cakes are also available, as is a myriad of ready-to-go ice cream in pints and quarts, some flavors of which are hard to find, like Sitafel, made with sugar-apples grown in India.
Sample aplenty, making sure not to skip the rose petals, paan masala and thandi. Then enjoy a cone topped with your new favorite ice cream while planning your inevitable return.
On the Menu
This treat, often associated with festivals, is a textured mix of almonds, fennel seeds, watermelon kernels, rose petals, pepper, poppy seeds, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar.
2. Kulfi Falooda
A luscious combination of rose, malai kulfi (the most basic Indian ice cream) and tukmaria (basil seeds).
3. Lychee Tropee
Perfect proportions of sweet cream, lychee pulp and lychee juice result in an enticingly sweet yet tart ice cream.
4. Paan Masala
A delightful blend of betel leaves (a type of palm), fennel seeds, rose petals, tropical fruit and cardamom. (It’s a great after-dinner breath-fresher.)
5. Alphonso King Mango
Known as the king of mangoes, the Alphonso mango, with its sweet and non-fibrous flesh, is blended to tropical, golden yellow perfection.
6. Rose Petals
Indulge in this floral ice cream made with Gulkand, a sugary sweet rose petal preserve.
7. Kesar Pistachio
This light and nutty-flavored ice cream is made with the ancient, earthy-tasting spice kesar (also known as saffron) and finely ground pistachios.
Kwality Ice Cream • 3990 Government Blvd., Unit A. 219-6694 kwalityfoods.com
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. T – Sa; Noon – 9 p.m. Su; closed Mondays