Having never tried Indian desserts, even though I’ve been to Indian restaurants many, many times, I was not sure what to try… I have made a pistachio and cardamom ice cream before, which was very nice (although Nick did REALLY crush the cardamom pods, rather than crack them). This is a quite refreshing and not too heavy dessert, quite milky with delicate cardamom and pistachio flavours. You definitely need to have something not too heavy after a lot of rice, curry and naan bread, and this works a lot better than one of the non-Indian desserts I have made previously after an Indian Banquet, like a self-saucing pudding.
I found it a bit difficult to judge when the milk had reduced to a third of its original volume and I don’t know what effect this has had on the dessert, except for making it go a little further to serve 8 people, with quite a reasonable size serving.
I didn’t have Kulfi moulds and therefore just left the mixture in the large bowl I added the mixture to, as my ice cream maker didn’t seem to freeze the kulfi to an appropriate level. This happened even after I left the mixture in the fridge overnight to cool it down for the machine. Therefore around every hour for 3-4 hours I stirred the kulfi to reduce ice crystal formation and make it more fluffy. When the mixture was almost un-stirrable I added the remaining pistachios on top, and a few more hours later the kulfi was sliced into 8 slices and served. (The first was the most difficult to remove from the bowl.)
Recipe from Indian Food Forever
4 cups milk
8 teaspoons sugar or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom seeds (chotti elaichi)
1 tablespoon skinned pista (pistachios), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon skinned badam (almonds), finely ground (optional)
Put the milk into a wide, heavy pan and bring to boil over high heat, stiring constantly.
Now lower the heat and cook the milk, stirring constantly, until it has thickened and reduced to about 13/4th cups. (This will take about 40-45 minutes). Stir the sides of the pan constantly to avoid scalding.
Now add the sugar, nuts and cardamom seeds, stir well, allow to cool.
Pour the mixture into Kulfi molds or small ramekins, distributing evenly. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and freeze until set, about 6 hours.
To serve, remove the ice-cream from the molds by running a sharp knife around the edges of the pista kulfi. Slip each kulfi on to a dessert plate, cut across into 3-4 slices, and serve.
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