crushed ones are added as a garnish to give a slight crunch.
Kulfi is one of India’s most popular desserts and with many different flavours, it is easy to see why.
Originating in the 16th century, kulfi has had a long history but it has managed to stay popular due to its unique taste.
It looks like regular ice-cream but they are made in different ways. While ice-cream is churned, kulfi is not which results in a solid, dense dessert.
It also has a lengthy cooking process as it is typically prepared by evaporating sweetened and flavoured milk slowly. The mixture is thickened before it is poured into moulds and frozen.
The result is a very creamy and flavourful frozen treat that is usually eaten during warm weather but it is suitable for any time of the year.
There are traditional flavours like pistachio but there are more innovative flavours as a result of people trying out various ingredients.
We have seven delicious recipes for you to try out at home.
When thinking of a classic kulfi flavour, pistachio is one of the first that comes to mind.
It is a thick and creamy dessert which has subtle flavours of pistachio. Not only that, crushed ones are added as a garnish to give a slight crunch.
The finished result is denser than regular ice-cream but it has a very rich consistency.
This is one dessert which can be enjoyed whenever you like and is not that difficult to make.
- 1-litre Full-fat milk
- 200ml condensed milk
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tbsp pistachios, chopped
- 3 tbsp pistachios, grounded
- 10 Saffron strands
- Place a heavy bottom saucepan on medium heat. Pour in the full-fat milk and bring to a boil.
- Remove two tablespoons of the milk from the pan and place in a bowl. Soak the saffron strands in it and set aside.
- As the milk boils, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula.
- Allow the milk to cool for 10 minutes until it reduces and has a thick consistency. Add the condensed milk and quickly stir to mix completely.
- Add the soaked saffron to the milk and mix well. Stir in the ground pistachio and cardamom powder.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
- Pour into airtight moulds and freeze for four to six hours. Five minutes before serving, remove from the freezer.
- Remove the kulfi from the moulds and serve with chopped pistachios.
This recipe was inspired by Rachna’s Kitchen.
A delicious fruit-flavoured kulfi to go for is mango especially during warm weather when the tropical fruit is at its best in terms of flavour.
While canned mango purée is an option, it is best to use fresh mangoes for a more authentic taste and a better texture.
The finished kulfi will be very creamy but it has a hint of sharpness and sweetness from the mangoes.
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1½ cups dried milk powder
- 14 oz sweet, condensed milk
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 1½ tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tbsp water/milk
- 1¾ cups mango purée using fresh mangoes
- 2 tbsp mixed nuts, chopped
- Pour the whole milk into a heavy-bottomed pan and heat on medium heat. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the milk powder and mix well.
- Mix in the condensed milk and chopped nuts. Let it simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
- Add the cardamom powder and mix. Pour in the cornstarch mixture and whisk to combine.
- Allow the milk to simmer for a further five minutes while stirring continuously.
- Once thickened, remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely. When it has cooled, add the mango purée and mix well until fully combined.
- Transfer the mixture to kulfi moulds, cover each one with aluminium foil and place in the freezer for 1½ hours or until partially set. Remove from the freezer and stick a wooden ice-cream stick into each one before returning to the freezer. Allow it to set completely, preferably overnight.
- Once done, remove the kulfi from the mould by running a knife around the edges.
- Garnish with pistachios and enjoy.
This recipe was inspired by Cook with Manali.
As people choose to experiment with food, we get some delicious dishes with a plethora of flavour combinations.
A perfect example is this guava kulfi recipe which has a variety of tastes and textures.
Not only is this refreshing and slightly minty kulfi delicious, but it is also healthier than other versions.
That is because guava contains four times more vitamin C than oranges. It also provides the immune system with a huge boost in antioxidants.
- 4 Guavas, ripened, washed and cubed
- 10 Sprigs mint leaves
- ½ cup sugar
- 100g whipped cream
- 400g yoghurt
- 4 tbsp melon seeds, toasted
- ¼ cup water
- Mint leaves, to garnish
- Prepare hung yoghurt by pouring the yoghurt into a muslin cloth and tightly sealing it. Hang above a bowl for three hours or until all the water has been drained.
- Meanwhile, place the chopped guava, sugar, mint and water into a blender and blend until the mixture becomes a purée.
- Add the hung yoghurt to the purée and blend until well combined.
- Use a sieve to strain the purée. Fold the whipped cream into a puree before transferring to a freezable container. Place in the freezer overnight.
- Once set, assemble the kulfi by layering mint leaves, melon seeds and scoops of kulfi in a bowl or large tumbler.
This recipe was adapted from Vidya’s Cooking.
Those with a sweet tooth almost certainly love chocolate and this chocolate kulfi is a great way of enjoying such a luxurious sweet treat.
The combination of chocolate and kulfi creates an extremely smooth and velvety texture.
The inclusion of chocolate chips adds an extra bite and more flavour depending on what type of chocolate you decide to use.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1½ tbsp dark chocolate chips (Use milk or white chocolate if you prefer)
- 1/8 cup unsweetened khoya
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, simmer for five minutes.
- In a bowl, add cocoa powder, sugar and cornflour. Mix well to ensure that there are no lumps then add to the milk.
- Add the khoya and chocolate chips. Cook until the mixture thickens and turns creamy. Allow it to cool down completely before pouring into kulfi moulds.
- Wrap and cover with foil. Freeze for two hours then insert a wooden stick into each one. Freeze for at least seven hours.
- Before serving, dip the moulds into a bowl of warm water and gently remove the kulfis. Serve immediately.
This recipe was inspired by Sharmi’s Passions.
This recipe is effectively two desserts combined into one. Kulfi and falooda, what more could someone ask for.
It has alternative layers of basil seeds, falooda noodles, rose syrup and creamy kulfi to create a wholesome dessert.
Falooda usually has a few scoops of ice-cream but the inclusion of kulfi makes it even creamier. For this recipe, any type of kulfi can be used.
- 1 cup falooda noodles
- 4 tbsp rose syrup
- 1 tbsp basil seeds
- 2 Scoops kulfi of your choice
- ½ cup rabri (optional)
- Pistachios, to garnish
- Follow the packet instructions when cooking falooda noodles.
- Meanwhile, wash and soak the basil seeds in ½ cup of water. Set aside.
- Assemble the falooda by adding the soaked basil seeds, some rose syrup and the falooda noodles. Add the rabri, kulfi, remaining rose syrup and top with pistachios.
- Garnish with chopped nuts if you like and serve.
This recipe was adapted from Cooking with Sapana.
Another classic kulfi option is malai as it is considered to be one of the most authentic flavours to try.
Made with simple ingredients, this ice-cream is flavoured with cardamom, khoya and nuts.
Heavy cream is used to make it creamier but the pieces of khoya make it more grainy which gives it a nice texture.
- 1-litre whole milk
- 3 tbsp khoya, crumbled
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 7 Green cardamom pods, skin removed and crushed
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp nuts, finely chopped (use what you prefer)
- 1 tbsp dried milk powder (optional)
- In a heavy bottom pan, add the milk on medium heat. After five minutes, pour in the heavy cream and bring to a boil.
- When boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 30 minutes, add the crumbled khoya and mix well until it dissolves. Mix in the sugar until it dissolves then add the crushed nuts.
- Mix in the milk powder (if using) and simmer for five minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the crushed cardamom before letting it cool down completely.
- Once it has cooled completely, pour into moulds. Cover and place into the freezer for at least eight hours.
- When it has set, place the moulds under warm running water for 30 seconds and tap the mould on a plate so that the kulfi comes out.
This recipe was inspired by Cooking with Manali.
Strawberry Rose Kulfi
This is one of the more experimental kulfi flavours but nevertheless, it will still be a richly flavoured dessert to try.
Folding in whipped cream will result in a dense and very creamy dessert. It has a lovely pale pink colour which looks even more appealing with the chopped pistachios.
Even though it is creamy and sweet, the strawberry rose flavour adds a slightly sharp taste to prevent the sweetness from becoming too overpowering.
- 750ml whole milk
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 packet powdered dried milk
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp rice flour dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water
- 340g heavy cream
For the Strawberry Rose Purée
- 450g strawberries, washed and chopped
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tsp rose water
For the Garnish
- 10 Strawberries, cut into small cubes
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- Pistachios, chopped
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine the milk, dried milk, sugar and salt and stir frequently until it just comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced by half, stirring regularly.
- Once it has reduced, whisk in the rice flour mix and bring to a boil. Strain in a bowl and set aside to cool.
- Make the purée by tossing the strawberries and salt in a pan and cook until the juices start to extract. Mash the strawberries as they cook and add the rose water.
- When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend the strawberries before straining through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside to cool.
- Once both mixtures have cooled completely, measure 340g of the milk mixture into a bowl and whisk in the strawberry purée.
- In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it thickens but not holding peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the kulfi mixture.
- Pour into moulds and freeze for at least six hours.
- Mix the strawberries and the sugar together and allow them to macerate for two hours.
- Once the kulfis have fully set, dip the moulds into warm water before flipping onto a plate. Top with the macerated strawberries and chopped pistachios.
This recipe was inspired by Pastry Chef.
It is important to measure out the correct ingredients as that is one of the ways to achieve a rich and creamy kulfi. But feel free to adjust the sugar based on your preference.
These contrasting flavours provide a mix of classic and modern to suit your taste and with these step-by-step guides, you can make your own kulfi whenever you want.