Instead of those traditional Indian desserts like kheer (rice pudding) or barfi (dense bar made from milk powder and clarified butter), we bring you something brand new with those fragrant Indian spices!
We cook strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries in water and coconut sugar to make a thick and luxurious berry compote and infuse it with toasted and ground Indian spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, and cloves!
Suck on these sweet and savory masala berry popsicles as a refreshing afternoon snack or a midnight treat! Each layer is better than the last.
Dice the Strawberries
For the mixed berry compote, dice the strawberries, as seen in the photograph below. Keep the raspberries and blackberries whole as they cook down into the compote.
For this recipe, we use only the sweet masala spices instead of the savory or spicy ones that would not be appetizing in a dessert dish. The spices we use are as follows:
- Green Cardamom Pods
- Coriander Seeds
Removing the Cardamom Seeds
Break open the green cardamom pods using a mortar and pestle and remove the seeds. Discard the shells and toast the seeds by following the instructions in the next section.
Toast the Spices
Toast the spices in a dry sauté pan at medium-low heat to enhance those flavors by releasing their natural oils. You may toast both ground spices and whole spices. Wait until the pan is hot, and then add the spices.
When they appear intensely aromatic, they are ready for use. The toasting process should only take 30 seconds to 1 minute. For our recipe, we use whole spices except for cinnamon and nutmeg. It is important to note that ground spices are more prone to burning than whole spices. So be careful not to burn them. You do not want a burnt taste to appear in the dish.
If you opt for cinnamon bark and whole nutmeg, use a Microplane to produce fine grains. Allow them to cool, and then add them to a spice or coffee grinder and grind well into a powder.
Storage of Spices
The shelf-life of whole spices is up to 4 years, whereas the shelf-life for ground spices is up to 3 years. Be sure to verify that your spices are not expired. When storing your spices, store them in airtight containers in a cool dark place. This step will ensure that the spices stay fresh for the maximum time.
Layering the Compote and Yogurt in the Molds
Mix vanilla yogurt and milk with six tablespoons of the mixed berry compote. Once the yogurt, milk, and berry compote are mixed, the yogurt will develop a light purple color. Layer the remaining mixed berry compote and the yogurt mixture into the popsicle molds.
Not all Vanilla Extracts are Created Equal
For this recipe, you may swap the vanilla extract for vanilla bean paste scraped from the insides of vanilla bean pods.
However, if you can’t get your hands-on vanilla bean pods, I suggest buying a high-quality vanilla extract. Imitation vanilla extract is derived from wood pulp products, ugh. This gives the extract a harsh and bitter flavor. Alternatively, the higher quality brands are soft and palatable, though perhaps a bit pricier.
The vanilla extract should be “pure” or “100% vanilla” harvested from vanilla bean pods. Check the labels and the ingredients to ensure you are getting the real deal. I advocate for extracts from Madagascar as I find the flavor is pronounced and round, but there are many equally reputable options from Mexico and Tahiti.
Full Fat Yogurt is Best
We recommend a full-fat yogurt because the low or no-fat alternatives possess a drastically different consistency that is not ideal for this dessert. 0% fat yogurt will appear watery and resemble liquid, whereas 5% fat yogurt will be thick and luscious. We advocate for full-fat yogurt because it is more durable when coated with the equally thick and jammy mixed berry compote. The decision of yours; however, if you use a 0% fat yogurt, expect the yogurt and the mixed berry compote to combine instead of forming layers of flavor.
Store them in the freezer and consume them for up to 2 months.
Masala Berry Popsicles
- 2 cups strawberries diced
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 8 green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 5 cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 17.6 oz. full-fat yogurt
- 1 cup oat milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Cut the Strawberries and Squeeze the Lemons
- Clean blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Dice the strawberries. Set aside.
- Squeeze lemons. Set the juice aside.
2. Toast and Grind the Masala Spices
- Use a mortar and pestle to break open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds.
- Toast cardamom seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon in a dry sauté pan on the stovetop at medium-low heat for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Grind the spices in a spice or coffee grinder. Set aside.
3. Cook Up the Masala Berry Compote
- Add blackberries, raspberries, and diced strawberries to a saucepan at medium heat.
- Add water, lemon juice, sugar, and ground spices. Stir well.
- Allow the mixture to bubble softly for 20-25 minutes until it takes on a thick saucy consistency.
4. Mix Together Milk and Yogurt
- Whisk together yogurt, oat milk, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until smooth. Set aside.
- Whisk in 6 tbsp of berry compote into the yogurt and stir well.
5. Pour Compote and Yogurt Mixture into Popsicle Molds
- Layer the yogurt and the berry compote into the popsicle molds.
- Freeze the popsicles in the molds overnight.
- Remove the popsicles from their molds.
- Serve and enjoy.