Kulfi’, one of the renowned Indian desserts since Mughal’s era. With its creamy, silky soft texture and mild flavour, Kulfi is a sought-after treat in summer. Though it looks like an ice cream, kulfi differs in texture, taste and method of preparation.
It is rich, creamier and denser than ice cream. No whipping/beating is required in the process of making kulfi. Traditional kulfi contains very few ingredients like milk, sugar and any flavouring spices. The choice of flavours is limitless. A wide range of combinations with fruits and nuts like mango, kesar, badam and pista can be used to make this delectable frozen sweet.
The traditional method require simmering/condensing the full cream milk with sugar and flavours to get thick, caramelized rabri that is frozen in kulfi moulds or small earthen pots. Though it takes lots of time and effort, the taste and flavour obtained is unbeatable.
The slow caramelization of milk yields extra smoothness and unique flavour to the kulfi. But nowadays due to time constraint, various quick and easy methods are followed in which ready-to-use condensed milk/milk powder are used along with any thickening agents like corn flour/rice four/khoya/bread crumbs to prepare kulfi without compromising the original taste. Moreover, the choice of moulds in which the kulfi gets set is also huge ranging from small matkas to food-grade plastic moulds, stainless glasses to disposable cups and more.
Here, I have prepared a very basic version of kulfi called ‘Malai Kulfi’ that has finely chopped dry fruits and a subtle flavour of kewra. As per the conventional method, I have condensed the full cream milk and sugar over low heat. In order to enhance the texture and taste, I have added small quantities of breadcrumbs, milk powder and homemade malai. Although the process is time consuming, it is worth the effort as the kulfi is silky soft and tastes delectable.
- Thick-bottomed Utensil / Kadai
- Mixer Grinder
- Small-sized Matka / Kulfi moulds
- 1 litre Full Cream Milk
- ½ cup Sugar
- ¼ cup Fresh Cream / Malai
- 2 tbsp Bread Crumbs
- 2 tbsp Milk Powder
- 3 tbsp Dry fruits – Almond, Cashew and Raisins finely chopped
- ½ tsp Cardamom / Elaichi powder
- 2-3 drops Kewra Essence
- Boil milk in a thick-bottomed vessel/kadai. Add sugar and mix well. Keep stirring until the sugar gets dissolved.
- Simmer it over medium / low heat. Keep on stirring the milk from time to time until it reduces to half the quantity. At this stage, the condensed milk looks like rabri.
- Grind 2 tbsp each of bread crumbs, milk powder and ¼ cup of malai to a thick paste. Add the grounded paste to the simmered milk and let it boil for a minute or two.
- Remove the kulfi mixture from flame and bring it to room temperature. Add finely chopped dry fruits, elaichi powder and kewra essence.
- Chill the mixture in refrigerator for ½ an hour. Fill the kulfi moulds with the chilled mixture and freeze for 5-6 hours.
- Before serving, take the moulds from the freezer,dip them in water once or twice and unmould the kulfi.
- Use wide-surfaced utensil/kadai to shorten the cooking time while condensing the milk.
- Do not add dry fruits and essence when the mixture is hot.
- Fill ¾ th of the mould as kulfi gets expanded while freezing.
- If you are using the kulfi sticks, insert them when the kulfi is half frozen (after 2 hours).