Creamy Sweet easy Homemade Kulfi with condensed milk meets Magic Crunch meets the elegance of a loaf cake - a winner all around!
What is Kulfi?
Kulfi is a frozen South Asian treat traditionally made by a prolonged cooking of milk and often khoya and flavoured a range of different ways. From the now ubiquitious mango kulfi to kesar kulfi to malai kulfi, many variations abound. This one pays homage to the simple kulfi of my youth, to the clean flavours of my mamas kitchen and to the crunch bedecked kulfi of my favourite Karachi haunt.
Kinds of Kulfi Recipes
There are essentially two variations on Kulfi recipes
- No cook Kulfi: The No Cook Kulfi recipes are usually quite tasty but a little icy unless they require being pulled out of the freezer when they're halfway frozen, mixed thoroughly and put back in to set again.
- Cooked Kulfi: The traditional way, this requires (like kheer) for you to simmer the milky mix down to creamy deliciousness. I am partial towards this kind and that is the recipe I will share today.
Tips for the PERFECT Kulfi with Condensed Milk
I say tips but there is only one: a lackadaisical patience.
Bring your milky mix to a boil and simmer stirring occasionally until reduced by at least half. Half seems to be the magic amount. That reduction is what cooks out the iciness and gives the Kulfi it's positively luscious texture.
DO NOT be tempted to bring your mix to a rolling boil because it will lead to two unpleasant outcomes for this homemade Kulfi recipe.
1.) burnt milk at the bottom, burnt milk flavoured kulfi. *womp womp*
2.) overflow! no one, I mean no one, likes to clean burnt sticky milk off their stovetop!
Magic Crunch Explained
When I first made this Kulfi with condensed milk I was going to go simple. Then I was reminded of the sheer joy of the Karachi kulfis nestled in their paper covers, the irresistible allure of their sweet crunchy top. It was a pull I couldn't resist. It is Magic.
3 Step Kulfi
Step One: Combine Kulfi ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer
Step Two: Reduce the kulfi base by half by simmering for about an hour, stirring occasionally
Step Three: Let the base cool and pour into your mould of choice. Freeze till firm. Serve as is or scattered with Magic Crunch.
3 Step Caramel Crunch
Step One: Pour sugar and water in a pan and cook till a rich amber
Step Two: Pour over your nuts and let cool
Step Three: Chop or run through a mini food processor
Looking for other Pakistan treats?
I hope you try the Kulfi recipe with condensed milk and love it! Rate the recipe by clicking the number of stars on the recipe card and do share your recreations with me by tagging me on Instagram @flourandspiceblog
Kulfi Recipe with Magic Crunch
- 1 litre whole milk
- 250 ml condensed milk
- 1 ¼ cup whipping cream or heavy cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6-8 pistachios
- 6-8 skinned almonds
- 6 cardamom pods ( or 1 tsp cardamom powder)
Magic Crunch (optional)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2-3 tbsp chopped pistachios
- 2-3 tbsp chopped almonds
- Remove the cardamom seeds from the pod
- Grind the nuts and cardamom seeds together just until they become a powder and set aside
- Combine all the Kulfi ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot, mix well
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes (or an hour, depends on the pot). Stir every few minutes to make sure it isn't burning/sticking. If it is turn the heat down. IMPORTANT: Your mixture must reduce by half! If it doesn't cook enough the kulfi may be slightly icy.
- Freeze in whatever container you are using. For a loaf pan I like to line myself with plastic wrap but if the lines of the wrap bother you feel free to pour it straight in.
- Carefully cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 6 hours or till firm. Keeps well for weeks.
- When you are ready to serve then simply invert onto a plate and top with Magic Crunch or chopped nuts or serve as is!
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
- Put the sugar in a heavy bottomed pan along with a splash of water
- Put the pan on medium high heat and don't stir the sugar. It will take some time but once the sugar begins to caramelize it will change colour very quickly.
- When the caramel reaches a deep amber quickly mix in the chopped nuts and spread on the baking sheet to harden.
- Once hard you can shop it into small pieces or give it a quick whizz in a grinder
- Top the kulfi with crunch and serve!
- Keeps well in an air tight container for a few weeks
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! 🙂
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 🙂
White Pearl says
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 !
Thanks so much!!!
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!
I love Kulfi, and your recipe makes it sound so easy.
Also, Hi, I love your blog!
Thanks so much!!!
Rukmini Roy says
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?
The best email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to hearing more!
This Kulfi sounds actually really interesting! 🙂
Does it taste like really oriental kind-of? 🙂
I certainly think so 🙂
Saima Kamal says
Thank you for sharing this 5 star recipe. It was delicious. The can of sweetened condensed milk was 100ml more than the amount specified in the recipe, hence I used it all and adjusted milk, heavy cream, nuts and cardamom powder accordingly. The crunch was amazing with some chocolate syrup drizzled on top. It reminds of the crunch kulfi from this famous shop in Karachi. Shukriya!
Yayyyyyy!!!!!! I am SO SO glad you tried and with the crunch and that chocolate drizzle sounds just heavenly and it's totally giving me Ch Farzand Ali vibes! Re: the can of condensed milk, so smart to make those adjustments!
Karak Chai says
Sarah, have you tried using half and half instead of whole milk? Were the results any better? If we use half and half, should it also be a litre?
Hi! I have not but I imagine it would change the cook time since half and half has a higher amount of fat in it and wouldnt
need to cook for as long to get the perfect texture.
Wow Sarah - this is the most amazing recipe! It was the first time I have ever made kulfi, and it was just delightful! Thank you so much!!!
Sarah Mir says
Thank you Shaheen! So so happy to hear that you liked it!!!!
Hi, I was thinking of making this and just want to make sure I don't do it the wrong way. Am I to use sweetened condensed milk or un-sweetened?
It looks really delicious!
Sarah Mir says
HI Veronica! Sweetened here! Do let me know what you think!