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Malai Introduces South Asian Ice Cream Concept to Washington, D.C.

by Alice

Washington, D.C. – Malai is set to debut its first location in Washington, D.C., at 1407 T Street NW on May 18, marking the city’s inaugural South Asian-inspired ice cream destination.

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Pioneering the niche in the capital, Malai promises a unique experience with ice creams infused with traditional South Asian ingredients and spices. Founder Pooja Bavishi, victor of Food Network’s Chopped Sweets competition, was inspired by the flavors of her upbringing, such as ginger, rose petals, saffron, and cardamom, which she found lent a rich and distinctive taste to ice creams.

“I founded Malai because desserts bring people joy, and I wanted to be in the business of delivering happiness,” Bavishi expressed.

The new location will showcase a rotating selection of 12 scoopable flavors and two soft serve varieties. Additionally, customers can expect to find ice cream pints and a range of frozen treats, including Kulfi Pops, in the freezer. To commemorate its DC debut, Malai introduces “Cherry Black Cardamom,” a flavor celebrating the city’s official fruit, the cherry.

“Our DC scoop shop marks our inaugural step outside of NYC, so we knew we had to open with a delicious flavor,” Bavishi explained. “Inspired by the official fruit of Washington, DC (the cherry!), this flavor is our declaration to the city: we’re here, and we’ve arrived with a bang. Let’s celebrate!”

In addition to the Cherry Black Cardamom, other scoop flavors will include Apricot Mace, Masala Chai, Cardamom Pistachio Crumble, and Passionfruit Cilantro Sorbet (dairy-free/vegan).

The launch in Washington, D.C., aligns with Malai’s expansion into select Mid-Atlantic grocery stores this spring, showcasing their signature pint collection.

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