Right now I am suffering from a condition called the "writer's block". I have been trying to post this recipe for almost a week now and all I have been doing is typing a few sentences only to hit the delete button. For the past few days, my mind seems to have gone blank. I am not sure if it is just me or it has got to do something with the ever-changing weather in Nairobi.
The month of September marks the season of the short rains in Nairobi. Usually, by this time of the year, despite all the short rains, the mercury starts to rise and you can feel the summer around the corner. But this year, the "short rains" turned into a down pour and turned the Nairobi skies into depressing grey. It was like that for the following days to come. The mercury dropped drastically and the town was enveloped in fog. I felt like my energy had just disappeared along with the sun. I had never felt so low in my entire life. All I could do was just curl up in a blanket.
The only good thing that seemed to happen during that time was this Kulfi. Summer and the sun may be on the way out, but making Kulfi isn't. Since the weather was so depressing, I wanted something comforting and something that would divert my mind from the cold. There were these "not so sweet" mangos, a can of condensed milk and some cream that was waiting to be used up. So I decided to put all of these together and make this Kulfi.
Kulfi or the "Indian ice cream" was a favorite during my growing years. My baby sister and I would often indulge on these Kulfis on our way back from school. I remember the Kulfis used to cost a Rupee but the flavor and the taste was unmatched.
Traditionally, the Kulfi is made by boiling the milk till it is reduced to half the volume. Cream, sweeteners and other flavors are then added to the already calorie rich milk and then frozen immediately. There is no churning required when making kulfi.
The beauty of this dessert is that, it can be made in a hundred different ways and it can still end up delicious. If mangos are not available, try substituting it with strawberry or lychees. But if you are craving for a kulfi with fall flavors then try making this with carrot puree. I hear that it tastes delicious.
As I mentioned earlier, Kulfi is made my evaporating milk on a low heat till reduced to half. But if you are pressed for time, or you just want to make this dessert quickly, then just substitute the milk with with a can of evaporated milk. I chose to make this dessert the hard way because I desperately needed that distraction. All the hard work and toil finally paid off when both the husband and the daughter completely loved this frozen treat. The delighted expression on Purvi's face was testimonial enough that this dessert was a great success. To me, just looking at that delighted face was heart warming and truly blissful!!
Mango kesar pista Kulfi recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 1hr+ freezing time
Serves- 8-10 people
Full fat Milk- 1-1/4ltrs
Condensed milk- 1 can or 400gms
Rice flour- 1tbsp+3tbsp milk to dissolve
Almond meal- 3tbsp
Pulp of three medium sized mangos- approximately 2-2/12 cups
Saffron- 1/2 tsp saffron soaked in 2tsps of milk.
Green cardamom- 6-8 crushed to a fine powder
Chopped pistachios- 2tbsp
- Mix the rice flour with 3tbsp of milk and set aside.
- Dissolve the saffron in 2tsps of warm milk and keep aside.
- Take the milk in a thick bottomed pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame and allow the milk to simmer on a low flame, stirring from time to time till the milk is reduced to half the original quantity (approximately 600ml)
- Stir in the rice flour mixture and cook till the mixture thickens.
- Turn off the heat and add the condensed milk, cream, almond meal, sugar, saffron mixture, cardamom powder and mango pulp and mix well to combine.
- Stir in the chopped pistachios, mix well and pour the kulfi mixture into the moulds and freeze overnight or till it sets.
- To unmould, allow the kulfi to thaw outside the refrigerator for a few mins, then insert a skewer or a fork into the center of kulfi to pull it out.
- Serve it as is or along with some slivered almonds on the top.
- I had to use sugar because the mangos were not very sweet. If the mangos that you are using is sweet enough, then the quantity of the sugar can be reduced or omitted altogether.
- The milk can be substituted with evaporated milk to assemble the kulfi quickly.
- The rice flour can be substituted with equal quantity of corn starch.