The Big Fat Glossary of Indian Mithai: Kulfi

November 24, 2013 - by Shriya

Kulfi is a frozen dairy dessert that is enjoyed in South Asia. While it is similar to ice cream, it is denser and creamier than ice cream because the dish calls for cream and different spices.

Kulfi is served as an ice-cream scoop or more commonly, cut into pieces and arranged in a tall glass.

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Culture

Kulfi is a popular summer treat, enjoyed during the worst of the heat waves in the Indian subcontinent. But it can truly be enjoyed year-round due to its deliciousness and versatility.

Kulfi has even been made into an ice-cream flavor and is now served at fusion ice cream shops worldwide.

Ingredients

Kulfi is made with evaporated milk and sugar, slowly heated until the lactose carmelizes and the mixture becomes thick. The dense kulfi is then cooled and cut into pieces before serving.

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Pista kulfi, served as a scoop.

Photo courtesy of topglobalrecipes.com.

Kulfi can be flavored with just about any spice or fruit, mixed in during the cooking process. Common additions to kulfi include elaichi (cardamom), pista (pistachio), and fruit. Mango and tutti frutti (dried fruit) go great with the creamy dessert.

Variations

Kulfi is named after its main flavoring, such as rose or saffron. Popular kulfi flavors include pista (pistachio), tutti frutti, or even just plain malai (cream).

The dish can also be served in a variety of ways. It is traditionally served in a tall glass, cut into small squares, but it can also be scooped like an ice cream. A fun way to serve kulfi is to freeze it in popsicle sticks and eat it like an ice pop!

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A frozen mango kulfi pop is a perfect summer treat.

Photo courtesy of chefinyou.com.

While kulfi usually takes a long time to simmer and prepare, it can be made in a simpler form with a blender and bread crumbs.

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