You say Mango, I say Kulfi

23 May
Mango Kulfi with Mango Puree and Rosewater-scented Mascarpone

Mango Kulfi with Mango Puree and Rosewater-scented Mascarpone

They say that “the only place to eat a mango properly is in the bathtub.” I just don’t remember *who* said it. Ironically, my first ever real proper professional position was with a little editorial company that offered me the chance to read and write and help with the editing all day…and one of the first books I worked on was in a series called “The Cultivated Gardener.” And in that series was a book that focused on fruit (others were vegetables, flowers, and maybe…trees? God, it has been a long time.). And in that fruit book…was this famous quote along with a gorgeous painting by Botero of one of his gigantic women..naked in a tub…with a mango. Great quote, great painting.

Thankfully, there are other delightful ways to eat mangoes, although the bathtub version certainly sounds like fun as well.

One way is a way that I learned about first in Singapore: Mango Kulfi. In essence, the Indian version of ice cream. Normally kulfi is made by taking a whole lot of milk, adding sugar, and reducing reducing reducing it to half its volume – it takes hours – until it thickens up. In fact many Indian sweets are made this way.

But a couple days back I came across a blog with the quick and dirty and super secret version of kulfi that you can make in about 10 minutes flat if you don’t count the freezing time.

I made it a couple days ago too. I went and bought a couple mangoes, the rest of the ingrediencts, blended it all up and froze it in my little ceramic containers I have collected over the years from these french yogurts that I buy once in a blue moon. Kulfis are traditionally served in little ceramic pots, not so different than the yogurt cups.

Decided to serve it for dessert last night – along with a slick of mango puree twinned with some mascarpone mixed with honey and rosewater. The whole sprinkled with chopped pistachios. The Indian man at the table, suffering from jetlag from his trip that day/night from Singapore, but bravely forking his way through the rest of my meal (ok, which was more than merely forkable), woke right up for dessert. And exclaimed how authentic it tasted. So the cheat can’t have been all so bad.

The recipe:


  • 1 (12 fl oz) tin evaporated milk
  • 1 (14 oz) tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup pistachio, coarsely crushed into small pieces
  • few strands saffron, optional
  • 3 mangoes, pureed


  1. Mix together the milks and cream. Mix in the pureed mango pulp. Add in the saffron and the nuts.
  2. Pour into small cups or an ice cube tray and freeze for atleast 6-8 hours or overnight. (The Kulfi expands as it freezes. Don’t fill the cups or molds more than two-thirds full.)
  3. When ready to serve, remove the moulds from the freezer let them defrost slightly. Use a knife to cut around the perimeter. The kulfis should slide right out if they are defrosted enough. Alternatively, eat straight from the cups with a spoon.
  4. Serve garnished with some pistachio nuts or with sweetened rose water mascarpone and mango puree (as in the photo.)

Hey, no one said it was low calorie. Shut up and go for a run.

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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Cooking at home


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