The first time I came across a granita was a restaurant which had a mocktail menu that was longer than the Nile. ( Well, not exactly, but you get my point ?) So, mindlessly and out of sheer curiosity, I ordered a kiwi granita. Needless to say, I was taken aback when the smart waiter came with a big glass of shaved ice that was a gorgeous green. I don’t know what I was expecting but shaved iced didn’t figure anywhere close to my perception of the so called granita. I almost had a foot in my mouth moment when I discovered that the mound of shaved ice costed 180 bucks. Now see, this is not acceptable. First, you give me shaved ice which I can’t enjoy unless I ignore my chattering teeth. Then you charge me 180 bucks!!!! That’s three burgers at Mc Ds. For your info. I wanted to scream all this at the waiter. But I simply smiled, paid the check, had a face palm moment and walked out gracefully. Rest assured, I never revisited granita until recently.
This summer has been merciless. The average temperature here in Vadodara is always 40C. Imagine our plights. Poor souls. The heat makes everything uncomfortable, from eating to sleeping. No one wants three course meals any more. Everyone is more than content with helpings of fruits and large glasses of chilled fruit juices and mocktails. Breakfast is usually a smoothie. Preferably, chocolate. ( Ahem……) On one such ruthless day, I did something totally evil and vile. I ate some granita as breakfast. Wait! Are you staring at me? Or are you rolling your eyes? If yes, please do come visit me and then you will know why it s a wise idea to have granita for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can almost imagine my mom admonishing me when she comes to know about my breakfast. Which she will eventually. But until then, lets leave that to where it stands and talk some more granita.
I came across some beautiful granita recipes in a cookbook that I was browsing through and I was compelled to try making some at home. When I thought about my granita experience in hindsight, I realized that it was nothing but a fancy pansy name given to the regular ice golas that we get in India for as low as 20 bucks a piece, the only difference being that a granita is almost always made of fresh fruit juice but a gola is dipped in gorgeous vibrantly colored squashes. Which does make a granita a better option any day? Plus, you don’t need a fancy machine to make some. So, all in all, a granita is a fabulous idea when the mercury is merciless and when you make it at home.
Recipe For Watermelon Lychee Granita
( Learn how to make Watermelon Lychee Granita, a simple dessert with shaved ice using fresh fruit juice)
Prep Time: 10 mins+ 20 mins+ 20 mins
Freeze Time: 2 hours + 2 hours
Cook Time: Nil
Serves 2 to 3 generously
Allergy Info: Vegan, Gluten free, Soy and Nut free
Water melon 1 .5 cups cubed
Lychee 7 to 8
Sugar ½ c
Mint leaves 10
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Ginger 1 tsp grated
Pit the Lychee and discard the seed.
In a blender, combine mint leaves, ginger and sugar and pulse once to release the flavors.
Now, add ½ of the watermelon, lemon juice and lychee and blend to a smooth puree.
Transfer to a bowl.
Blend the remaining watermelon to a smooth puree and combine this with previous mixture.
Pour this mixture into a freezer safe container which is quite sturdy.
Freeze till set. This takes anywhere between 2 hours to 4 hours depending upon your refrigerator.
Once frozen, use a fork and start raking the mixture from the sides first.
Proceed to the center eventually.
This is time consuming and a little tiresome but its worth all the effort.
Once you have raked up the entire mass, shove it back into the freezer.
After 2 hours, remove and repeat the raking process.
Freeze till ready to serve.
While serving, serve with a few mint leaves as garnish.