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Kulfi

Kulfi from Duli Chand Naresh Gupta in Delhi, India.

What: India’s take on ice cream, kulfi is a frozen dairy-based dessert traditionally made by boiling milk until it reduces and condenses, then sweetening, cooling, and freezing it in clay cups or in long narrow molds, with a stick. It’s commonly flavored with spices, nuts, and/or fruits. Because there are no eggs or whipping/churning involved, kulfi is especially dense, smooth, and creamy. And once it gets hot in Delhi, it’s just about necessary for survival.

Where: Our kulfi is from Duli Chand Naresh Gupta (2323-7085; 934, Kucha Pati Ram, Sitaram Bazaar, map), a popular decades-old shop—a few chairs and a chest freezer, really—that’s nestled deep in Old Delhi. (To get there from the Chawri Bazaar metro station, find Sitaram Bazaar and take the second right onto Kucha Pati Ram, just past New Ashoka Sweets. Walk for a few minutes down that road, and look for it on your left.)

When: Mon-Sat, 11am-9pm

Order: Pictured is the excellent mango and kesar-pista (saffron pistachio) kulfi—the former known as a fruit kulfi, smooth and creamy; the latter a more traditional rabri-based kulfi, chalky and rich and tasting, well, of India, in the best possible way. Both classics, these flavors proved to complement each other well, but there’s plenty more to choose from. Also consider the stuffed kulfis, for which frozen fruits like mango or orange are chopped up with kulfi inside.

Alternatively: While many restaurants offer kulfi as a dessert, especially in the summer, Old Delhi is the best place to experience the real deal. Just diagonally across the street from Duli is Kuremal Mohan Lal (98105-40105; 526, Kucha Pati Ram, map), an even more venerable kulfi wala. Try them both if you can! See also kulfi faluda.


 

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