Artist’s Palate: Bharti Kher’s banana and saffron creamy frozen yogurt
London-born Bharti Kher has become one of India’s leading contemporary artists by tumbling together the modern and traditional of subcontinent culture in a range of sculptural forms (often hybridized animal-human and covered in bindis) and bright bindi paintings. Adoring critics list her influences as ranging from Swiss surrealist Méret Oppenheim to Bosch, Goya and Blake. Mix in gender issues, as represented by the Indian male moustache, along with wider ethnographic explorations - and more bindis - and you have a feisty international art-phenomenon. And mix frozen yogurt with bananas, saffron and rather a lot of sugar and turn into an ice cream maker, as Kher suggests, and you have a blend of modern and traditional India perfect for cleansing the palate after spicy food.
Makes one litre of ice-cream. All ingredients must be cold.
Make 1.5 litres of yogurt with full cream milk overnight. Or if you have to, use readymade yoghurt.
Hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth over the sink so that all the water drains out for approximately one hour (let the water drain into a glass if you want, add a pinch of salt and roasted cumin and drink it).
Mix in three ripe chopped bananas and a good pinch of saffron (four to five strands) so that you get a soft yellow colour. The saffron gets stronger over time, so don’t overdo it. Kashmiri saffron is the best.
Add ground sugar to taste (for ice cream you always need more than you taste as sweet). I use three level tablespoons.
Liquidise all in a food processor to get a smooth consistency. Add fresh single cream or milk if it feels too thick.
Taste again for sugar and check the colour of the saffron is uniform.
Turn into an ice cream maker or put in the freezer and whisk every hour so that ice doesn’t form. It should never ice over.
Eat it when soft and decorate either with thin banana slices, pistachios or a strand of saffron.