KESAR ELAICHI KULFI – केसर इलायची कुल्फि (Saffron & Cardamom Kulfi)

The world has devised so many delicious ways to beat the heat. When it comes to ice creams, every country seems to have its own unique creation and favorites. While the Iranians have Bastani and Faloodeh, Italians have Gelato. The south east Asian countries have their own specials; Taiwan has Snow Cream to offer, Thailand has i tim pad or the Rolled up Ice Cream which is also popular in countries like Malaysia and Cambodia. Mexicans have their Paletas. The Turkish have malleable mastic ice cream called Dondurma and Syria has Booza. There is also the Japanese Mochi and Israeli Halva. And how can I not mention Sorbet and Granita.

Kulfi is India’s answer to ice cream. Delicious permutation combinations are there with some using fresh fruits and others using dry fruits. I love different kinds of kulfi but, for me, nothing comes close to enjoying a really good, traditionally made kulfi. You will find innumerable recipes for kulfi on the net; using heavy cream, condensed milk and some even using whipping cream. The kulfi made the traditional way uses full cream dairy milk that is simmered on low heat till the quantity is reduced to half its volume. The milk simmered on low heat till it develops this rich caramel-y kind of taste that is the distinctive quality of a kulfi. Khoa (also called Khoya or Mawa) is then added to provide thickness and richness to the kulfi and aromatics are added to enhance the flavors. Nuts are added to give texture as well as richness. You can now find kulfi made using plant based milk or nut based milk but those not lactose intolerant or vegans, should go for the real thing coz nothing beats the taste of indigenous / original kulfi.

2 tablespoons Milk

1 pinch Saffron Strands

100 gram Khoya

¼ C Milk

1 litre Full cream milk

4 tbsp Sugar

2 tbsp Almond Powder

½ tsp Cardamom Powder

1 tbsp Cornflour

2 – 3 tbsp finely chopped Pistachio

Prepare the kulfi moulds by washing and drying them well. Set aside.

Warm two tablespoons of milk and add saffron strands and mix. Set aside for the saffron to bleeds its color and flavour into the milk. (I do this for at least two to three hours)

Grate the khoya and set it aside, preferably in the fridge.

Heat one litre of milk in a heavy bottom sauce pan.

Keep simmering the milk on low heat stirring often till the milk is reduced to nearly half its original quantity. K(scrapping the sides and adding it back to the simmering milk.)

Add sugar, almond powder, saffron milk and cook for another two to three minutes.

Dissolve cornflour in one fourth cup milk. Stir well.

Add to simmering milk in a slow steady thin stream. Ensure you are stirring the milk continuously while adding the cornflour mix. Cook for a half a minute. (at this point the milk should be half its original quantity)

Switch off heat and remove the pot from heat.

Add chopped pistachio, khoya and cardamom powder.

Keep stirring the milk to mix everything together.

Cool the milk completely (keep stirring often to prevent skin from forming on the top)

Fill the prepared moulds with the thick reduced milk and carefully place the moulds in freezer to freeze overnight.

Give the moulds a quick dip in hot water. This will make it easier to extract the kulfi from the mould.

Serve immediately garnished with nuts of your choice.


Serves – 8

Get the complete list of ice creams from around the world here.

Thanks for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe.

19 thoughts on “KESAR ELAICHI KULFI – केसर इलायची कुल्फि (Saffron & Cardamom Kulfi)

    1. It does demand some of your time while reducing the milk but trust me, it is so worth it in the end 😀

  1. Yum, these look delicious! I’m going to have to give these a go one day as I’ve not really tried Indian desserts.

  2. I’ve never tried kulfi but your description and recipe have me intrigued. I’ve never reduced milk either. I imagine it does caramellize beautifully. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. It is indeed rich and indulgent and it is a must have in our house at least once every summer.

  3. I have never made Kulfi in years – it is a favorite of mine though! Your recipe sounds so lovely and the photo is stunning.

    1. Thanks dear. I make it once every season especially this one, besides Paan Kulfi.

  4. I’ve never heard or tried Indian ice-cream but it sure looks and sounds delicious! Something I would enjoy on a hot summer day.

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