{No Bake Dessert / Vegetarian} MANGO KULFI … Traditional Indian Ice Cream

“Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to do and die:”
Alfred Lord Tennyson 
 We spend a lifetime teaching the kids not to give in to temptation, not to be unreasonable.  That there are lots of things in the world that one would like to do but self restraint is a virtue that needs to be exercised … blah blah blah. After all, we’ve been there, done that … and we know better! The lines from Tennysons The Charge of the Light Brigade’, which we studied in school eons ago, flood my mind often, especially the word ‘reason‘!  I really do like the lines now. Hated them in school though as they sounded like gobblygook then!
Food blogs these days are tempting, to put it mildly, and in some ways I am ever so glad to be the empress of the kitchen! No mother to tut tut at me while I succumb to temptation, no one to question why I cannot resist what I see, and no one to check my free run amidst pots and pans! One day, I fell into Spice Spoons blog post virtual trap, and saw the kulfi which was served in enviable shot glasses, coloured stirrers used as sticks. Predictably, I fell into a dreamy trance, knowing just where I was headed … ‘our’s not to reason why, ours but to do and die‘! I HAD to make the Shayma’s kulfia traditional Indian style of ice cream that needs no churning, is dense and creamy, and sublime to the very last bit.

While in the kitchen, here’s a sneak peek of our kitchen remodeling – a simple country style kitchen, with a warm wooded look that I love. Things are looking up finally, with work progressing at more than snails pace now. Still can’t bake as much, but have become quite passionate about frozen desserts … Fresh Cherry Fro Yo, Plum Fro Yo Popsicles, Peach-Ginger & Plum-Vanilla Granita to name a few. So the kulfi was  one I could not let pass by. I sneakily bought a litre of low fat cream. A tin of condensed milk has been sitting with me forever because it wanted to be made into Dulce de leche but never quite got there. Figured this was destiny’s plan!
The pictures on Shayma’s post called my name, and I soon made them. The kulfi, a dessert which is very popular across the sub-continent, was absolutely divine. With the low fat cream, I didn’t need to simmer it for more that 15 -20 minutes, but I did err in that I forgot to give it the odd stir every few minutes, so it got slightly caught on the base of the pan. Didn’t matter because I got this beautifully burnt caramelized flavour … a little more apathy and I would have been crying over disaster. Take heed dear readers, don’t forget to stir!

The idea of using pistachios and almonds slightly ground or rather finely chopped in the blender is certainly novel. I’ve never heard of it before, and it’s quite genius. It helps thicken the cream, and distributes a beautiful nutty flavour though out the ice cream, making it almost luxurious, a royal serving! The teeny nutty bits get sort of soft with the cooking and plump up enticingly making the end result deeply satisfying.
I added some pureed mango to about a quarter of the batter after it was cooked and set some kulfis with half plain half mango mixture, others with a layer of mango etc.  I used a variety of metallic moulds from my collection, and saw at Cherrapeno that silicon works well too. I had fun and the flavours were fabulous. This is a recipe I shall make often. Taking pictures was a downright pain as it was sweltering hot, cloudy and humid that day, but the taste made up for everything!

Mango Kulfi {Indian Ice Cream}

Adapted minimally from Spice Spoon
Serves 12-15 if using kulfi molds. {You will need a heavy-bottom pan to prepare this, otherwise the cream and sugar will stick to the base of the pan and burn.}
1/2 cup almonds,skins removed
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled; unsalted
1 litre half-and-half {I used 25% low fat cream}
300 ml condensed milk {about 2/3 rd of a 400ml tin was enough for me}
1 large mango, pulp pureed in blender till smooth, strained
Method:
Grind almonds and pistachios in a blender {not a food processor} by pulsing a few times. At the base of the blender, where the blade is, some of the nuts will turn into a flour like powder. This will help thicken the kulfi.
Place pan on medium heat on the stove. Pour in half-and-half.
Add almonds and pistachios.
As the temperature of the half-and-half rises, start adding in condensed milk. You will have to do this by a taste test. I used about 2/3rd of the tin. Once the mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat to low. STIR!!
A skin will form on top, just keep stirring it in. You will continue to stir for 20-25 minutes {one hour if using half and half} till the mixture thickens and reduces, becoming thick.
Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Add the mango puree to half, or the whole, and stir in to mix uniformly. Pour slowly into popsicle moulds {or shot-glasses}.
Place moulds/glasses in freezer. At the 30 minute mark when the kulfi has started to form, place popsicle sticks in each mould/glass.
Freeze overnight or for at least 8 hours.
To unmould, dip quickly in warm water.
Serve with a scattering of pistachios and almonds.

 

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