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What Is Mango Kulfi?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated May 17, 2024
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Mango kulfi or qulfi is a specific flavor of a frozen dairy product that originated in India, and involves blending various types of processed milk. Kulfi comes in many flavors, and the mango variety incorporates the nutrition and taste of the popular tropical fruit. This type of frozen treat may be familiar around the world in presentations of diverse ethnic dessert cuisine. It’s fairly popular in parts of India and some surrounding regions.

The primary ingredient in mango kulfi, besides the mango, is evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk. While other kinds of dairy products can be used, experts point out that most recipes for this dish use the processed powdered milk or thickened milk products. These help to create the specific texture of mango kulfi and other flavors of the dessert.

In addition to the evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk, some premade frozen whipped topping may also be added. This can enhance the texture of the finished product. Those who prepare mango kulfi also commonly use bread or other fillers.

Another key ingredient in mango kulfi is cardamom. This spice is commonly used in Indian cooking. Cardamom is often used in whole pods, as a snack. Individuals can just chew on the whole pods of cardamom, similarly to how many people use chewing gum. In kulfi, the cardamom is commonly ground with a mortar and pestle, or otherwise made into powder, to blend it with the dairy ingredients.

Making mango kulfi often takes a long time. Those who are experienced with making this dessert dish talk about cooking it long enough to allow it to “reduce.” Reducing the mixture makes it thicker. It is then frozen for various dessert presentations.

Dessert preparers often serve kulfi like a popsicle, on a stick. This dessert may also come in rounded balls, or in a “pie slice” shape. Those who make this dish may also dress it up with vermicelli or other garnishes. Nuts are often chopped and sprinkled over the dish. Part of the appeal of kulfi is in its presentation, where gourmet versions are served in attractive bowls and trays, with even more colorful garnishing. One example of an attractive garnish for kulfi is saffron, either a red version of this plant or the common yellow saffron that is sold in many parts of the world.

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