Coconut-Curry Ice Cream with Honey-Salted Cashews

Bring out the streamers, float the balloons, and sport your best party hats because it’s birthday time! I know, I already told you about my birthday, but this time it’s not about me. You see, April is a big birthday month in our family. Big as in me, my two sisters, my brother, my uncle, and my cousin are all born this month. Not to mention a slew of close friends who might as well be family.

We’re all at the age where we don’t care to admit our age but wouldn’t mind a chance to celebrate. As such, I decided to make an adult ice cream that would be fitting while still festive. And I’m hooked on it — which is ironic because I don’t really consider myself an ice cream person. But this coconut-curry ice cream is its own animal — it has a sweet coconut flavor, the curry gives it a spicy kick, and the salted, roasted cashews make it reminiscent of a salted lassi.

Aida Mollenkamp Coconut-Curry Ice Cream Recipe

Coconut-Curry Ice Cream with Honey-Salted Cashews Recipe

  • Makes: 5 cups ice cream (8 to 10 servings)//About 2 cups topping
  • Total Time: 50 minutes plus time to chills and freeze ice cream
  • Hands-On Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
  • For the ice cream:
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, sliced into 6 coins
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the cashews:
  • 1 cup shelled raw (unsalted and unroasted) cashews
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Pinch of salt


  • For the coconut:

Place coconut in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Toast, turning frequently, until fragrant and golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

  • For the ice cream:

Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water (or frozen ice packs) and set aside. Combine everything except egg yolks and vanilla in a medium saucepan and whisk until evenly combined. Place mixture over medium-high heat, whisking regularly, until it just boils and the sugar is dissolved.

Meanwhile, whisk the yolks in a medium bowl until they are smooth and evenly combined. When the coconut milk is ready, slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk mixture into the yolks until well combined. Add the yolk mixture to the pan, add in the coconut, and cook the custard over medium heat until it just coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute more.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and pour mixture into a medium glass or metal bowl. Nest the medium bowl in the ice water bath and stir every few minutes until mixture is cold, at least 20 minutes. (If the ice bath gets warm, pour out water and add more ice as needed to keep it cold.) Strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the coconut and ginger. Process the custard base in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer ice cream to a shallow 2-quart container (preferably glass or metal), cover, and freezer until thoroughly frozen, at least 2 hours. Meanwhile, make the topping.

  • For the cashews:

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Combine the nuts with honey and a pinch of salt and mix until well coated. Spread a thin layer of canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil on a rimmed baking sheet then spread cashews in a single layer and roast, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic, about 10 to 15 minutes total

Remove from oven, immediately toss with remaining 1 cup of toasted coconut, and set aside to cool completely.

Serve the ice cream with a sprinkling of the cashew-coconut mixture and enjoy!

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