Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. ~Ernestine Ulmer
The magic word here is “Mango” . Yellow, ripe, plump , juicy, musky and fruity with a leathery vibrant yellow skin, sometimes comes with those pretty pink spots, speaks about its ripeness, hint of sweet flavor oozing out of the bud tells you its sweetness and even before you think about eating it, just like that , your head buzzed with thousand of ideas to try with mangoes. Thats the mango mania or mango magic. It has been called as “king of fruit” for a reason !
A mango inspired fashion brand or a sensual poetry on mango, a prose drenched in mango juices, memories and stories weaved around those lush mango groves in every backyard I guess, those pickle days in summer afternoons, sitting in kitchen for hours to wash, cut , dry and then buried them in flavored oil and spices, and those chilled glasses of mango lassi to beat the summer heat and on special occasions a dessert like mango kulfi – truly godsend, a gift from heaven for every thirsty soul on Earth !
I love mangoes, I heart mangoes. I can tell you hundred different ways to enjoy the fruit, ripe or unripe, mango is extremely versatile like a seasoned actor who can disguise himself in any role he plays with uttermost conviction. Mango is just like that. Chargrilled the unripe or green mangoes and use them to make refreshing Aam panna , pound the shredded green mangoes with yellow mustard seeds to make homemade mango mustard sauce for your favourite fish recipes or cut the juvenile ones to coat them in sugary syrup to make chutneys. If it is ripe, juicy and tart, then puree them to make zesty mango sauce for your fish recipes . With more juicy, plump and sweet mangoes like alphonso or kesar mangoes, puree them to make easy peasy mango kheer / pudding, combine it with coconut milk to make this delicious mango flan custard, reserve some cubed pieces to garnish over this Jamaican rice and last but not least make this heavenly mangolicious sandesh, our all time favourite mango dessert.
Still have some mangoes left ? Well there are hundred other ideas on my wish list, mango dal, mango pickle, mango doi, amrakhand, mango cheese cake, mango salsa (coming soon), mango mojito …. the list is nearly endless and exhaustive !
There can be many ways to make mango kulfi. What I prefers and love doing is to first hunt for very juicy and sweet mangoes like alphonso or kesar mangoes, or other sweet variety with less fibre like himsagar, then pureed them in blender with little water, reduce the full fat milk to one fourth of its volume till it thickens like rabdi, slighlty cooled and then add the fresh mango pulp, mix it, flavoured with saffron, cardamoms, some pistachios would be good too, and then fill the kulfi moulds if using or freeze them in a small ramekins, half-frozen, blend again to ensure smoothness, served chilled and your guest will never want to leave your house.
- 2 cup : Mango pulp (without fibre)
- ½ litre : Full fat milk
- ½ cup : Sugar (more or less depending upon sweetness of mangoes)
- ½ tsp : Crushed cardamom powder
- A large pinch of saffron
- ¼cup : toasted pistachios
- Mango pulp should not have any fibre. So use those mangoes which are juicy, and sweet. I have used kesar mangoes for this recipe.
- Bring the milk to boil in a deep bottom vessel, lower the heat and simmer the milk till it reduce to ¼th of its original volume.
- As the milk thickens it will change its color to creamy with a tint of pale yellow hue.
- While the milk thickens add few pods of cardamom, and later remove it when it is done.
- During the last leg of reducing the milk, add the sugar and let it dissolve completely.
- Once the milk is sufficiently thickened, switch off the heat and let it cool for couple of minutes.
- Add the saffron, give it a stir.
- After milk is cooled for couple of minute, add the mango pulp, give it a stir.
- Slowly bring the whole thing to a gentle simmer, do not let it boil.
- Once incorporated well, both milk and mangoes, check for the sweetness.
- If requires add more sugar.
- Cool the kulfi mixture completely in the pan.
- Fill the kulfi mixture in the kulfi moulds or six ramekins.
- If using ramekins then wrap them in cling film.
- Freeze the kulfi for one hour or till it is in half frozen stage.
- Bring it out from the fridge and blend it in a blender.
- Repeat it two times at least.
- Freeze the kulfi for minimum six to eight hours.
- Serve chilled with toasted pistachios.
This saffron laced mango kulfi is rich and creamy dessert unlike icecreams which are soft and airy. Kulfis are always dense and rich and that its characteristic. You can adapt the same recipe to make plain kulfi with milk alone, and add some almonds in it or get innovative with range of flavours and taste. Kulfi is one such versatile dessert and you are limited by your own imagination only.
Enjoy ! and yes it melts slowly !
Have a delicious weekend !