In the twisting, crowded lanes of Sitaram Bazaar in Delhi, kulfi ice cream made from milk boiled down to a creamy thickness has been produced the same way for more than a century. At Kuremal's, the milk still comes from a handful of villages in the nearby state of Haryana, and it's still cooked in massive vats on the tiny original premises. Some of the kulfi is sold in the traditional matka, a clay pot meant to be tossed back to the earth after it's emptied. That's how Kuremal's serves its kesar-pista kulfi nuggets of pistachio in a golden saffron cream. The list of 60 or so flavors is constantly changing, from pomegranate and mango to imli (tamarind) and paan, which captures the zest of the ubiquitous betel-nut digestif without the red stains, chewing or spitting. The true measure of any kulfi maker, however, is its plain old malai kulfi. Kuremal's does not disappoint. Its snowy-white richness brings out the taste of the cream itself, with one subtle embellishment the faintest hint of flowers, from a touch of kewra essence. It's a classic, sure to last at least another century.
By Jyoti Thottam