The creamiest, most fragrant lollies ever, kulfi are made by evaporating whole milk until it’s rich and almost caramelised. The beauty of enriching the milk like this is that you don’t need an ice cream maker to churn and break up the ice crystals; passing this mixture through a fine sieve ensures a velvety texture. Traditionally in India these are made in conical metal kulfi moulds, but I have used a 12-hole lolly mould; dariole moulds or ramekins would also work.
you will need lolly moulds and wooden lolly sticks Pour the milk into the largest saucepan you have; a stockpot or jam pan is ideal. Add the cardamom pods and bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce to a medium heat and simmer rapidly for 30 minutes, stirring regularly until the milk has reduced by three-quarters. Stir very frequently towards the end of simmering to prevent the milk from burning. You are looking for the milk to reduce to about 250ml – it will be quite thick and almost granular in texture.
Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, using the back of a wooden spoon to push as much through as possible. Discard the cardamom pods.
Add the condensed milk to the reduced milk and stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside to cool. Peel and chop the mango flesh, adding it to a blender or liquidiser along with any juice. Purée until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve into the milk mixture, discarding any mango fibre.
Lightly oil the lolly moulds using a scrunched-up piece of kitchen paper to spread a thin, even layer all over the insides. Pour the kulfi mixture into the moulds and transfer to the freezer. Freeze for about an hour or so until the mixture is firm enough for the lolly sticks to stand up straight. Insert the lolly sticks, then freeze again until solid.
Add the pistachios to a small frying pan and toast over a medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Tip on to a chopping board and chop roughly. Remove the kulfi from the freezer and allow to warm at room temperature for 30 minutes before removing from the moulds, sliding a table knife around the inside to help ease them out. Roll them in the chopped pistachios and serve.