Friday, February 25, 2011

Traditional "Ice Cream Malaysia"

I have some leftover Pulut Hitam (recipe from previous post) and what comes to mind? Ice cream! Yup, this is our very own traditional ice cream which is truly one of a kind. This fabulous ice cream can hardly be found in it's original packing anymore. They are now being produced commercially in modern, convenient packs. Nowadays, our children are spoilt with choices of hundreds of different flavoured ice cream complete with sauces and toppings!

This ice cream was very popular in Malaysia and I believe in Singapore too, at the time when I was young, more than three decades ago! We have always call this "Ice Cream Malaysia" ever since I can remember. Maybe to distinguish the difference between our own local ice cream and the ones adopted from the western countries. Over the years, this ice cream has been "upgraded" to what is popularly  now known as "Ais Krim Potong", directly translated as "Cut Ice Cream".  The plastic packing has been changed to a popsicle style ice cream on a stick. The closest that we can find this traditional style ice cream are the ones sold at the "pasar malam' (night market), ice cream with the local flavours such as Pulut Hitam, Red Bean, Durian, Green Bean and Corn, which are made in a large tray,  are then cut into rectangular shapes when frozen, hence it is called "Ais Krim Potong" (Cut Ice Cream) and only poked through mid-way with an ice cream stick upon buying them. 

Here's a story of a little 'entrepreneur"! When I was in my teens, and we moved from the village to an apartment, suddenly we have this new fridge which we never had before! I was very excited and did not waste time in making ice cream as my little business during the school holidays mainly because I was bored with the ones sold in the shops and I knew that the ones I made will be well received! I made various flavoured ice cream like Red Bean, Green Beans, Milo, Pineapple, Wheat Grain and a few other yummy flavours. Sold them at 10 cents each! Business was good.....better than the orange and strawberry flavoured with artificial colouring, the ones sold at the mini market downstairs! He! He! Frequent knocking at my front door for my ice cream, when my sister takes her daily afternoon nap, soon irritated her so much, and my mom has got no space to freeze her meat in the freezer that was full of my ice cream, which I replenished real fast! So that's the end of my ice cream business after a few weeks of successful business venture! It was fun actually, earning my own money through hard work! My sister still teases me now and then about my "little ice cream business"! It is fun to laugh about the good old days!

Hopefully, my kids will remember and have fond memories of this ice cream as I have. I'm going to make more of this with various flavours that I have done before, I actually miss making these, which are rather fun to make. The special plastic bag for this ice cream are still being sold, it is now used for packing chili sauce and other sweet sauce by most hawker stalls around here.  I'm really looking forward to make more of this so that my kids can share with their cousins when they visit, hopefully they too will continue on with this "old fashion but not forgotten" ice cream with their own children.

To make this delicious ice cream, you can keep your ice cream maker aside! We do it the traditional way, with just a pot and a stove, here goes :

There's no particular recipe for this, just taste as you cook it and adjust the sweetness and amount of coconut milk that you like. Here's a guide on how much of sugar and coconut milk that I used :

 The leftover "Pulut Hitam" (Black Glutinous Rice), about 2-1/2 cups. (Refer to my previous post on how to cook Pulut Hitam)

 I add about 1/4 cup sugar as the leftover Pulut Hitam was already sweetened, just a little amount of water (about 1/4 cup). Cook over a stove till sugar melts. Add about 2 cups thick coconut milk and remove from heat as soon as it starts to boil. Cool uncovered or partially covered to room temperature.

 Special plastic bags for making these ice creams

 Use a funnel to pour the ice cream into the plastic bag,  three quarters full, which is about half a cup.

Tie the other end into a knot and freeze overnight in the freezer.

 Ice Cream Malaysia, frozen, ready to be enjoyed! Just cut the top of the plastic bag with a pair if scissors (or do it the fun way, just bite the plastic off!) and enjoy it direct from the plastic by slowly nibbling and chewing the delicious taste of the "Pulut Hitam" and the creamy taste of the coconut. 

Or just, slide the whole stick of ice cream into a cup, squash lightly with a spoon and enjoy by the spoonfuls!

The texture of this ice cream is not like the ones which you will find in David Lebovitz's recipes. No! Definitely not the same. Homemade Ice Cream Malaysia has a creaminess of its own. There are basically three main ingredients, the main flavour (Pulut Hitam, Red Bean, Corn, etc...), sugar and thick coconut milk. This ice cream is like the version of creamy granitas! That's as close to the description that I can think of! Any closer to how it actually taste like, well, you just have to try them out yourself.

If using beans like Red Beans, Mung Beans or Pulut Hitam, these needed to be cooked with some water until mushy and soft. Try not to add more water than necessary as the more water it contains, the less creamier the ice cream will be. Add sugar to taste and lastly add the thick coconut milk, cook till it starts to boil and remove from heat. Do not boil it over a long period of time after adding the thick coconut milk, as  the oil from the coconut milk will start to get separated from the milk, and you would not want that! That is the reason, the coconut milk is always added in last. Instead of freezing these in  the special plastic bags, they can be frozen in the popsicle mould too. Have fun making this and enjoy!

My favourite flavours are Pulut Hitam, Mung Bean and Corn. Yummy! My kids are already asking what flavour am I making next!  Maybe in a couple of weeks time, perhaps corn, kinda miss it! Too much of coconut milk is definitely not healthy, a treat once in a while is alright!

To my fellow Malaysian blogger friends out there, when was the last time you had this?  I'm sure you would have your special memories of  "Ice Cream Malaysia"  too! Come and share with us!


  1. This is definitely a great desert!!!

  2. Ice cream looks fabulous. Great desert.

  3. Çok güzel görünüyor. Ellerinize sağlık.

  4. Hahaha, Since you were little housewife and businessman .. ice cream!
    Very nice you can see the ice cream!
    I wish to be close ...

  5. Yumm, thats definitely a delicious icecream..feel like grabbing a bag of yummy icecream..

  6. I know this icecream, it's really good.
    Unfortunately i don't think we have all the ingredients to make it in western Europe, it's a pity!
    have a good week end.

  7. Oh wow, I've never heard of this before. Thanks for teaching me about something new and delicious.

  8. How fun to learn more about you! I love the storage system, it is fun and fast for the kids. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Joy, what a great story! I can just picture you with your ice cream business. :o) Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Oh, wow, this post brings back memories! Your 'ais krim potong' looks great, your kids must be thrilled! My earliest memory of ais krim potong is buying them from the 'ice-cream man' who comes round the neighbourhood in a motorcyle. My favourite flavour was corn. :)

  11. This surely is a very scrumptious ice cream. Good to have come here, shall browse some of your recipes now.

  12. hi, nice to read about your little story , you must be an expert in making these ice creams. I do not make ice cream but i sell ice cream at one time..just a casual job. I'm really glad that you're sharing this recipe, i really would like to try this out if can. Where do we get those plastic bags? can we also get the popsicle mould from the bakery ingredients shop? Hope to see more of your traditional ice cream in your posts later.

  13. I remember eating those when I was a child :). Now I just need to find out where I can get those plastic bags...Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  14. This sounds delightful, but I especially like the way you store your icecream. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  15. recipe curious, beautiful pictures .. greetings MARIMI

  16. I appreciate your photos and clear instructions. I have never tried this but it sounds interesting and yummy.

    Plan B

  17. Hi everyone, thank you for visiting. Have a lovely day!

    Hi Lena,
    I bought the platic bags from a sundry shop. I think that most sundry shops or the ones that sells packing materials would have this, just ask for ice cream plastic bag, the one I bought is "Cap King Kong"! The popsicle mould can be found at most supermarkets, I bought mine years ago, cannot remember from where! For the picture, refer to my post on 'Watermelon Sorbetto". Hope you enjoy trying it out!

    Hi Cooking Gallery,
    Thank you for visiting. We have the same name :)
    You must be from Malaysia or Singapore, since you are familiar with this ice cream! I hope that you are able to find the plastic bag to make this ice cream. Have a nice day!

  18. This is amazing! I had those when I was little..haven't seen them since then. Thanks for bringing back some fun memories!

  19. Hey...sounds very interesting...delicious n tasty..:D
    Tasty appetite

  20. I loved the story about your ice cream business! :) This looks very yummy- I've never had ice cream with those flavors before! The plastic bags look like a very handy way to make it.

  21. This reminds me of the good old potong ice cream...I love the coconut ones. I can feel my dripping saliva now...Ops!

  22. Brings back good childhood memories of spinning that wheel with nails so that I can get an additional stick of ais krim potong. My favorite is the red bean. I also made some and will be posting it soon. :)

  23. wow, your ice cream,potong, really a childhood sweet memory of is really creamy and delicious from your photos.. i've got this question that i like to ask if u won't mind..can i substitute some of the coconut's ingredient to any other milk that you can recomend to make it more healthy??

  24. Hi Janetan,
    Thank you for stopping by. Yes, this is really a "sweet" childhood favourite. Well, nothing beats the creaminess and natural sweetness of coconut milk. I think that it won't be the same to substitute with other kind of milk. You could use ready tetra-packed coconut milk with "No Cholestorel", I have made with these before, they taste great too! Have fun trying this out and do stop by again. Do you have a blog that I can visit?

  25. Hi,

    I grew up in Malaysia and I have ice lollies always when i was a kid. I miss it. Could you tell us where to get the plastic bag ? I love to try some durian flavour!