This past week, it was definitely time to open up those cans again; of condensed milk and evaporated milk, I mean!! The temperatures were soaring and stayed up here in the Bay Area and one surefire yummy way to fight the heat is with cold desserts. Today’s recipe of no-cook kulfi will serve that purpose in a snap, literally!
What is kulfi, you ask?
Kulfi is a frozen creamy dairy dessert originating in India in the 16th century. It is often described as “traditional Indian ice cream.” Kulfi is made by boiling full cream milk down to almost a third of its volume, and then adding sweetener (sugar) as well as other ingredients to make different types of kulfi. Some popular kulfi varieties include malai (simply means cream), mango, pista, and rose. This thickened, sweetened, flavored milk is then poured into molds and once frozen, the kulfi is ready to eat.
While I do love the feel of ‘malai’ as I enjoy my kulfi (which we can get by boiling down milk to a third), I decided to take the easy route this time. A no-cook, simply-blend-together kulfi.. – and it was a hit!!
Today’s Featured Recipe
Time Needed: 10 minutes (more or less!); Makes: 8 – 10; Difficulty: Super Easy
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1/2 can condensed milk (or more if you wish; you can skip the 1/2 cup whole milk and any additional sugar if you choose to use more condensed milk). TBH, I ended up using more than 1/2 can for that last batch of kulfi I made!
- saffron strands soaked in 2 tbsp warm milk
- 6 cardamom powdered
- Mixed nuts – coarsely chopped – 2 tbsp (I prefer pista, almonds and pecans for this) + 2 tbsp for garnishing
- 1/2 cup whole milk (see note for condensed milk)
- 3 tbsp sugar (optional or as per taste)
- See notes for other variations
- In a blender, take all the ingredients together and blend till well, well-blended!
- Pour into molds (ice cream molds or kulfi molds, or into any other freezer safe small cup sized container). You can use paper cups too if you wish. If you are using molds or other containers without a lid, cover the same with foil and insert a popsicle stick.
- Freeze and then enjoy! It should be ready to enjoy in 3 – 4 hours, though I ensure I make it at least 6 hours in advance. Don’t forget to garnish with the nuts before you start relishing this cool treat!
- If you chose to boil things down a bit, you can choose to mix the ingredients on the stove in a heavy bottomed pan on low flame for about 15-20 minutes. While there is a difference in texture, the taste is amazing either way! My kids loved this instant, no-cook version as much as the one where I cooked them together a bit.
- You could optionally add about a 1/4 cup milk-mawa powder or milk powder, or fresh khoa if you can find it (at your local Indian grocery).
- If you are wondering about the molds I used, they were ice pop molds I purchased years ago when my teenager was a toddler, and I do not see those on the website I purchased them from at this time, nor on Amazon 🙁
Suggestions for molds you can use:
- Mango kulfi: Blend in puree of two mangoes or 1.5 cups mango puree to the above ingredients. And everything else stays the same. Just enjoy mango kulfi this time!!
- Just a hint of mango: This was my variation as we ended up eating the mango we cut for making the kulfi (well, most of it anyways). So I had just half a mango left over when I started making the kulfi. But the end result was the regular wonderful kulfi with that perfect hint of mango!!
- Rose kulfi: While I am yet to try this myself at home, I have enjoyed this. Add about 1 tbsp of rosewater to the basic ingredients list, and also some coarsely ground fresh rose petals (or 15 g of dried rose petals soaked in warm water for a bit and then coarsely ground). Save some rose petals – chopped – for garnishing the kulfi if you wish. You can also add some red/pink food coloring to this if you want.
There are so many other variations you can try and enjoy, like paan kulfi, pista kulfi, gulkand kulfi, and more based on what you love and your imagination! The flavors can be endless – any fresh fruits, dried fruits, nuts, even chocolate.
And Now, the End of this Post
Dear reader, do let me know if you try out this recipe. And have you had kulfi before? What is your favorite flavor? Or if you have not tried kulfi before, what is your favorite frozen dessert?