Aug 3, 2011

Buckwheat Ice Cream

When life gives you buckwheat, make ice cream out of it. Or something like that.

This post is a part of the Free Spirit Blogger series and the theme this month was selected by Lata Raja of Flavors and Tastes. She came up with this ingenious idea of having all us participants pick a number without knowing what ingredient was assigned to it and whatever we pick, we had to make a dessert with that ingredient. And mine turned out to be Buckwheat. Really of all ingredients, that is what I go pick! But, after I tasted what I made below, I’m glad I picked this. Thank you Lata!

The recipe is directly adapted from the Ice cream guru David Lebovitz recipe and this was recently also published in our local LA Times. I did not even have to look further. I made very small modifications to the recipe like using low fat milk instead of whole milk and using regular honey instead of buckwheat honey. If mine can taste good, I can only imagine how creamy the original recipe will taste. Anyways, my hips don’t miss the extra calories and my mouth and soul still remain satisfied. Mission accomplished.

Here’s the original recipe for Buckwheat Ice Cream from David Lebovitz.

So I picked up Buckwheat groats from my local Whole Foods store – you can either buy them pre-packaged or also in bulk and get just as much as you need.

Dry roast the buckwheat in a heavy saucepan in low-medium heat stirring continuously so as not to burn them. Roast until they turn a shade brown and you smell a nice aroma wafting around. Remove from the pan and set aside on a mixing bowl.

Take about 2 tbsp and set aside in a mortar or on a rolling board to crush later and use as a mix in to the ice cream.

In the same saucepan, heat about 2 ¾ cup of milk. The recipe calls for whole milk but I used 2% low fat milk. If you want a creamier ice cream, go with the whole milk.

Heat the milk in low-medium heat and when hot, pour the milk over the roasted buckwheat kernels in the mixing bowl.

Mix well and let this sit covered for an hour so all flavors get a chance to mingle and jingle together.

After an hour, strain out all the milk from the using a muslin cloth and squeeze out as much you can from the soaked kernels. Move the milk back to the saucepan.

Add ½ cup of sugar and stir well with the milk. Reheat the milk on low-medium heat until hot.


Meanwhile, in another small mixing bowl, take about 4 egg yolks after separating out the whites. Once the milk is hot, gently pour the milk on the egg yolks a little at a time while stirring continuously to form a custard. Add all the milk and whisk together well. Now move this whole mix back to the saucepan and heat again on simmer till the custard thickens a bit.

Before you heat the egg-milk mixture, make sure you keep this ready for the next step. In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 tbsp of honey. The recipe calls for buckwheat honey – but I just added regular honey for a more earthier flavor. Mix well and set this on a ice bath. I just used a bigger mixing bowl and filled the bottom with ice cubes and set this mixing bowl inside it. This will keep the cream chilled too and will also help temper the custard when added to the cream and honey.


Once the custard has thickened, switch off the flame and immediately move the custard from the saucepan to a strainer placed on top of the cream-honey mixture. Strain the custard into the cream and then fold everything together well using a spatula.

Add the crushed toasted kernels in here and mix well. And you’re done! Well, at least the cooking part if done. Now comes the hard part –waiting for this to freeze. This is where I wish we had a magic tv kitchen…where they cook up things one min and then the next min take out the same dish prebaked or pre frozen and go voila..oh well. I’ll just have to wait.

I refrigerated the ice cream for almost a day and then put it back in my ice cream maker -yes, I finally have one and have to thanks a dear friend for buying it as a gift for me - thank you my dear - you know who you are! Add the batter and mix it up for about 20 mins. This provides the perfect ice cream texture and creaminess required. Now I too can say Voila!

This ice cream was soft though similar to a soft serve. If you want a more firm ice cream, freeze this overnight. Here's my frozen block of icecream. I tried to take pictures with the soft serve but it really wasn't pretty for the blog! So, went ahead and froze it up again and cut into little blocks. Now this is pretty. These would be perfect for a party - just poke a toothpick in each piece and everyone has their own buckwheat kulfi pieces!  

The verdict was that the hubby ate 2 cups of this and told me it tasted real good - but then after I told him it had buckwheat in it, he was like.. yuck. He could not believe that he just ate buckwheat. So, if you have someone in your house who make weird faces at weird ingredients, just don't tell them its in there. They won't know - trust me! But I do have to say that this is a low sugar sweetness ice cream. I would have liked it more sweeter but that's just me!

Serve up with some fresh fruit on the side or add a dollop of chocolate syrup on top. Chocolate makes everything only better, right?!

Check out all the other FSB blogger posts here - these are some awesome ingredients cooked up in ways you would not ever imagine. No kidding. check it out now!

Now for some exciting personal news on my side. Some of you have noticed and asked me about why my posts are so few and far apart these last couple of months. Well, the ones who asked me know it now but for all you others - here's why. With a lot of blessings and a lot of joy, I'm expecting another baby soon!!!Well actually in November. Just shuffling between work, home, my daughter, summer time, my parents in law visitng us here and of course my pregnancy, I haven't had a lot of time cooking up fun stuff and photographing for the blog. I resolve to get better this month and hopefully will stay on track with publishing many posts. There's always hope, right? And if not, I know you'll still save some love for me, won't you? 

Enjoy. Peace Out!


  1. Now thats a really innovative ice cream. Looks fab!!

    Congratulations! Take care Anu :-)

  2. Who would even IMAGINE this? It looks everything from delectable to divine and all things good in between. And yes, I agree with serving it with chocolate syrup. And, some chocolate shavings and berries. And some hot chocolate fudge...and.... oh well well... Let's just say I am in love with your ice cream!

  3. Oh and yes - Congratulations on that second baby!! I'm uber excited! Hugs and kisses!

  4. Never ever did I think Buckwheat in an icecream Anu. Super innovative this is and man, it looks so creamy that I wanted to grab couple of cubes & pop into my mouth... :D


  5. Congratulations! That explains the lesser posts.
    Amazing recipe! Topnotch! I will try it as soon as I get my hands on this buckwheat thing,never heard of it!

  6. Congrats Anu,

    I've been a big fan of your recipes and haven't commented before. Love your detailed step by step pics of the recipes you post. I can understand the effort it must take. Thank you for that:))

    Your blog is super-awesome:) Like it:))

    -Priya Subramanian

  7. wonderful and awesome demo with lovely detailed clicks and mouth watering yummmmmmmmmy icecream.
    indu srinivasan

  8. I am bowled out by this icecream :) Love the different ingredient that has gone into an icecream. Unimaginable for me :) would love to give it a try some time.

  9. awesome anu, as usual !! but wats buckwheat called in india ??? and congrats for the news :) of course we all love you and dun mind the wait between posts at all.. it is worth it !!!

  10. looks fabulous, yummy and tempting clicks....

  11. OMG! this round keeps getting more exciting. I thought buckwheat and creamy ice cream in the same scentence was an oxymoron!. Bravo!. It is so tempting given the horrible heat waves we are having around here.

  12. wow, I would have never thought of getting an ice-cream made out of buckwheat. An eye opener and it sure looks delicious :)

  13. Anu! this is insanely unique and a lovely entry for this month. hats off for packing so much into your day, really!!

    you used the ice cream maker before i did :D making space in my freezer itself is tough for me but soon :D glad to see it in action :D


  14. Thank you all!

    @ Ramya Mukund - I think Buckwheat is called Papparai or Kottu in Tamil. Kottu is rather popular. Ever used it?

  15. superlative it looks and it has buckwheat as the star- wow ! anu wishing u all the best for the bundle of joy due in nov- do take care !

  16. Wow love the stepwise and the final product looks awesome...creamy n yummy icecream, totally new to me

  17. Anu, Jus noticed the change in the name of the page too!! Great going, but definitely miss 'Mriganayani' - such a classic name!!

  18. Anu, Jus noticed the change in the name of the page too!! Great going, but definitely miss 'Mriganayani' - such a classic name!!

  19. Hey Anu, Congrats!! Could there be a better way to share the great news than with homemade BUCKWHEAT ice cream?? Kudos to ur creativity! Now thats too many things in a day!! DO take care! Hugs, Mathangi

  20. Buckwheat groats makes the ice cream taste different.

  21. woooooooooooooow I want this now...How did i miss this post... bookmarked this Anu.. will try this for sure. Looks too good.

  22. hellow madam, i wanted 2 know which icecream maker u hv.. coz i wanted one . n dont know wer 2 go 4 dat.. guide me please 4 d icecream maker.. i saw 1 from softel it looked good but its not available here in bangalore.. tanx suma dis recipe looks yummy!

  23. Suma - I'm not sure what the best brands are that are available in India. I live in the US and I'm using an ice cream maker attachment with Kitchenaid. Cuisinart has ice cream makers that are compact and really good - see if you can get your hands on one.


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