I go crazy during this time of the year for berries. They are available in abundance and so delicious. I swear I want to buy all the big boxes in the grocery stores. But considering how much I waste stuff [:(] I am really trying hard to buy only what I need. Did I need this big box of strawberries from Cosctco? No. Am I glad I got it? YES YES! Because I got to made this delicious and creamy Strawberry Kulfi!
Kulfi is Indian ice cream, hugely popular back home. It is made by cooking the milk till it’s really thick and then adding sugar, saffron, cardamom and nuts to it. This recipe for strawberry kulfi is an instant one, you don’t need to cook anything!
I would like to mention here that I am a fan of traditional kulfi, I actually never like taking short cuts when it comes to cooking until and unless it’s really required. Growing up in India, we didn’t get any frozen or packed products, so for example if we had to make chickpeas or beans, we will always soak the raw ones overnight and then cook it the next day. And because I grew up watching this, I practice the same. Package products still aren’t a thing in India, nor is frozen food. Same way if you want to make kulfi, you cook the milk till it thickens which can take hours.
I do believe that the traditional way of making kulfi is the best but this week I had this sudden craving of kulfi. I didn’t feel going through the long process and since I had all the ingredients for an instant version, I decided to go ahead with it. The strawberries came into the picture because I got a huge box from Costco and I thought it will be fun to a try a new fruity flavored kulfi.
For this instant strawberry kulfi I used evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. These three milk products give the kulfi it’s desired creaminess and thickness. I also used some strawberry essence since I thought the puree wasn’t enough to give me that desired strawberry aroma. Kulfi is usually served over a popsicle/lollipop stick like in the picture below but you can freeze in any mold of your choice.
Please use a lot of cardamom in this recipe. I know 12 green cardamom pods seems like a big number, at first I added only half of it. But because the strawberry flavor was so overpowering I wasn’t able to taste/smell cardamom at all. So I crushed seeds from 6 more cardamom pods and voila it was perfect! So taste the mixture before you freeze it. After all what’s a kulfi without cardamom?
Empty a 12 oz can of evaporated milk in a large bowl. Microwave it for a minute and then add to it a 14 oz can of condensed milk. Mix well.
Next add heavy cream.
Mix till everything is well combined. Set aside.
Take strawberries and remove their stalk. Pulse in a blender with 3 tablespoons sugar to a smooth puree. Adding sugar here is optional, my strawberries weren’t really sweet so I added in some sugar.
Strain the mixture into a small bowl.
Mix the strained strawberry puree with the milk mixture.
Add the strawberry essence, pink food color [if using] and crushed cardamom seeds. Mix till everything is well combined.
Pour the mixture into kulfi molds or any mold of your choice.
Cover with aluminium foil and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze overnight or till firm.
To unmold simply put the mold under running tap water for 45 seconds and pull gently. The kulfi comes out easily.
Garnish with chopped pistachios and enjoy!
* You may need more or less cardamom pods. I used more than 12 to get to the desired flavor. Add 6-7 at first and then taste and add more.
* The prep time includes the freezing time. The actual prep time is only 15 minutes, 6 hours is what it takes to freeze completely.
* If you don’t have fresh strawberries and want to make this, you can add any strawberry flavored syrup into the milk base.
- 1 can evaporated milk, 12 oz
- 1 can condensed milk , 14 oz
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1.5 cups fresh strawberry puree , from around 30-35 big strawberries
- 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar, optional, only if strawberries aren't sweet enough]
- 12 green cardamom pods, seeds crushed using a mortar and pestle
- 3/4 teaspoon strawberry extract
- pink food color, optional
- Empty a 12 oz can of evaporated milk in a large bowl. Microwave it for a minute and then add to it a 14 oz can of condensed milk. Mix well.
- Next add heavy cream and mix till everything is well combined. Set aside.
- Take strawberries and remove their stalk. Pulse in a blender with 3 tablespoons sugar to a smooth puree. Adding sugar here is optional, my strawberries weren't really sweet so I added in some sugar.
- Strain the mixture into a small bowl.
- Mix the strained strawberry puree with the milk mixture.
- Add the strawberry essence, pink food color [if using], kesar-elaichi essence [optional] and crushed cardamom seeds. Mix till everything is well combined.
- Pour the mixture into kulfi molds or any mold of your choice.
- Cover with aluminium foil and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze overnight or till firm.
- To unmold simply put the mold under running tap water for 45 seconds and pull gently. The kulfi comes out easily.
- Garnish with chopped pistachios and enjoy!