For as long as I remember, I’ve had a sweet tooth. Supermarkets here typically contain ice cream tubs, pastries and cakes. If I want to satiate my craving for Indian desserts, I have to make it at home. And thus began my first attempt at kulfi! Kulfis are a type of ice cream from India which are conical in shape and served on a stick. Since I did not have sticks at home, I decided to use a muffin tray to get a round shape and serve it in a bowl. The visual representation is different from the usual kulfi – but the taste and the feeling of eating a kulfi turned out to be just the same. Ever since I made Carrot Kheer , I’ve wanted to continue using carrots in desserts. Carrots enhance the rich texture required in kulfis. I was also happy with the colour that I got – it reminded me of the golden yellow colour of alphonso/hapus mangoes. Everyone at home loved the dish and that made me really happy.
Recipe Details :
Makes: 1 muffin tray
Time: 60 mins
- 3 medium carrots
- 3 cups milk
- 5-6 saffron threads
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1 can unsweetened condensed milk
- 8-10 pistachios (optional)
- Soak the almonds in warm water for 30 mins and peel off the skin.
- Wash and peel the carrots. Cut them into rounds.
- Cook the carrots and almonds together on a medium flame. Once they become soft, switch off the flame. Let it rest for around 15 mins at room temperature.
- Now pulse the cooled almonds and carrot mixture in a blender into a purée.
- Take the milk in a vessel and bring it to a boil. Add saffron threads into the boiling milk. Then add the blended mixture into the milk and keep stirring.
- Once the milk has almost reduced to half, add in the condensed milk. Stir well and let the whole mixture remain on the flame for 5 more mins.
- Finally switch off the flame and let the whole mixture rest in room temperature for 20 mins.
- Now pour the kulfi mixture into the muffin tray and keep it in the freezer for around 4-6 hrs. Before serving, keep it out for some time so that you are able to removed the hardened ice mold easily. Enjoy this delicious carrot and almond kulfi which will make you want to eat more.
- Keep stirring the mixture when it is on the heat. You don’t want the milk to scald and stick the the bottom of the vessel.
- Let the mixture come to room temperature before pouring into moulds and freezing.
- You can cover the top of the muffin tray with plastic wrap while it is setting to avoid “skin” formation on the surface of the kulfi.
I had a packet of oats lying around and was on the lookout to use it in different ways. Fortunately, I found some good beets at the market – and then I was tempted into combining the beets and oats into dessert! The dish I chose was ‘halwa’ (Indian term for a sweet dish). I was very pleased with the result as it turned out to have great taste and a perfect blend of textures – a soft base due to the cooked beets and chewiness from the oats.
Recipe for Beetroot and Oats Halwa / Beet and Oats Halwa
Serves : 2-3
- 2 cups grated beetroot (1 large or 2 small beetroots)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 5-6 pieces each of almonds, cashews and pistachios
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp ghee
Beetroot and oats halwa
- Peel the beetroot and grate it with a thick grater.
- Steam the beetroot in the microwave for 3 mins. This step is totally optional. I steamed it to speed up the cooking process.
- On a medium flame, add ghee in a pan and fry the almonds, cashews and pistachios. Keep stirring them continuously at this stage.
- When the nuts turn golden brown, add the steamed beets to the pan and cook for 5 mins. If you have not microwaved the beets, then cook them slightly longer.
- The water from the beet should cook out. When the base of the pan is almost dry, start adding milk. The milk should be added in stages. I added 1 tbsp of milk every 2 mins until done.
- Now add the oats and sugar and stir well. Cook the entire halwa till all the liquid in the pan evaporates. This should take around 2 mins. Check the sweetness of halwa at this stage. I used brown sugar and the measurement specified is according to that sugar variety.
- Switch off the flame, add cardamom powder at the end and serve hot.
- Keep continuously stirring the nuts in the initial stage otherwise they will burn.
- Any variety of oats can be used in this preparation, so the only difference would be in the cooking time.
- Continuous monitoring of dish on the flame is required in the whole preparation.
- For those staying in Singapore, I used 100% organic rolled oats available in NTUC.
Festivals are a time to celebrate and the best excuse for making sweets & snacks. The festive season also takes you back to your childhood and the traditional savories mom used to – and hopefully, still makes. So I decided to make one of my favorite sweet munchies to connect back to that time. This dish is ideal for distribution during festivals and quite a hit with kids too.
Recipe for Coconut and Jaggery Laddoos / Kamarkat / Kamarkattu
Makes : 12-15 pieces
- 1 cup grated coconut (fresh/frozen)
- 3/4 cup jaggery
- A pinch of cardamom powder (equivalent to 3-4 cardamom pods)
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 cup water
Coconut and jaggery laddoo / Kamarkat / Kamarkattu
- Heat the water in a pan and add the solid pieces of jaggery. Mix well and stir continuously till the jaggery dissolves completely. Occasionally, some lumps or fine impurities may remain – so filter it after switching off the flame.
- Clean the pan and transfer the filtered jaggery syrup back to the pan and heat it on a low flame. The syrup will start bubbling and turn aromatic. At this stage, check for the string consistency of the liquid. (This is that stage when the syrup can’t dissolve in water. It can be tested by taking few drops of syrup onto a spoon of water)
- Add cardamom powder and grated coconut in the syrup. Stir well and keep monitoring till the coconut slowly absorbs all the syrup and becomes thick. Check the consistency by making a small ball. If you are able to roll it, switch of the flame and let it cool slightly.
- The trick is to roll the laddoos when they are warm. Grease your palms with a little ghee and roll them. If the mixture cools down, you will not be able to roll them.
- If you are using freshly grated coconut, do not use the coconut shavings very near to the shell.
- The colour of jaggery syrup is critical. If you overheat it, the laddoos might turn dark brown , hard and difficult to chew. I like the golden brown colour shown in the pic.
- Jaggery can be of any type. If its fine, it becomes easier to dissolve.
- If you are making large numbers, please make it in batches because the whole mixture will dry fast.
- This has to be stored in a dry container and refrigerated for further use. It is advisable to consume within 4-5 days upon refrigeration.