Unusual Ingredient of the Week - Kulfi

So, a dish more than an ingredient I concur, but still fairly unusual nonetheless.

Kulfi is an Indian Ice Cream, quite unlike European or American Ice Creams in that it doesn’t resemble sorbet, it isn’t custard based and it doesn’t contain cream. It resembles the Italian Gelato, and the methods of preparation are similar, boiling milk to reduce it, adding sugar and then flavourings.

What this produces is an ice cream that is very dense because very little air is incorporated into it. The flavour is richly scented with Cardomom and either ground pistachios (which turns the ice cream a delicate pale green colour) or mango (which turns the ice cream a big, bold buttercup yellow shade).

Kulfi is usually frozen in Kulfi Moulds: long pyramid shapes that are turned out into a bowl when frozen, and allowed to defrost slightly.

I first encountered Kulfi when we ordered an Indian Takeaway. I adore Indian sweets, they’re intense, brain-numbing sweetness is highly seductive to me, so I thought I’d give the Ice Cream a try. I ordered Pistachio, I enjoy green ice cream. No other justification.

After we ate our main meal, we certainly couldn’t manage the ice cream so we left it in the freezer for a couple of days until I remembered it was there. I triumphantly pulled it out from the freezer and turned out the little green pyramids into bowls. I sprinkled them with some slithered almonds and allowed them to warm up ever so slightly. The first mouthful: a beautifully aromatic ice cream, it has a slightly grainy texture which I assume comes from the ground nuts and then that unusual pistachio flavour begins to tingle your tastebuds. The ice cream melts in your mouth like frozen milk. It is not heavy or overly creamy like English Ice Cream. It is simply heavenly.

This weekend I have bought – and this is the antithesis of everything that I usually stand for but pistachios are very expensive to buy – a packet mix of Kulfi (from Spices of India). Just add milk and freeze. I don’t have the proper moulds so I’m not sure what I’ll use yet: I do have an old fashioned copper jelly mould shaped like a fish that my grandmother donated to me. Perhaps I’ll use that....


Saffron said...

very nice your new page!!

FreyaE said...

Hi! Glad you like the changes!
Freya x

Kathryn said...

Hi Freya

when will you try out making the Kulfi from the spice mix? I like Kulfi too and I love pistachios in any form!

What culinary plans do you have for the w/e?

Kathryn x

FreyaE said...

Hi Kathryn! I would like to make the Kulfi this weekend as I discovered some tiny Madeleine (as in the English sand castle time madeleines, not Proust's ones) moulds that would work a treat! Cooked the salt beef last night (watch this space for pics, it was delicious!) and finished off the Marron Glaces (saved myself about £8.00 making them at home and they taste great!). Might make a chocolate bavarois which sounds flashier than it really is. Also in Mince Pie making duty as we're going to a volunteers party at Clarks Farm Greyhound Rescue on Sunday...busy, busy, busy!! I'll need a holiday AFTER the Christmas holiday!!
How about you? Freya x