So Hot They’re Cool:Icy Indian recipes,Part 1

Indie Ices tuk tuk

A little kingfisher told me this weekend’s set to be HOT. British temperatures might not top the roaring heat of the Rajasthani desert that these chaps will cycle through for charity come autumn; but you’ll certainly need to know what to eat to beat that heat.

Counter-intuitively, hot food cools the body. As a rule, the mercury of India’s food moves North as you head South – chillies actually making you chillier by starting you sweating. But although the head may heed the science bit, the heart can’t resist the clarion call of the ice cream van.

The Pavlovian response caused by the tinny tinkle of a piped nursery rhyme rouses one from a heat-induced torpor; sending you scurrying for a handful of coins and out onto the pavement in a panic. An ice cream won’t cool you like a curry, but the mere thought of a 99 gets you hot under the collar.

So this summer, I implore you to spice your ice. For something super-simple, take your cue from The Incredible Spicemen, who introduced Britain to the brilliant and bonkers notion of sprinkling your soft-serve cone with cinnamon and chilli powder.

Sold? There’s plenty more icy Indian inspiration to explore. From these indulgent, creamy kulfis to the sweet’n’sour sorbets I’ll share for you to salivate over next week, these ices will make your summer very cool – no matter how warm the weather.

Cracking Kulfi

You know that ad depicting the delicious agony of awaiting your Haagen Dazs to soften sufficiently to allow you to slide your spoon into its icy depths? Kulfi’s composition means you’ll be in the same position. India’s ice cream is traditionally made with milk that’s slow-stirred until it’s reduced; now oft-substituted with ready-condensed and evaporated products for expedience.

Kulfi could be called a triple-threat treat; owing its devilish decadence to the creaminess of rich, high-fat milk; its silken smoothness to low water content, and its density to the fact air is not introduced through churning. Matka kulfi is an icy delight with an extra-velvety bite – slow-freezing in unglazed earthenware pots prevents crystallisation.

A true original

To set the scene, peruse Pamela Timms’s post on Pandit Kuremal’s 1908 Rabri Recipe, sold in Delhi to this day.

Going Nuts

One Hot Stove walnut kulfi

Anjeer-Akhrot kulfi – One Hot Stove

Fruit-full recipes

Dassana Amit mango-kulfi

Mango kulfi – Veg Recipes of India

Spice & surprise

Hildas malai kulfi

Malai kulfi – Hilda’s Touch of Spice

Like British brown bread ice cream? Try this Bread kulfi from Awesome Cuisine.

Not hot on DIY?

Indie Ices tuk tuk

Try the Saffron and pistachio praline kulfi with pistachio brittle dust, pistachio brandy snap tuille and saffron jelly on Babur’s 29th Anniversary menu; Cafe Spice Namaste’s quirkly chocolate kulfi – made with Original Beans’ Cru Virunga; or award-winning kulfi from mobile vendor Indie Ices (see tricked-out tuk tuk Asha in pic above).

  • The Arctic adventure’s not over –  next week we’ll explore frosty fun in the form of Indian-inspired ice creams, lollies, sorbets, and faloodas… not forgetting the inimitable ice gola.
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One response to “So Hot They’re Cool:Icy Indian recipes,Part 1

  1. Pingback: So Hot They’re Cool:Icy Indian recipes,Part 2 | Culinary Adventures of The Spice Scribe·

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