Malai Kulfi – Indian Spiced Ice Cream

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The Texas summer is in full swing now. The highest temperature for an average day is now above 100F, that would be almost 38C; yes the high school mathematics is of much help these days. Texas summers are hot and dry, and for me there is no chance of going out in the afternoon. Though I have seen many people love the sun and go for running especially during midday.

I hate summers, the heat, the sun, almost everything about it. But, the only two things I love during this time of the year is of course the worry free binging on ice cream and the abundance of berries. I love ice cream, as long as there is no chocolate involved; yes you heard it right, I don’t like chocolate ice cream.Indian ice cream, kulfi

When we talk about ice cream, one thing I miss after coming to the US is the tall dark mustached kulfi-wala who used to come to our neighborhood during the summer afternoon with his big red cloth covered handi on the back of his cycle. Kulfi, the indigenous Indian ice cream is generally made with non-homogenized milk, boiled to a thick consistency, the creamy fat on top of the milk is called malai, and that where malai kulfi name came from.

Apparently, kulfi was first made in the kitchen of Mughal emperor, Akbar. The ice was brought from the Himalayas to freeze this ice cream. While malai kulfi is the most commonly prepared kulfi, you can also use mango puree to mix with the kulfi mixture to prepare mango kulfi.

Kulfi

 

Malai Kulfi - Indian Spiced Ice Cream
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 cups half and half, room temperature
  2. ¼ cup condensed milk
  3. ¼ cup milk powder
  4. ½ cup blanched and peeled almond
  5. ⅛ cup shelled and chopped pistachios
  6. 10-12 whole almonds, crushed
  7. ¼ teaspoon saffron
  8. ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder
Instructions
  1. In a blender blend the blanched almonds to a thick paste.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan, preferably non-stick one add the milk powder, slowly pour the condensed milk while stirring the mixture, make sure the milk powder doesn’t form any lump. Once the condensed milk and milk powder is mixed, it will become a thick gooey paste, pour the half and half, and keep on stirring
  3. Now keep the pan over low flame and bring it to simmering bowl, stirring often. Take out about one-fourth cup of the boiling mixture and immerse the saffron in it. Once the saffron is dissolved and color turn yellowish, pour it back in the pan. Give it a stir.
  4. Take out of flame and fold in the almond paste and cardamom powder. Let the pan to cool down completely. Mix the chopped pistachios and almonds.
  5. Pour the mixture in kulfi or popsicle molds, and freeze for at least 6 hours.
Notes
  1. The best way to take out the kulfis without breaking them in halves is to pour hot water over the mold for a few seconds and then inverting the molds on a plate. The kulfi will come out smoothly.
  2. To give the kulfi a mughlai flavor, you can use a drop of rose water and keyra water.
  3. If you don’t have kulfi molds at home, use paper or plastic disposable cups.
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malai kulfi

 

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Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp Scampi

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When there is a baby at home, it’s really hard to cook. You chop the onions, and there he is under the table, you heat the oil and about to add the onions in the skillet and there he is eating a magazine page. The last 6 months have taught me a lot of things, but above all it has taught me to multitask.

These days I try searching for food, which is wholesome and is easy to cook. When it comes to cooking time, nothing can beat shrimps. You can cook shrimps in less than 5 minutes, you don’t believe it, try it. Whether its the Bengali favorite chingrir malaikari or Italian style shrimp scampi, shrimp is the easiest and quickest meal you can prepare. You can prepare scampi and serve it as an appetizer, or you can also serve it with rice or pasta.

I am not a big fan of pasta, but I love angel’s hair pasta, the thin and smooth texture of the cooked pasta steals my heart every time.

Angel Hair Pasta

 

 

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp Scampi
Serves 2
A quick and easy lunch
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Ingredients
  1. For the scampi-
  2. 1lb fresh shrimps
  3. 1 tablespoon butter
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  7. A few sprigs of parsley
  8. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  9. ½ cup dry white wine
  10. Salt to taste
  11. For the pasta-
  12. 1 lb angel’s hair pasta
  13. 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the pasta, boil a large pot of water, when the water starts boiling add a tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cover and let the water come to a boil. Once it starts boiling keep it on high heat for 6-8 minutes or till the pasta is soft to touch. Drain in a colander and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil so that the pasta doesn’t stick to each other
  2. In a skillet add the olive oil and butter and wait till the butter is melted. Saute the chopped garlic and let it start to sizzle.
  3. Add the chili flakes and shrimp. Season with salt.
  4. Chop the parsley leaves and add it to the shrimp, give it a good toss and then pour the wine.
  5. Let the shrimps simmer in a the wine sauce for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Divide the pasta in 4 equal parts, and top with equal portions of the scampi. Garnish with parmesan cheese
Notes
  1. You can use cilantro leaves instead of the parsley and if you don't like to add the wine then substitute it with chicken or vegetable stock/broth.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

 

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp Scampi

 

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Kachumber – Spicy Indian Salad

 

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I grew up eating salad as a side with spicy Indian food. Be that dum alu or Chittagong chicken, salads were always on the side line. But coming here, and living in the US for almost 4 years now, the take on salad has almost changed, from being a side dish salad has now turned into a meal. Over the years I have started liking the abundance of greens in my salad (read loads of spinach, arugula and how can I forget iceberg lettuce), but when it comes to touching your roots a medley of cucumber, tomatoes and onion always seals the deal.

Mexican pico de gallo comes very close to this garden fresh North Indian green salad, but the vegetables are cut in a little larger size and when its Indian it has to spicier. Generally, cucumber, onions and tomatoes are the main ingredients in this salad, but tamarind is also mixed sometimes to give it a more tangy taste. And, if you want, you can also add a portion of yogurt to make dahi raita.

 

Kachumber

 

 

Kachumber
Yields 1
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Prep Time
7 min
Prep Time
7 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium cucumbers
  2. 2 tomatoes
  3. 1 medium onion
  4. 2 Thai green chili
  5. 2-3 sprigs of cilantro
  6. 1 teaspoon lime juice
  7. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop the cucumber, tomatoes and onion to bite size pieces. While doing so, scoop out the seeds from the cucumber and tomatoes with a spoon
  2. Slice the green chili and coarsely chop the cilantro leaves, leave the stalks behind
  3. Mix everything together in a glass bowl, sprinkle with salt and lime juice. Mix and serve with your choice of spicy curry
Notes
  1. The quantity of ingredients depends entirely on you, it doesn't matter if you use 3 cucumbers instead of 4, if it tastes good to you, that's what counts.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

Kachumber

 

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