Kulfi is an Indian version of ice cream. Years ago, ice creams were not as popular as they are today in India and kulfi was the ice cream of choice for young and old alike. When I was a kid, there was a kulfi vendor who would sell his kulfis from neighbourhood to neighbourhood riding on his bicycle with a portable cooler to keep his kulfis cold. Traditionally kulfis were made with Indian dry fruit flavors such as, malai (plain cream), elaichi (cardamom), badam pista (almonds and pistachios), kesar pista (saffron and pistachios) etc. Today kulfis have also been modernized and you can enjoy kulfis of flavours such as roasted almonds, chocolate chips, roasted coconuts, mango, or rose.
Kulfis have a grainier texture than ice creams. This is because of formation of homemade cream when you reduce the milk. One of the main ingredients to make a good kulfi is to use whole milk and then to reduce it well. Using skim milk or low fat milk will cause formation of ice crystals in your kulfi leading to a crunchy kulfi rather than a creamy, soft texture. Since I am not able to go to India as often to enjoy the kulfis I decided to bring kulfi to Boston! This recipe has been adapted from spiceupthecurry.com
Difficulty level: Medium
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon mawa/khoya or 2 tablespoons of full fat milk powder
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoon almond, cardamom powder mixture
- A pinch of saffron (optional)
- 1) Take milk in a wide vessel and bring it to boil with the heat on medium. Pay attention and reduce the heat to low if the milk is about to overflow.
- 2) During this time, if you don’t have a pre-made cardamom-almond powder mix, grind the cardamom seeds finely and slice the almonds. Mix this spice mixture together and keep aside to be used later.
- 3) Once it boils, turn the heat to low and let it now simmer for about 30-40 minutes to reduce the volume of the milk to less than half the original volume.
- 4) During this time, stir the milk frequently scraping the bottom and sides of the vessel.
- 5) Once the desired volume is reached, add sugar and stir the milk.
- 6) Add mawa or milk powder to the reduced milk. Stir well to dissolve the mawa and sugar.
- 7) In a small bowl, take a pinch of saffron and add a teaspoon of the boiling milk to it. Let it sit.
- 8) Turn the heat off and add the heavy cream. Stir well to mix it in the reduced milk mixture.
- 9) Add the pre-made cardamom-almond or the freshly made mix to the milk. Stir well to mix it in the reduced milk.
- 10) Add the saffron milk to the milk and stir well.
- 11) Cool the mixture completely before adding it to the kulfi molds.
- 12) Small teacups or plastic shot glasses or stainless steel glasses can also be used if you don’t have kulfi molds.
- 13) Chill it in the freezer overnight or about 8-10 hours.
- 14) To remove the formed kulfi, rub the mold between your hands to warm it and then gently tap the mold into a bowl.
- 15) Alternatively, hold the mold for couple of seconds under the running water and then rub between hands to remove the kulfi.
- 16) Enjoy the frozen treat!
- Be sure to use full fat milk and reduce it to less than half the volume by heating it on a low heat.
- This dessert is to be enjoyed in its full creamy state!