Shir yakh is a traditional ice cream from Afghanistan.

During the hot summer months, ice-cream shops, called shir yakh feroshees, would sell an assortment of ice creams and other cold desserts. My sister Fatema remembers going into beautiful little shops after school to buy shir yakh. They were colorful and decoratively tiled and had Bollywood music playing in the background.

The shir yakh, with rose and pistachios, is a favorite at Parwana, one of her restaurants.

Process the cream, condensed milk and food coloring in a food processor for 3-4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and add the cardamom, rose water and pistachios. Fold through gently to combine well, then transfer to a large airtight container. 

Cover the entire surface of the ice cream directly with plastic wrap to avoid the formation of ice crystals. Cover the container with a lid and freeze for at least 10 hours before serving, scattered with slivered pistachios and rose petals.

Reprinted with permission from
Parwana: Recipes and Stories From an Afghan Kitchen
Durkhanai Ayubi.
Interlink Books, 2021.
Alicia Taylor

Freelance food writer and restaurateur Durkhanai Ayubi is involved in day-to-day responsibilities of two family-run eateries in Adelaide, Australia: Parwana and Kutchi Deli Parwana. She has written for several international newspapers and websites. Daughter of Afghani refugees Zelmai and Farida Ayubi, she tells her family’s story from her own perspective while passing along memories and recipes from her parents. Parwana is also the title of her first book and won the 2021 Art of Eating Prize.