"crossovers between Indian desserts and other cultures"
A US Chinese woman based in Brooklyn is serving Indian-inspired ice cream all over New York City.
Baraat Ice Cream is inspired by traditional Indian weddings and the desserts are all prepared by 27-year-old Ruth Li.
Baraat is the traditional procession that sees the groom arriving on a white horse, elephant or car.
Ruth’s business venture was inspired by her own baraat when she got married in India in February 2020.
Ruth is of Chinese descent but was born and bred in Brooklyn.
She launched Baraat Ice Cream in July 2020 after losing her job as an assistant buyer at a clothing company due to Covid-19.
Ruth explained that marrying an Indian man and travelling to the country helped take her idea forward.
She recalled: “Food was always taken seriously in my family household so I always enjoyed it.
“There are so many crossovers between Indian desserts and other cultures so I thought I could merge Indian flavours with American desserts.
“And because baraat is about family and weddings, I named all of my flavours after people involved in the wedding process.”
One of Ruth’s most popular ice creams is the Golden Couple, which is made with a tropical mango base, mango jam and sweet golden Oreos.
The Unexpected Dancer features an Oreo base with cherry brownie and white chocolate swirls.
The Maid of Honour is made with a turmeric base with blueberry jam swirl and pecan pie cake cubes.
Another dessert is the Bride, which has a pistachio paste blended into a base of vanilla cake.
One Indian-inspired dessert is Wedding Crashers, made with chana daal, mustard seeds and a base made of bay leaves.
“All of the flavours are inspired by people you will spot at these baraats.”
Every Monday, Ruth posts a weekly menu of around five rotating ice cream flavours and sandwiches on her Instagram account.
She receives orders through DMs and begins making the desserts herself.
Every half-pint order is made-to-order by Ruth in her own Brooklyn apartment. Ruth also delivers the orders herself all over New York City.
Time Out reported that Baraat Ice Cream is one of the many Instagram-fueled businesses during Covid-19.
But the business is sure to remain relevant in New York City, where an abundance of ethnic foods defines the local culinary scene.
For the future, Ruth Li hopes to amass enough fans to expand her business to a commercial kitchen.