I like to think that you miss me when I’m not around. I recently joined the Founder Institute to create something that has been on my mind for a while. So far, the experience has been inspiring, exhausting and exhilarating but with all the excitement I didn’t get to write you my love letter for National Ice Cream Day. I know it’s late, but better than never…
The first Pakistani boy I loved wasn’t too impressed when my sister and I chased the Koya Malai Wala (kulfi-seller) through F.B. Area’s narrow streets in Block 16. We’d been hoping to catch a sight of the kulfi-seller for days, he was quite elusive in that way, he only came when it suited him or when he knew that everyone would be hankering after a kulfi.
Block 16 and 17 of F.B. Area was different back then. The streets were always lit up with lights and chatter: people sitting out on their porches sipping cups of tea, late night cricket games, the neighbourhood shop had plenty of Chilli Milli and I was newly in love so everything was all the more exciting and vibrant.
Having always been rather wild, chasing after the Koya Malai Wala was probably one of the tamer things I’ve done. I did make quite a show of myself, but it was totally worth it. Unlike my cousins who’d visit from the UK, my siblings and I never missed out street food, especially Koya Malai.
Eventually my mother discovered a fool-proof way to make kulfi back on the Isle of Man, a slice of bread blitzed into bread crumbs was her secret ingredient and method of getting the creamiest kulfi ever.
My vegan and gluten-free rendition of her recipe is what I believe to be the truest form of coconut bliss.
1tsp coconut oil
Several cardamon pods
1 can of coconut cream
1 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
Dash of rose water
1 slice of gluten-free bread, blitzed into fine bread crumbs
A handful of crushed nuts (almonds, pistachios and walnuts)
Some desiccated coconut
In a saucepan melt the coconut oil on a medium heat and add the cardamon pods. Allow them to sizzle a little and then add the coconut cream and almond milk.
Add the sugar, vanilla, rose water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the bread crumbs, lower heat and simmer for about ten minutes.
Pour into a container and put in the freezer for about three hours or until kulfi begins to freeze at edges. Remove from freezer and beat well to remove any ice crystals.
Return kulfi to freezer and allow to firm up for another three hours. Take out the kulfi and put in your blender, pulse until smooth. Then pour the kulfi back into the container.
Before returning the kulfi to the freezer, sprinkle with the nuts and coconut. Then freeze until firm. Before serving allow the kulfi to stand for about fifteen minutes.