Reduce condensed milk, flavour, then freeze and bliss right out.
The seemingly never-ending expansion of Lahore Tikka House (1365 Gerrard East, at Highfield, 416-406-1668, Rating: NNNNN ) appears to be nearing completion. Give them another three years and Toronto's two-storey 300-seater would-be Taj Mahal in Little India should be finished.
Until then, this Pakistani palace is a rabbit warren of sari-draped trailers, a riot of colour made even more dizzying by staff racing through the interconnected rooms dressed in purple Ts insisting, "Try Lahori Kulfi."
You really should. It's astounding stuff, the house almond ($2.50) tasting richer than conventional ice cream as well as buttery from nut oil. Frozen in long, conical mode on a chopstick, there's no more sinfully delicious dessert around. Lahore also carries what its menu disdainfully lists as "local factory kulfi."
You also find these lesser commercial ices all along the Gerrard strip at stores like B.J. Supermarket (1449 Gerrard East, at Craven, 416-469-3712) at $1 to $1.50 a pop. Wrapped in tissue and slapped with a label that proudly proclaims "No egg!" Bombay Kulfi pistachio (Rating: N ) tastes like a watery Creamsicle; the superior strawberry flavour of King Kulfi (Rating: NN ) gets all of its minimal punch from actual fruit.
The search for kulfi perfection leads us to Tropical Treets (130 Bermondsey, at Bartley, 416-759-8777, Rating: NNN ) in Scarborough. Although it's primarily a wholesaler to the restaurant industry - find its products at Bombay Bhel (164 Eglinton East, at Redpath, 416-486-6644, and others) and Basil Thai Kitchen (2326 Danforth, at Morton, 416-422-0617) - Treets also sells directly to the public from its factory. Downtown, Loblaws and Dominion carry it, too.
Treets's creamy pistachio comes scented with delicate notes of cardamom and Spanish saffron, while Rose Faluda is as fragrant as its name suggests and gets additional zip from licorice-like basil seeds. Best of the bunch, Chaipuri (all $2.95 /$5.45 litre) features an intoxicating Indo-spice mix of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.