Cyrus Todiwala has created a household favourite with his super simple version of the classic Indian dessert, taken from his cookbook, Simple Spice Vegetarian
IMAGE: MATT RUSSELL
Kulfi is often known as an Indian-style ice cream, but I prefer to call kulfis ‘iced cream’ because they are simply frozen after the initial prep, without any stirring or beating. Traditionally, the milk would be gradually reduced over a slow heat to reduce the water content and prevent ice crystals from forming when freezing. However, I thought it would be easier to bypass that tedious stage and give you something very simple and easy to work with. Toasted hazelnuts or almonds can be used instead of pistachios.
Traditionally kulfi is served alongside rose-scented rice or agar-agar vermicelli and soaked basil seeds, but you can serve it as you desire, perhaps with some diced fresh fruit. A typical kulfi mould is conical shaped, but use any small pudding mould or ice cream mould for this.
Hazelnut kulfi (Hejhalanata kulfi)
- 200–250 g (7–9oz) Skinned hazelnuts
- 250 ml (9fl oz) Full-fat milk
- 500 ml (18fl oz) Double cream
- 300 ml (10fl oz) Condensed milk
- ½ tsp Green cardamom pods seeds ground
- Preheat the oven to 130°C/260°F/Gas Mark 3/4.
- Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 20–25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Place the milk in a saucepan over a low heat, until just warm.
- Transfer most of the hazelnuts to a blender and pour over the warmed milk. Soak for about 30 minutes, then blend to a paste.
- Add the cream to the hazelnut mixture, and then, tasting as you go and adding a little bit at a time, mix in the condensed milk and ground cardamom. The cardamom shouldn’t cancel out the flavour of the hazelnut and the sweetness can be adjusted with the addition of the condensed milk.
- Place the bowl in the freezer for 20–30 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Chop the remaining nuts and add these to the mixture, saving a sprinkling to serve. Pour the mixture into the moulds and return to the freezer until completely frozen. If making lollies, you can insert the sticks halfway through the freezing.
- To serve, briefly dip the moulds into hot water and then turn out on a serving plate. Serve immediately, with the reserved chopped nuts sprinkled on top.
Recipe taken from Simple Spice Vegetarian: Easy Indian vegetarian recipes from just 10 spices, by Cyrus Todiwala, published by Mitchell Beazley, £20, www.octopusbooks.co.uk