Kulfi or Qulfi, as it might be referred to, is the Indian version of Ice cream. It resembles Ice cream in the context that it is a frozen dessert with appearance and taste almost similar but it's denser and creamier. I was literally blown away by the creaminess it had.
I have always wanted to make this at home. Though something or the other kept me from trying it. So I am glad that I finally made kulfi at home, for the simple fact that this got excellent reviews from everybody at home. In fact, Daddy even asked if I made it or bought it from the store. Though he hardly eats sweets, he liked it so much that he had the entire scoop that was offered. And not to mention that hubby dear was impressed with the taste. So I highly recommend you to try it.
The recipe is from Milkmaid tin cover. I was collecting the covers during my college days. I even sent a couple of them in exchange for their recipe booklets. I think I must have their entire collection of recipes unless they came out with new ones.
This was the reason why I went in again for shopping to get unsweetened khova. And during a discussion, Athamma told the boys that I was going to make ice cream. Since then they were after me, asking when I was going to make it.
Ok you may notice that it's almost runny, well what else can be expected when I was running around to get the nuts.
Just for that, I got up early wanted to get it done before they wake up. As expected the first thing they asked was where was the ice cream. Peddu won't budge until I showed it to him and said it's still not ready. I had got these popsicle molds long back in hope of making them. And I couldn't find my kulfi molds. So decided to make them in these cute coloured ones.
Kids were deciding which colour they wanted. While I was planning how to hide these from them to freeze them. Finally sent it across to Amma's place in the hope they won't know. But I came to know that they went and conquered! Well, ice cream can make you do things right..:)
I was always planning to make 'Matka Kulfi' Those cute small individual pots always look so pretty. There was a time when I remember my friends saving up those matkas. But since I couldn't get those, I thought these plastic moulds were much better.
Only later I realized that those were really frozen and the top that had the stick came off. I was puzzled wondering how one will remove it. I had my eureka moment at about midnight when the thought struck that I could immerse in hot water to release the kulfi. Well, this everyday science was amazing I tell you.
Since I selected Kesar Kulfi, I had no other choice the right way. Though traditionally malai, rose, mango, cardamom are made. I have seen some newer variations like apple, orange, strawberry kulfi too. But considering the fact that I make ice cream at home, this was easy as it doesn't involve whipping, and it turns out to be a solid, dense dessert.
Though kulfi was prepared by evaporating sweetened and flavored milk by slow cooking, these days you can quickly make it by using sweetened condensed milk. The slow cooking method, with almost continuous stirring to keep milk from sticking to the bottom of the vessel where it might burn, until its volume was reduced by a half, thus thickening it, increasing its fat, protein, and lactose density. I am sure that yielded great taste. And I was able to get it in this version too. (source referred from wiki)
Kesar Kulfi calls for Kesar powder. I googled to find out that Kesari powder is actually the leftover bits after harvesting pure saffron. It is also mixed with turmeric so it does impart color & has some fragrance. I am not sure how accurate this info is, but it's fine for now as I anyway used Saffron strands in this recipe.
Step by Step pictures to make Kulfi Recipe
Condensed Milk, Milk, Plain Khova, Flour
This is where I pulsed the khova back to the mix.
Does it look like a plastic cover is on the kulfi? Well, you are wrong, that's just after taking it out from the plastic mold by dipping it into hot water.
Condensed Milk - 1 tin (400 gms)
Milk - 4 cups
Plain Kova / Unsweetened Khova - 100 gms
All purpose flour / Maida - 1 tbsp
Saffron strands - few
How to make Kesar Kulfi at home:
Take the saffron strands, add hot milk, and keep it aside.
In a bowl, take the flour and mix it with milk to form a smooth paste.
In a thick bottom pan, take the condensed milk and milk. Put it on low flame and continue cooking.
Add the flour mix to the pan. Then add grated kova to the boiling mix. At this point, the mix might thicken and kova may not mix well. you can remove, strain, and pulse the residue a couple of times to get a smooth mix.
Then put it back and bring it to a boil, while you are constantly stirring. When it really boils out, simmer and continue stirring for 5 mins in simmer.
Once done, allow it to cool completely. Stir it a couple of times to make sure the skin is not formed on top.
Transfer to molds and freeze overnight.
If you are going to use popsicle molds as I did, then once it's frozen, dip them into hot water. The kulfi will easily come out.
I didn't add any nuts to the kulfi as my kids don't eat. But I garnished with almond and pistachio slivers