Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kulfi ~ An Indian Summer Dessert

Kulfi or Qulfi~ the classic Indian Ice-cream and most sought after "Ice-cream on a stick" by every person who loves to lick, slurp and indulge in some creamy bites. The origin of Kulfi goes to Persian and Middle Eastern lineage. The real Kulfi is made without any eggs, artificial sweeteners and processed ingredients. Real milk, best if you can get fresh one from the Doodhwaala or the local dairy; if using cooked milk, be prepared to stir with patience for hours together, just good enough to get the condensed milk flavour. Allow to cool and bring to room temperature. Treat the gooey, creamy mass with powdered Cardamom, throw in some Saffron strands and pack them in good old Aluminium moulds. Poke in a stick each. Allow to freeze. Enjoy your creamy indulgence! I think this is the way Kulfi was done in the olden days. More so, may be my own interpretation of what would have been the good old creamy home version of Kulfi.

The Kulfi creamy candy reminds me of summer nights where the sweltering heat used to take you on completely; after dinner all the young kids gathered near the doorstep patiently waiting for the Kulfiwaala who came on his rickety cart, each stick costed around 3 Rs/- and were picked from a huge earthen pot perched on a rickety red cart covered with a colorful red cloth. Mostly kids were the prime customers of our locality Kulfiwaala. Sad, but I have never come across a similar tasting Kulfi ever again. :(

Coming back, I took an easier route and mixed Whole milk with Condensed milk can, threw in the extra essentials. Since I did not have moulds, I poured in the mixture in a large Correl bowl and allowed to freeze for long hours. Cut them in slices while serving. If you are using the traditional mould, then hold the mould under running water which is little warm, the Kulfi will pop out within minutes. The Kulfi I made was creamy with a nutty garnish to finish; a perfect end to a long summer weekend.

Preparation time: 6-8 hours (includes freezing time)
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Whole Milk - 3 cups
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 Can
Sugar (optional) - as per taste
Saffron strands - just a few
Cardamom powder - 1/2 teaspoon

For Garnish -
Slivered Almonds - 2-3 tablespoon
Pistachios (chopped) - 2-3 tablespoon

In a deep pot, heat whole milk and condensed milk together on a low-to-medium flame. Stir gently and keep stirring. Take care not to allow the milk solids to burn and stick to the bottom of the vessel. Much better if you can use a non-stick ware for this purpose. Let the quantity reduce to the half of its original one. Keep stirring and include the scraps which stick on the sides. Add sugar if required and adjust the taste. Since I used sweetened Condensed milk, I was frugal with sugar. The aroma once done would be a milky one. Mix in the Cardamom powder at this stage. The thickened consistency would be very thick, smooth and not a runny one. Turn off the flame and allow to cool.

Transfer to individual moulds or a large non-reactive glass bowl. Garnish with Pistachios (chopped), Saffron strands which are lightly crushed in a teaspoon of milk and Slivered Almonds. Cover with a cling wrap and deep freeze for 6-8 hours. Cool the moulds in warm water and transfer to serving plate. Serve with a wooden stick poked in each of the Kulfi. If not, simply slice off a single helping and serve chilled.


  1. Ah now thats something i want right now! creamy and delicious!

  2. @ Parita - Thanks. This Qulfi has a very creamy texture. :)


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