Kulfi ranks No. 14 among the world’s best frozen desserts by a popular online global food guide. We indulge in its varied avatars whipped up by classic addas and new-age eateries
We don’t need a reason to eat kulfi — be it on a stick at Juhu Chowpatty from kulfi vendors who stash it safely in salt and ice, or by the gram, cut into square pieces from iconic spots. Think pieces from spots like Baba Falooda in Mahim, New Kulfi Centre at Marine Lines and Taj Ice Cream in Bohri Mohalla. But when this desi dessert gets a shout-out on a global platform, we cannot keep calm. Kulfi was ranked No. 14 on the latest list of best frozen desserts in the world by Taste Atlas.
In our gusto to celebrate the mention, we headed to an iconic kulfi adda, Kapoor Ice Cream. Founded in 1936 in a small room by Navrattaram Vasudev Kapoor, it sold only three flavours — malai, pista and kesar pista. When it rose in popularity, he moved it to its existing location in Chandanwadi. His son, second-generation owner Anil Kapoor, tells us the flavour count has risen to 40 today, and rattles off a list: “Gulab, chikki, badam pista, mango, chocolate, paan, anjeer, coffee walnut…”
Anil Kapoor. Pics/Shadab Khan
In 2000, they created the millennium kulfi, which has black currant, butterscotch and tutti fruity. “Aap ko lagega ice cream kha rahe ho [you will feel like you are eatingice cream.] But it is easy to make ice cream — you boil the milk and you have your ice cream. For kulfi, 40 litres of milk is reduced to 20, and those 20 litres are further reduced and thickened to obtain the creamy texture.
Making kulfi is a tough task. My father hand-churned the kulfi and made it with salt and ice; we have improved that technique. Jo admi kulfi khata hain, woh ice cream nahi khata [those who prefer kulfi don’t eat ice cream]. Kulfi is evergreen,” he quips. When we learn that his son is called Rishi, we ask Kapoor if the family are Hindi cinema buffs. “Woh Bollywood stars hain, par hum kulfi stars hain,” he smiles.
The Guide's top seven kulfi picks
Tujhe mirchi lagi
Trust chef Bhairav Singh to offer hatke flavours in a matka. If you are craving a dessert that’s spicy yet sweet, Native Bombay offers a chilli kulfi. Or, stick to fruity offerings of peru and chiku.
At: Native Bombay, 10-12, Cochin Street, Ballard Estate
Cost: Rs 210
Paan and creamy kulfi come together topped with nuts, rose petals, or saffron strands in this crunchy and refreshing offering.
At: Jyran Tandoor Dining & Lounge at Sofitel Mumbai BKC, Bandra East
Cost: Rs 850
Chef Vikram Arora is a Dilliwala at heart. At his latest offering Nksha, he takes the traditional route with kesar pista kulfi served with warm panjiri. He prepares the panjiri, with whole wheat aata, desi ghee and rose petals. The kulfi is denser, creamier and the warm and cold combination makes it a comfort pick.
At: Nksha, ADCB Rehmat Manzil, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate.
Cost: Rs 350
The Jap twist
The malai kulfi here comes topped with Japanese sesame tuile, which tastes like our desi chikki, and is well-textured.
At: Ishaara, 3rd floor Palladium Mall, High Street Phoenix. Lower Parel
Cost: Rs 400
Helmed by chef Rajiv Das, the purdah khubani tart crafted at Ummrao is made from mawa and paired with gulkand kulfi. The tartness of apricots and the sweetness of gulkand are a match made in kulfi heaven.
At: Ummrao, Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport C.T.S, 215, Andheri-Kurla Road, Andheri East
Cost: Rs 495
Cashew if you can
The kaju anjeer kulfi is an ode to homemade desserts; it is rich and creamy, with the texture of rabdi and chewy figs, and is served with falooda noodles.
At: Taftoon, Naman Centre, BKC, Bandra East and Hiranandani Gardens, Orchard Avenue Delphi B Wing, Powai
Call: 7777076563 (BKC)
Cost: Rs 529
Diabetic? So what!
Get-A-Way, a healthy dessert brand that first started as Get-A-Whey, and even featured and got funded on the first season of Shark Tank India, has opened its first store in the city at Churchgate this month. The diabetic kulfis are around 90 to 100 calories, a serious drop from 180 calories in the traditional recipe. They add no sugar, and offer flavours of rose, malai, festive delight and roasted almond.
At: GetAWay Ice Creams & Desserts, Shop No. 18, Eros Theatre building, Churchgate.
To order: getawaydesserts.com
Cost: Rs 105