Cardamom is one of those spices which flavour makes you dream away into faraway lands. With its citrusy notes, it is also very versatile: you can use in savoury dishes like shawarma or to make incredibly fragrant desserts like this amazing ice cream. I love making ice cream at home. It’s a bit of work without a churner, granted, but it’s fairly straight forward and very rewarding. To complete this dish, I combine it with a layer of some lovely Persian dates and tahin, and richly garnish it with nuts. The fragrances and flavours of Persian bazaars on a plate 🙂


  • 250 ml full-fat milk
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 250 ml double cream


  • 10 dates, deseeded, preferably Persian
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons tahin
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Chopped almonds


  1. Put the milk, half of the sugar and the cardamom pods in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. When the milk is about to boil, take the pan from the heat and leave to infuse and cool.
  2. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the rest of the sugar until thick and mousse-like.
  3. Reheat the milk over medium heat until it almost comes to boil. Gradually pour the milk over the eggs mixture while continuously whisking.
  4. Pour the mixture back in the pan and stir over low heat until it thickens. It is important to keep stirring during this process to avoid the eggs curdling.
  5. Chill the custard thoroughly.
  6. Combine the custard with cream and sieve the cardamom. Put the strained mixture in an ice cream machine and churn until thick and frozen. If you’re not using the machine, freeze in a large shallow container and whisk every 30 minutes until you get the right consistency.
  7. In a foodprocessor blitz the dates and tahin, if using, until they form a consistent dough.
  8. Cover the inside of a container (approximately 15×20 cm) with cling film and roll out the date mixture large enough to cover the bottom of the container.
  9. Place it inside and scoop the ice cream on top. Chill for about 30 minutes.
  10. Take the container out of the freezer and flip it on a plate and carefully remove the cling film.
  11. Garnish with the nuts and serve.