It’s a frenzy that is evinced in myriad ways, each so diverse from the other yet somehow unified into the spokes of the Chakra, into the homogeneity of the notes in “Mile sur mera tumhara..” into the blue of the nation’s XI knocking Sri Lanka out in the World Cup tourney, into the hysteria that consumes every other theater playing a Lagaan, 3 Idiots, or more recently, ZNMD, where snatches of nostalgia were unfurled in little rushes, like in the inimitable strains of the good old Doordarshan tune, which has in turn taken the delirium to a whole new level..into the upbeat beats of Bhangra right down to the cool karanas of Bharatanatyam, the chipper chaat platters of Delhi..down to the invigorating filter kaapi of Karnataka..this allegiance is quite surely palpable in the one-billion-and-odd hearts separated by borders, all around the world. When the refrain of “Vande Mataram..” reverberates in one’s ears, or even just an unforgettable jingle like “Bulund Bharat ki..bulund tasveer..” gains new attention on a Facebook group dedicated to black-and-white memories, as it were, there’s an unstoppable impulse to hum along, to revisit snapshots of this devotion from years past and relive them, one by one. Memories of scorching under a truly August sun, singing “Jana Gana Mana..” and doing rhythmic lezim routines attired in a starchy-white uniform, of using miniature flags as bookmarks for a whole week following the big day, of indulging in orange and green popsicles or even some of that pristine, puffed white rice with a “doodh peda” or two in an officers’ colony bash. Memories like these come to haunt one when one is so far away from the heart of the fervor..and leave one little choice but to mumble, “Mera Bharat Mahaan..” and dish out a tri-colored delicacy before the hustle of the other world takes over..
Large pinch of saffron
4 Cardamom pods
¼ Cup shelled pistachios
½ Can sweetened condensed milk
½ Can evaporated milk (or whole milk cooked down by half)
½ Cup heavy cream
½ Cup almonds, blanched and skinned
¼ to ½ Cup powdered sugar (adjust as per desired level of sweetness)
½ Cup Mango, orange fleshed, or pulp (approx)
Lightly warm the saffron in a small pan and then powder it in a pestle and mortar. Set aside. Extract and powder the seeds of the cardamoms.
Blanch the pistachios in boiling water for 30 seconds. Run cold water on them, and then put them on a kitchen towel. Remove the skins by rubbing with the towel. Powder fine in a dry grinder.
Place the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream, almonds, sugar and cardamom powder in a blender. Liquidize for 2-3 minutes until well-blended and the nuts are finely ground. This is the basic kulfi mix. Pour out one and a quarter cup each of the mixture into 2 bowls and refrigerate these while you make and freeze the first layer.
For the saffron layer – Into the remaining mixture in the blender, add the saffron and some of the mango. Blend until smooth. If the color is too light add more mango. Place the kulfi molds in a high-sided box to make them stand vertically. Pour the saffron mixture into the molds, filling them one-third of the way. Freeze until set.
For the white layer – Pour in the white layer using one bowl of the kulfi mix that was set aside earlier, again filling the molds a third of the way till the top. Freeze until set.
For the green layer – Add the powdered pistachios to the last bowl of the reserved kulfi mix and whisk until smooth. Pour over the frozen white layer and freeze until solid.
To unmold and serve, dip the kulfis briefly in a cup of warm water.
- You can also make one large dish of kulfi by layering the mix in a flat-bottomed dish. Ensure that each layer is frozen solid before pouring on the next. Cut into slices and serve.
- To make kulfi sticks, insert popsicle sticks into each mold at the time of pouring in the saffron layer. Pour the remaining layers around the sticks.
Looking for more Tirangi Recipes? Check out our Tricolour Dhokla Dhamaka –