This no-churn Indian ice cream is incredibly creamy, delicately fragrant and so easy to make!
Kulfi has been around in India for centuries and is one of the most loved frozen desserts in the country. The beautiful thing about Kulfi is that it is fairly simple to make and only requires a handful of ingredients.
Summer nights in India always involved going out for a Kulfi after dinner so this definitely has a lot of nostalgic value for me. As kids we could hardly wait for the ice cream to freeze and would open the freezer every hour to check on it. Friends and cousins were always invited, although grudgingly, to share these delicious frozen treats whenever they were made at home.
There are several different ways to make kulfi at home that involve using ingredients like khoya (milk solids), corn starch or condensed milk to hasten up the process. Traditionally it is made using just one simple main ingredient- milk. Full fat milk is slowly simmered until it is reduced and becomes custardy and thick. Kulfi cannot be made with skim milk or reduced fat milk. Full fat milk provides the best flavor and the creamy texture.
This traditional process provides the creamiest kulfi and the most flavor. Reducing the milk results in a beautiful caramelized flavor and a silky texture. There’s no egg based custard involved in this ice cream which makes it much easier to make compared to other ice creams.
There are so many flavor options with kulfi. Typically it would include a spice like cardamom or saffron and some nuts. Fruit flavored kulfis are also fairly common but you can be as adventurous as you like once you get the base recipe right.
Kulfi- Indian Ice Cream
- 600 ml full fat milk
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 5-6 strands of saffron
- 10-12 almonds chopped
- Chopped pistachios and rose petals for garnish optional
- Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed, wide pan and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Once it reaches the boiling point, reduce the heat to medium high and simmer while stirring occasionally to prevent burning the milk at the bottom of the pan.
- Simmer the milk for about 45 minutes to an hour until the volume of milk is reduced to half.
- Add the sugar, ground cardamom and saffron and continue to cook for another 10 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
- Take it off the heat and add the chopped almonds. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
- Pour the cool mixture into popsicle moulds and freeze overnight.
- To serve, dip the popsicle mould in a glass of hot water for a few seconds and then pull the kulfi out. Top with pistachios and rose petals before serving if using garnish.