Kulfi – My Favorite Desi Treat

This kulfi makes me want to dance. Really. However, as I type this my tot is sitting next to me watching one of her quota of cartoons and she doesn’t tolerate distraction. In order to avoid getting kicked off the island I will just stay put and type.

First of all for those of you unfamiliar with this particular confection think of kulfi as a no-churn icecream that you get to freeze in popsicle molds. I have not tried to freeze it in a regular container, but I imagine that would work well too.

Growing up in Saudi, my mother used to make kulfi for us every now and then and I remember it as being velvety yet light tasting with mellow sweetness and a subtle distinctive flavour (powdered cardamom). Last year I attempted to make kulfi from ‘her’ recipe and ended up with an unpleasant icy confection that I chucked. Then two weeks ago I tried a recipe from a favourite blogger, but clearly did something wrong because my end product ended up tasting more like ‘kheer’ than kulfi. This time people I have got it. The best part? It is so EASY. All you need is a little patience. Generally patience isn’t my thing, but anything for a good cause 😉

1 litre whole milk
1 cup heavy cream/whipping cream
¾ tsp cardamom
8 skinned unsalted almonds
8 skinned unsalted pistachios
200 ml condensed milk


Start by grinding the almonds and pistachios – go as chunky or fine as you want, I kept it fairly fine and that way it worked well as a thickener and a flavouring agent.


Now take a wide non stick saucepan or stockpot and pour in your litre of milk. Put the stove on medium heat. When the milk starts to bubble – no need to boil it – then reduce the heat a little and add the remaining ingredients. When they are nice and hot then turn your heat down to low. Now take a look at your total quantity – you will want to halve this milk mix. It took me over 40 minutes, but that is probably a function of the low heat.


However, I know from experience that burnt milk is hardly pleasant so I erred on the side of caution with this one. I suggest setting a timer for 5 minute intervals so you remember to stir and prevent the mixture from burning. When it has close to halved then taste some and if you feel the need then add more condensed milk to sweeten it. Just remember it will taste a little sweeter once frozen. Also as a helpful tip don’t let your 2 year old taste it unless you are ready to be harassed by her for the next 24 hours while the kulfi freezes.


Let the mix cool and pour into popsicle molds. I also really like using the mini silicon moulds, makes for a pretty presentation and great portion control – that’s two wins!


To my fellow Pakistanis out there I want to say Happy Independence Day – we frequently complain of the many things that are wrong with Pakistan, but today let’s remember that there are many many things that are right as well 🙂

14 thoughts on “Kulfi – My Favorite Desi Treat

  1. You are so brave for making kulfi from scratch! I’ve been using a recipe that uses cool whip, because I haven’t found a homemade recipe that results in silky smooth kulfi. Yours looks very promising!
    Your little one sounds like such a doll! 🙂

  2. I love the first pic of the star-shaped kulfi! I actually wanted to carry back some good-quality moulds from London to Islamabad, and your silicon ones look great for that, as I’m guessing they’re very light? Must try and find some now 🙂

  3. I am a big big fan of kulfi lol but I have always eaten it by buying from the market and in the stick form 😉 This star shaped kulfi looks so refreshing and good ! Love it !

  4. so when i crave kulfi i come back here and stare. if i stare long enough i sometimes convince myself that i actually had it! 😀

    • hahah thanks Sanober – I’ll make some the next time you guys are over – the sad part is between Zara and I they went so fast (and I made such few) that no one else got to try any!

  5. So cool! In India, we absolutely dig Kulfi too. We have these late night “gaadis” that sell kulfi and i tell you its just way too good. I’ll try this recipe out of yours.

    Sarah, I’d love to talk to you about an event. Could you please tell me where to write?

  6. Pingback: Eid Eats 2014 & Chocolate Covered Salted Caramel Ice Cream Stars | Flour & Spice

  7. Pingback: Eid Eats 2014 & Chocolate Covered Salted Caramel Ice Cream Stars

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