Kulfi is the Indian version of ice cream, popular throughout the country. Typically rich and very sweet,it often contains generous amounts of dry fruits, cream etc….
A childhood (and present!) favourite, some of my earliest memories of kulfi are from my family’s annual summer trip to my grandmother’s village.
Electricity had not yet reached the rural areas and temporary respite from the unbearable heat came from handwoven fans, multiple baths with water drawn from wells, cool shadows of canopied trees and deliciously cold kulfis.
One might wonder how the kulfis were frozen in the absence of electricity. And there were no refrigerators for miles around. The kulfis were ‘sold’ by a vendor off the back of his rickety old bicycle, from a rectangular wooden crate.
‘Sold’ because it was more of an exchange system. Kind of like barter system. My cousins traded a bowl/dish of grains for 3-4 kulfis. (As village economy was based mostly on barter system.) We enjoyed the kulfis to the last bite.
There are many flavours of kulfis but this being the peak of mango season in Lucknow, I made some mango-pista kulfis.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 1 L full cream milk
- 2 ripe mangoes
- 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour diluted in milk
- 100 gm slivered pistachios
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Few saffron strands
- Make mango puree.
- In a heavy bottom pan, pour the milk.
- Reduce the milk to about half its original amount.
- Add the cornflour and stir the mixture continuously.
- Now, add the sugar, condensed milk, saffron and pistachios and stir thoroughly.
- After 5 minutes, take the pan off the flame.
- Once the mixture cools to room temperature, add the mango puree and mix.
- Pour the mixture into kulfi moulds and place the molds in the freezer.
- When the kulfi half-freezes insert the sticks into the moulds.
- Once the kulfi freezes, pop themout of the moulds and enjoy!😋