Pomegranate Kulfi

Every child’s favorite~Kulfi is Indian Ice-cream like dessert, which is richer in taste and firm in texture. It can also be served as a snack during summers. Kulfi reminds me of my childhood during those endless sultry and humid Hyderabadi summer days.

Traditionally it is made by boiling milk until reduced by half, which is then flavored with nuts, aromatic spices or saffron. This is then cooled and poured into aluminium Kulfi molds with tight lids (can be bought online here, or they are also available at local Indian stores) and frozen until solid, and served sliced garnished with edible silver foil called as varq.

In Season: Pomegranates~Anaar

Thanks POM!

The typical flavorings that are added in Kulfi are Pistachio, Saffron, Mango and Cardamom. They is no churning required unlike in ice-cream preparation. The reduced milk imparts the creamy attribute to the Kulfi. You can also use sweetened condensed milk instead, but I have used evaporated milk so that I can control the amount of sugar I am adding.

A few months back, the folks at POM Wonderful were kind enough to send me a few coupons to sample out their products. POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice ia available in cute curvaceous bottles at many stores I have been enjoying this antioxidant rich totally natural Pomegranate juice in various ways. But I really loved this POM Kulfi that I had tried out. It was creamy, and absolutely delicious.

POM Wonderful Pomegranate Kulfi – Pomegranate Ice-cream~Indian style

Ingredients:

Juice from large fresh Pomegranates to make 1 cup (or) 1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
Granulated white sugar – 1/3 cup
Evaporated Milk – 370 ml
Coarsely chopped almonds – 1 tbsp

Method:

1. In a saucepan, pour the pomegranate juice and add sugar. Mix well and let it boil until reduced to half cup. Remove from heat and keep aside to cool completely. Once cool, add the evaporated milk and chopped almonds and mix well.

2. Fill the mixture in Kulfi molds. Alternatively you can line a freezer container or a freezer proof plastic food container with plastic wrap, or you can also pour the mixture into an ice-cube tray, or use ice-pop molds, and place them in the freezer overnight until solid. Later, remove from the freezer and lift the plastic wrap away from the container, invert onto a platter, cut and serve immediately.

Flavor alternatives for Kulfi: Strawberry, Chocolate, Pistachio, Mango, Saffron, Cardamom, Khoa, Malai/Thick Cream, Coffee, Lemon zest, Rosewater, Dried figs, Sapota, etc.

I sign off wishing that the current chaotic political conditions back home in Andhra Pradesh settle down as soon as possible, and the right decision is made for the betterment of the general masses.

Luv,
Mona

Ratalu ki Kheer

During my visit to the market for the weekly groceries today, I saw this huge pile of sweet potatoes that were so fresh with earth still on them and they were huge in sizes and I could not resist buying it. On the way back home, the only thing I was thinking about was that absolutely delicious Ratalu ki kheer my Ammi used to prepare for us during my childhood.

Sweet Potato

Kheer is Milk pudding, flavored with a hint of cardamom seed powder, or a few saffron threads and various fried nuts and dry fruits for a little crunch and aroma. Several kinds of vegetables and grains, which do not have a very strong flavor of their own are used to make kheer. Sweet potato, White potato, Opo squash(kaddu), Rice, Vermicelli, etc., which have an affinity to milk are preferred.

Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, potassium, and an excellent source of dietary fiber and vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A helps our bodies fight infections and lets us see better in the dark, promote healthy skin and hair. When I was a kid, I remember I and my siblings enjoyed boiled sweet potato cut into cubes and dipped in sugar. Those morsels were ultimately delicious and an occasional treat.

The subtle sweetness of this humble tuber~Sweet potato, also called as Ratalu in Urdu, is perfect for preparing a delicious kheer out of it. Today I tried to recreate my Ammi version of this dessert in my kitchen. الحمد لله it was good, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Ratalu ki Kheer – Sweet Potato Milk Pudding (Low fat Version)

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato – 700 kg (I used orange fleshed sweet potato, you can also use white fleshed sweet potato for this dish)
Evaporated milk (2% partly skimmed) – 370 ml (I used Carnation brand)
Sugar – 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder – 1 big pinch (optional)
Toasted slivered/chopped nuts like pistachio and almonds – 1 tsp, for garnish

Ratalu ki Kheer – Sweet Potato Milk Pudding

Method:

1. There are two ways to cook a sweet potato.
Pressure cook them: In a pressure cooker add the sweet potato and pour in cool fresh water enough to cover the sweet potato and pressure cook until it is tender, approx 10-15 mins on medium heat. To check if it done, pierce the tuber with a knife, if the knife goes into it effortlessly, it is done, if not let cook for just a further few minutes. Once done, drain in a colander, let cool slightly, peel the skin while still warm.
Steam them: Slice ½” thick slices (peeled or not). Place in steam basket over a pot of water. Cover, turn heat to high, bringing water to boil, cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Fork test for completion, they should pierce easily and the skins will be very tender.
I pressure cooked them.

pressure cooked sweet potato, ready to be peeled

mashed sweet potato

2. Mash the sweet potato in a bowl and keep aside.
3. In a milk saucepan, pour in the evaporated milk and add sugar and bring it to a boil at medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, add the mashed potato and using a heavy wooden spoon, mix it well, mashing it well in the milk so that there are no large lumps. Let cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the cardamom powder and remove from heat. Serve in small bowls and garnish with toasted nuts. You can also sprinkle a few fresh rose petals for a gorgeous look.

This low fat and creamy Sweet potato pudding goes to Meeta’s ‘Monthly Mingle‘. Sudeshna of ‘Cook like a Bong‘ is the guest host this month for this event with a theme of ‘Winter Fruits and Vegetables‘.

Luv,
Mona