SANTRA KULFI or ORANGE KUFI..
Kulfi is often described as “traditional Indian ice cream”. Kulfi has similarities to ice cream in appearance and taste; however it is denser and creamier. Unlike ice cream, kulfi is not whipped, resulting in a solid, dense frozen dessert similar to traditional custard-based ice cream. Thus, it is sometimes considered a distinct category of frozen dairy-based dessert.
The word “kulfi” is derived from the Persian word for a covered cup. The dessert likely originated in the Mughal Empire in the 16th century.
The mixture of dense evaporated milk (Rabdi) was already popular in Hindu sweet dishes. During the Mughal period, this mixture was flavoured with pistachios and saffron, packed into metal cones and immersed in slurry ice, resulting in the invention of Kulfi. Ain-i-Akbari mentions use of saltpeter (crushed ice mixed with salt) for refrigeration as well as transportation of Himalayan ice to warmer areas.
Kulfi comes in various flavours. The more traditional ones are cream (malai), rose, mango, cardamom (elaichi), saffron (kesar or zafran), and pistachio. There are newer variations such as apple, orange, strawberry, peanut, and avocado.
One doesnt see too much of innovation around this ever so popular dessert . This is one innovative preparation which appealed to me immediately. Though am not a dessert person and stay far away from anything sweet, I decided to give it a try. Quite easy to prepare yet different and impressive with its distinctive taste.
Slow boil a litre of full cream milk. Enough for four to five oranges. When the milk reduces to one third of its quantity, to about 350 ml, add 100 gms sugar. Traditionally Kulfi is not too sweet. If you have a sweet tooth you can add more.
Take ripe oranges and cut on the top as shown in the picture
I have used California oranges. It has thick and hard skin which makes it ideal for this preparation. You can use Nagpur oranges, but you need to be extra careful while handling them as they have thin and brittle skin.
Scoop out the juice and pulp using a combination of fork and a small spoon.
Preserve the juice and pulp.
Sieve the juice and pulp. Add some of the juice and pulp to the rabdi. Taste after addding each tablespoon of juice until you get that balance of “sweet, yet a bit sour”.
Make small bits of orange zest (skin/chhilkaa/chopaa) and add to the rabdi. This is optional too. If you do not like the sweet bitterness of orange zest then omit it.
Fill the hollow orange shells with rabdi mixture.
Put in deep freezer for minimum four hours. Freezing overnight is best. Make sure its completely frozen before removing from freezer.