This Kulfi recipe 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.
(Note: I am coming back to update this post years later and I have since mostly abandoned individual Kulfi’s in favour of this loaf pan version! While I have changed the form of the kulfi that creamy delicious oomph is still there!)
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 😉
The Kinds of Kulfi Recipes
There are lots of Kulfi recipes out there. As you can see above I have been through many of them. Here is what I have learnt. There are essentially two varieties
- 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. (An Exception is this no churn INCREDIBLE Kulfi Ice Cream)
- 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
I say tips but there is only one: patience. Bring your milky mix to a boil and simmer stirring occasionally until reduced by at least half. That reduction is what cooks out the iciness and gives the Kulfi it’s positively luscious texture.
Magic Crunch Explained
When I made this Kulfi for friends recently I was going to go the standard top it with pistachios and almonds route. Pretty delicious, but pretty standard. Then I started to think back to those fabulous crunch Kulfis I adored at weddings. Within minutes I found myself at the stove watching 1/3 cup of sugar melt and caramelize to a dark amber. Let the caramel cool on a parchment light sheet, break into chunks and crush with nuts and suddenly you’ve got Magic. Magic.
I hope you try the recipe 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
Looking for other Pakistan treats? Check these out!
The creamiest Kulfi with a little extra special touch!
- 1 litre whole milk
- 250 ml condensed milk
- 1 1/4 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6-8 pistachios
- 6-8 skinned almonds
- 6 cardamom pods ( or 1 tsp cardamom powder)
- 1/3 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