Kulfi's density is key to its endurance in hot climates.
Kulfi is a distinctively South Asian take on frozen desserts.
A perfect remedy to the summer’s heat and humidity, mango kulfi is surprisingly easy to make and can be customised to taste.
This recipe in particular uses only four ingredients, and can be prepared in less than half an hour, stored away to freeze and cracked out after a good meal to help your guests cool off.
DESIblitz teaches you how to make a delicious mango kulfi.
Mango Kulfi (serves multiple, prep time 25 minutes, 4-5 hours to freeze)
- 1 litre fresh milk (whole milk is preferable)
- 200g (half a tin) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon corn flour, dissolved in 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 large mango, pureed
- In a pan, mix the condensed milk and fresh milk well.
- Bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take off the heat and leave to cool.
- Once cool, mix in the pureed mango and pour into kulfi moulds.
- Freeze for 4-5 hours
If you don’t have access to kulfi moulds, any ice cream mould or small container will suffice as an alternative.
Small portions and densely packed is paramount here, otherwise your kulfi will freeze hard and become impossible to serve.
Ice lolly moulds, with the sticks in tow, are a good way to make this a hand held frozen treat.
Stirring the milk when heating is also paramount, as it has a high risk of burning on the pan, which impacts the texture of the dessert.
But this is not a complicated recipe, it doesn’t require technical prowess, merely a keen eye and good vigilance.
Kulfi, like many South Asian desserts, has Persian influences.
Likely to have originated from the Mughal Empire in the 16th Century, this dessert was often flavoured with saffron and nuts, packed into metal cones and stored in slurry ice or saltpeter.
Records of Mughal emperor Akbar’s administration also mentioned the transportation of Himalayan ice to warmer areas, an early form of refrigeration.
Storage of kulfis in hot climates is traditionally done within a large earthenware pot called a ‘Matka’, which is filled with ice and salt and the metal cones are placed within.
Kulfi’s density is key to its endurance in hot climates. The method of preparation, reducing milk to thicken it and to caramelise the lactose and sugars in it, means that it melts far slower than traditional ice cream-like desserts.
Where ice cream and frozen yogurt have a light creamy texture, kulfi is a denser, less aerated dessert with a milkier taste.
This mango kulfi combines the sweetness and slight acidity of the fruit with kulfi’s uniquely milky flavour base.
To accentuate the sweetness of this dessert, adding pistachio nuts or toasted almonds will add a subtle salty counterpoint that works well.
Spice wise, cardamom, saffron and cinnamon are all welcome additions. Citrus and spice work so well together, and can be added with little complication.
This dessert is perfect for hot weather, or as the bookend of a great meal. So treat yourself to a fruity frozen dessert this summer!