Kulfi is the Asian counterpart of ice cream, but not really an ice cream. It’s richer, creamier and denser, because of its density it takes longer to melt under room temperature.

It’s a centuries old dessert, originated by Moghul emperors in India, traditionally cooked through a very long process. First milk was evaporated through slow cooking and constant stirring till half of the original volume was left. Flavouring and sugar was added to this thickened milk. The mixture was poured into moulds that were covered with an ice and salt mix inside an earthenware pot to insulate and speed up the freezing process.

Back then it was a dessert for the royalty, who could afford servitors to stir the milk for hours and ice to freeze the kulfi. Now it’s a very popular street food all over South Asia, frozen onto a stick or served in a bowl with falooda ( rice/corn flour vermicelli) and some flavoured syrup.
The cooking process has also become really quick and simple, quite like making an eggless custard. Cook, cool, pour into moulds, freeze and eat.

Pista and badam or Pistachio kulfi and almond kulfi are the traditional flavours and remain my most favourite. Now many other innovative flavours have been introduced as well, like mango, chocolate, strawberry, lemon and rainbow. If you know how to make the basic kulfi, you can easily experiment with creating flavours of your choice.


2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/4 cup dry milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons corn flour
1/2 cup pistachios crushed
1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, powdered
Few drops rose water

This Is What You Do:

Heat milk in a sauce pan, add powdered cardamom seeds.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add condensed milk, dry milk and sugar.

Stir for 5 minutes. Make a paste of corn flour with 3-4 tablespoons water, add to the milk mix.

Stir till the milk thickens slightly. Turn off heat, let it cool down to room temperature.

Stir in 1/4 cup crushed pistachios and few drops rose water.

Pour into kulfi/popsicle/ice lolly moulds. If you don’t have the moulds just pour into an airtight container that can go in the freezer and cut cubes or slices when frozen.

Freeze the kulfi overnight. To unmould , dip briefly in hot water. Garnish with remaining pistachios.

Serves 6

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