In the universe of vegan ice-creams, coconut milk is considered king. Creamy and rich, it provides the fat component necessary to bind ingredients. But Chacha’s – the sister to Nalini’s Wholesome Streetfood – is a nut-based ice-cream shop that also sells a range of savoury meals. The menu at Chacha’s (“uncle” in Hindi) is similar to Nalini’s: it’s gluten free, sugar free and full of probiotics.
The ice-cream-making process starts with nut butter. Cashews, peanuts or pistachios are soaked in water to reduce phytic acid, a so-called “anti-nutrient” that’s found in plant-based foods. The nuts are then processed through a stone grinder until they form a paste that’s used as the base for the ice-creams.
Miso-caramel is Chacha’s interpretation of salted caramel. It’s sweetened with dates and rice malt, and the miso gives the ice-cream a satisfying umami aftertaste.
Turmeric is mixed with ginger, cardamom and black pepper. The result is deliciously creamy and has a pleasant but strong bite. Turmeric (which is said to have anti-inflammatory properties) is also in the popcorn ice-cream, but the flavour is gentler, allowing the toasted-popcorn flavour to shine.
In the ice-cream display there are notes explaining that Chacha’s believes dark chocolate is for lowering blood pressure; and salted pistachio is for a healthy heart.