Frozen Desserts: Palm Wine Granita & Soursop Sorbet

Soursop Sorbet

This dessert is the result of conversations. From Port Harcourt to Lagos, face to face and What’s App.

Soursop Sorbet

First of all, it was Zina. We sat eating dodo and stew before our Eba and Egusi soup, when she told me about a Palm Wine granita her mum had given her an idea for. You know how something is soooooooooo perfect that you don’t need to argue or talk much, you just nod.

This was one of the courses of her Mangrove Banquet which was held last November at Blaffer Art Museum – all about telling new stories about the Niger Delta through food and recipes that she develops inspired by ingredients from the region.

Zina served the granita with Alomo bitters.


I was mulling over what I would do when a friend, Matthew sent me a message:

I laughed ’cause it seemed as though he might have heard my conversation with Zina.

So I went ahead and did it, so I present to you ladies and gentlemen on Day 4 of this week’s Nigerian Desserts, a layered frozen dessert of a soursop sorbet and a flavoured palm wine granita, topped with green mint sugar…in honour of St Patrick’s Day :).

This dessert all began with four green bottles of Palm wine purchased from a bar at Freedom Park in Lagos.

Soursop Sorbet

The dessert was first easy. I made a soursop cream, thinned with palm wine and lightly sweetened with sugar.

Soursop Sorbet

Then I made a palmwine granita by combining a palm wine syrup, flavoured with grains of selim and lemon grass. This got de-sweetened with more palm wine.

Soursop Sorbet

Both the sorbet and granita went in to the deep freezer and emerged soft, but ‘scrapable’.

Granita (pronounced [ɡraˈniːta]; in Italian also granita siciliana [ɡraˈniːta sitʃiˈljaːna]) is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, it is available all over Italy in somewhat different forms. It is related to sorbet and Italian ice.

I got small glasses and put a bit of the soursop sorbet at the bottom, topped with the palm wine granita and finished with mint sugar.

Soursop Sorbet

I liked it. It was palm wine. All palm wine. The sorbet reminded me of corn pap (ogi/ akamu, Yoruba) and the mint sugar something herby to it. I should have gone with my original instincts and used scent leaves. I will next time.

I didn’t get a lot of lemon grass/ grain of selim flavour – I really wanted that to add another dimension to the flavour so next time I’ll use more. After all, I’m only two bottles down.

Soursop Sorbet

So there, some ideas in Nigerian desserts.  Stay tuned xxx


From our partner Kitchen Butterfly