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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kesar Kulfi

Summer holidays were synonymous with Kulfi's and kathi-icecream (as we referred to popsicles in those days). The 'ting-ting' of the Kulfi-wallah's bell as it entered our lane sent our salivary glands on an overdrive and we went scurrying to the gates. The earthiness of those matki's and the leaves on which he served to kulfi remains etched in my mind till date. But he did not stock any fancy flavors in those days. One could only taste cardamom scented thickened milk in those heavenly kulfis. These days one can easily find 10-15 flavors at most Kulfi stalls but I still lust after those plain ones. How much ever I try to replicate its magic, I am unable to do so. And that's why I keep trying out various other flavors. Maybe I will make it a point to try and find some on my next visit to home.

The sweltering heat has become just another excuse to indulge in this sweet delight. That's what I told myself while preparing this over last weekend. It really does not take much time if we use condensed milk and some ready-made khoya. The taste is better than when using cornflour and fresh cream. The khoya does add a lot of texture to it and makes it authentic. The nuts add to the bite and the sweet notes of cardamom, saffron and rose delight one's senses.

Read on for my recipe:

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

1/2 liter milk (I used pre-boiled milk. If you have to boil the milk, add another 9-10 minutes to the preparation time.)
5 tbsp condensed milk ( I used sweetened one )
75 gms khoya
4 tsp sugar
2 pinch cardamom
2-3 drops rose essence
a pinch of saffron strands
1 tsp cornflour (optional)
12-14 almonds (blanched and skinned)

Preparation - Buzz the almonds in a food processor for 2-3 seconds to get small pieces. Do not overdo as we don't want a paste.

Dissolve the cornflour in about 3 tbsp of cold milk and keep aside.

Cooking - Bring the milk to a boil. Stir in the sugar.

Once sugar has dissolved, add the condensed milk and khoya.

Cook with continuous stirring till khoya has completely dissolved into the milk. By this time milk would have thickened as needs to be stirred as it catches on the bottom quite easily.

If you find that it is not sufficiently thick, add the cornflour slurry (or paste). Stir for 3-4 minutes till it thickens.

Remove from flame and add the almonds, rose essence, cardamom powder and kesar. Mix and allow to cool down to room temperature.

Pour into Kulfi molds and put in the Freezer. Allow to solidify for 6-7 hours before serving.

For serving, dip the kulfi molds in water, remove and rub between the palms. Put upside down on a plate and tap gently to ease out the kulfi.

Cut into pieces and serve garnished with saffron strands/rose petals.

Note - Soak the kulfi molds in water before pouring in the mix. This allows the kulfis to come out easily.

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