Unlike the Mughals of the 16th century, we don’t have to rely on relays of horse couriers carrying ice from the Hindu Kush Mountains all the way down to Delhi to enjoy a frozen dessert.
While ice cream has existed in some form everywhere from Ancient Rome to Imperial China, we are going to go out on a limb (mostly because we are no longer in danger of losing said limb to lèse-majesté) and say the frozen dessert, in its current myriad forms, is at its peak (pun totally intended).
And despite our distinct imperial lackings, we are determined to render unto you, O Reader, the best of the best ice creams (vetted and tasted) that Delhi-NCR has to offer:
Cold Stone Creamery & Cold Rock Café
OK, we are totally cheating by including two different brands in one entry, but since they are both restricted to one city each (for the moment), we are sure you’ll forgive us. First up, in Gurugram, is Cold Stone Creamery, an American brand that popularised the concept of ice-creams made fresh to order on cold stones in front of patrons. While these may have become a common sight in malls (remember malls?), Cold Stone Creamery is the original as your first bite into any of their products will show. And then there’s Cold Rock Café in Noida, which also does cold stone sundaes, but excels with its own range of ice creams, out of which our firm favourite is Malted Chocolate Fudge.
AT: Zomato and Swiggy
Prerna’s Handcrafted Ice Creams
Prerna’s Handcrafted Ice creams are about as natural as it can get. Created during the first lockdown by concerned Delhi mom Prerna Puri who didn’t trust all the additives and chemicals that go into making commercial ice-creams that her son loves, her product is a creation after much experimentation and hand-cranking. Each of the flavours are preceded by the word pure, be it Pure Coconut, Pure Almond Marzipan or Pure Chocolate, among others, meaning what you read is what you get: milk, cream, natural sweeteners and of course, your flavour of choice.
AT: Leading gourmet grocery chains like Modern Bazaar and Nature’s Bazaar
Nirula’s Ice Cream
No list of Delhi’s best ice creams would be complete without Nirula’s. While its glory days may be
behind it, and it has survived till now on the goodwill generated by its Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae, the brand seems poised for a comeback, largely on the back of its extensive ice cream range, many of which are laced with that most decadent Hot Chocolate Fudge. We have no complaints, apart from the ludicrously high price of the HCF sundae itself.
AT: Zomato and Swiggy
Coming from the family of the legendary Rajni Bector, who began Mrs Bector’s (later changed to Cremica), Zoet Desserts is the lovechild of Geeta Bector and her daughter Sana Bector Parwanda. Zoet, meaning ‘sweet’ in Dutch, was started in 2016 and aims to create desserts that are sweet and complex in
flavour, yet delicious. And you better believe they have ice creams, including special ice cream cake boxes/baskets and can be customised as per one’s preferences.
AT: zoet desserts. com
While eating ice cream with (and or for) every meal may not be the healthiest habit, the good folk at Habbit Health & Nutrition are making sure that whenever you do indulge, you do so in the best possible way for your body. Launched just this year, the company has an ever-widening range of products, and say that their Habbit Wise Creams are the lowest calorie ice creams in the world. Every serving has less than 50 calories, which is less than half an apple. Available in six gourmet flavours including Blueberry Crumble, Salted Caramel, and Lychee Blush, among others, Wise Creams contain zero added sugar and are Keto + diabetic friendly.