“Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal.”
Here’s an ice-cream with a difference…an Indian dairy-based frozen dessert. Guess what? You don’t need an ice-cream machine for this!! This is a popular end to Indian meals, a rich & creamy ice-cream, which can be made in many ways, & many flavours. Mango is fast becoming a flavour of choice as far as the kulfi goes, but traditional flavours remain cardamom, saffron & pistachio. This particular recipe works with reducing the quantity of milk to a third by cooking. Another recipe I often use has condensed milk…faster & as delicious. I tried this method since I had run out of condensed milk .
Crushing cardamom is therapeutic & releases the most wonderful aroma…makes me think of Jasmine, the Cardamom Addict.
Both my hub & son are quite addicted to cardamom…my daughter, on the other hand, will willingly have anything sweet…anything!! The kids have just finished the last of my frozen kulfis & are now in lala land. The daughter is off for a school trip at 4 tomorrow morning. The 7th graders are going for an adventure camp tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas…‘The Himalayan Bear Stream Camp’ . She’s driven me up the beanpole with the lists of stuff she has to carry, & I have to bake or get together. I gave her some kulfi…& told her to CHILL!!
Kulfi is a popular flavoured frozen dessert found in the Indian subcontinent made with milk. It is a kind of ice cream. It is a distinct category of frozen dairy-based dessert. Unlike other ice-cream, kulfi takes a very long time to melt. It comes in various flavours, including pistachio, malai, mango, cardamom (elaichi), saffron (kesar), the more traditional flavours. Unlike Western ice cream, which are whipped and filled with air, kulfi is not whipped, which results in a solid, dense frozen dessert. Traditionally in the South Asia, kulfi is sold by street vendors called kulfiwallahs who keep the kulfi frozen by placing the moulds inside a large earthenware pot called a “matka”, filled with ice and salt. It is garnished with ground cardamom, saffron, or pistachio nuts. Kulfi is also served with faloodeh (vermicelli noodles).
Home made ice-cream, rich & distinctive
As adapted from the ‘Indian Menu Planner’
Whole milk – 1 litre / 4 1/2 cups
Cardamom seeds – of 8-10 cardamom pods / crushed
Saffron – 1/2 tsp
Flaked pistachios – 1/4 cup
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Beaten silver leaf/paper, flaked pistachios, flaked almonds for garnishing
Crush the cardamom & soak the saffron strands in a tbsp of warm milk.
In the meantime, put milk & sugar into a large, heavy bottom saucepan & boil until reduced to a third, & the mixture is thick & creamy. Stir often.
Add the cardamom, flaked pistachio & saffron. Simmer for 5 minutes, take off heat & allow to cool to room temperature.
Spoon the mixture into moulds, cover tightly with foil & freeze overnight. (If you don’t have kulfi moulds, any ice-cream moulds work fine. I made some in the ice-cream lollie moulds too.)
To release from moulds, warm the outside by rubbing between the palms for a few seconds & ease out. Alternatively hold under warm water for 2-3 seconds, or wrap in a warm towel for a minute. Invert onto individual serving plates.
Garnish with silver leaf, flaked almonds & pistachios; some cardamom powder if you desire.
Just back from dropping our daughter to school…YAWN!!
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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.