Kulfi (Indian Ice-cream)

 

Kulfi is traditionally made from just milk, simmered down for hours and poured into this typical conical mold pictured here, and frozen.

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My favorite quick and easy recipe uses evaporated and condensed milk to make it rich and creamy. Any shape of popsicle mold or even a ice cube tray will work.

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Ingredients

1  14-ounce can condensed milk

2  12-ounce cans evaporated milk

8 ounces whipping cream

1/2 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts or almonds

1 teaspoon crushed saffron  (optional)

1/2 – 1 teaspoon cardamom powder  (optional)

Preparation

Add all the ingredients together in a large bowl, and beat with a hand mixer till the liquid is well blended.

Pour into the molds.  Freeze overnight.

Dip into water water to remove from the molds just before serving.

Slice and serve with additional nuts if desired.

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Note: I personally do not like my Kulfi very sweet but if you prefer it sweeter, reduce the evaporated milk to only 1 can.

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Baklava Rolls

A friend recently asked me to help her make Baklava for her son’s wedding as I had made it many times in the past. It might look difficult to make but it’s pretty simple, and also freezes well… so it is the perfect pastry for a big event!  Since I know another friend who makes them quite often, I called her to compare our recipes and in addition, got a few extra tips from her.

I typically prefer to use the Athens brand of filo(or phyllo) dough which has 2 sealed packets of rolls so if I don’t need a large quantity I can halve the recipe. (There are other brands which come in long rolls with only one sealed packet.) IMG_1749Its easier to roll up the pastry, versus making the traditionally shaped baklava.  I froze the baklava in the cookie tray that I baked them in, covered with heavy duty aluminum foil.  When ready to use them, simply thaw out and arrange the pieces on your serving platter.

Ingredients

1 package of filo dough, thawed
3 cups shelled walnuts, pulsed in a food processor (not too fine or coarse)

IMG_17363/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
4 ounces (1 stick of butter) melted till the solids separate out (or ghee)

Syrup:

1 1/4 sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lime juice

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Use a cookie sheet with sides, and brush the entire pan with butter.

Remove 2 sheets of filo pastry, (keep the remaining pastry sheets covered by a damp cloth) brush very lightly with butter.IMG_1739

Fold the pastry in half, and then take about 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture and place it along one side.

IMG_1741Roll the pastry up tightly. Brush again with butter and stack along the width of the cookie sheet. Continue with the remaining pastry sheets.IMG_1742

Trim the ends and score into 5 to 6 pieces along the entire length (not cut cutting all the way through). As you can tell, I completely forgot to trim the ends before baking to make it look neater!IMG_1737

Bake for 25 minutes until the rolls are medium brown. While baking, make the syrup.

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Syrup:

Place the sugar, water, honey and lime juice in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar has melted. Continue to simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Pour the hot syrup over the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven. When cool remove to serving platter. (If freezing, cover with heavy duty aluminum foil) Garnish with extra chopped walnuts.

Makes about 144 rolls. IMG_1747

Ricotta Rasmalai


I started cooking much more and looking for quick and easy recipes soon after I moved to the US, 40 something years ago! One of the easiest dessert recipes I came across back then was Rasmali made with ricotta cheese.  I’ve found that it is easy to pair with Indian or Western food.

It’s a simple summer dessert as it is light and also delicious with strawberries, blueberries or peaches. Depending on your preference you can vary the amount of sugar that you use.  It is also a great recipe to make in advance as it is best eaten chilled.

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Ingredients

16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese

3/4 – 1  cup sugar

1-2 cups half and half

chopped almonds for garnish

Fruit (optional)

 

Preparation

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the ricotta cheese with the sugar. Spread in a 8″ x 8″ pyrex dish or cake pan.

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Bake for 45 minutes till it is light brown.

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Cool. Cut into squares and add the half and half. Refrigerate.

Serve with chopped almonds and fruit if desired.

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