Rabri Kulfi Sticks with Honey, Cardamom and Bay Leaf
As a child, I remember when the school bell rang we would all run out to follow the kulfi-walla's dilapidated wooden cart. On it, there were beaten steel tubs filled with silver moulds which were tapped to reveal the cold milky pops wrapped in white parchment paper and shrouded in cold mist. Breathing in the sweet smell of kulfi (a fresh full-cream cheese-based ice cream), you could taste it before you peeled off the wrapping. These kulfi ice creams are usually made with fresh rabri (milk solids), but you can use shop bought ricotta instead.
Preparation 15 minutes + overnight freezing
Cooking 5-6 minutes
400g tin condensed milk
1 litre whole milk
4 tbsp ricotta cheese
5 tbsp dried whole milk powder
1 tbsp cornflour
5-6 cardamom pods, seeds removed
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp ground pistachios
1 tbsp white and black poppy seeds
Blend the condensed milk, milk, cheese, milk powder, cornflour and cardamom seeds together in a food processor until combined, then pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over a low heat. Add the bay leaf and honey and heat through until warm. Once the mixture is warm, take off the heat. If necessary, adjust the sweetness by adding more honey. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Pour the cooled mixture into kulfi moulds, seal and place in the freezer overnight. I also use cones made from greaseproof paper, stand them upright in a glass and pour the mixture to the top. I semi-freeze these before sticking in the lolly sticks.
When ready to serve, if using moulds, place them under warm water to ease the kulfi out of the mould. If using the greaseproof paper moulds, just peel the paper gently away to reveal your kulfi on a stick, then dip them into the ground pistachios and poppy seeds to decorate.
Extracted from Mountain Berries & Desert Spice: Sweet Inspiration from the Hunza Valley to the Arabian Sea by Sumayya Usmani (Frances Lincoln, approx €24). Photography by Joanna Yee.