Cardamom and pistachio kulfi

Kulfi is a creamy Indian iced dessert made without an ice cream machine. Unlike ice cream, the custard based does not contain eggs. Instead, it’s a mixture of slowly reduced full-fat milk flavoured with cardamom. Other traditional flavours are saffron, pistachio, rose, and mango. 

I’ve used a combination of the most popular flavours as they complement each other beautifully. You can also add other nuts like amonds or get creative and try a completely new flavour. 

Cardamom & Pistachio Kulfi
Yields 10
Creamy pista kulfi made with just 5 ingredients.
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  1. 2.5 litres organic whole milk (full fat)
  2. 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
  3. 150 grams sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon cardamom powder (add more or less according to preference)
  5. 80 grams pistachios, finely chopped
To freeze
  1. 15 plastic cups
  2. 15 wooden sticks / spoons
  1. Place milk in a wide bottomed pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Once it starts bubbling, bring the heat down to medium and simmer until the milk has reduced to a third of its original volume (approx. 830ml). Make sure to keep stirring the milk throughout this process so the milk doesn't burn. Burnt milk imparts an unpleasant flavour that will ruin the entire dessert.
  3. Stir in saffron, sugar and cardamom powder. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool completely. Refrigerate until chilled (approx. 1 hour).
  5. Arrange 10 plastic cups on a work surface. Sprinkle a teaspoon of chopped pistachio inside each cup. Mix the rest of the pistachios into chilled kulfi milk.
  6. Pour the kulfi milk into the plastic cups leaving a 2-inch gap on the top.
  7. Freeze the mixture for 20 to 30 mins and then insert wooden sticks or spoons standing upright in the middle of each cup.
  8. Freeze kulfi until solid, around 5 hours.
  9. To serve, take the kulfi out of the freezer and gently rub your palms around the plastic cup to loosen the kulfi before pulling it out gently. Alternatively, you can pop the cups into mildly warm water for 30 seconds before unmoulding.
  1. If you're using a kulfi mould, grease the mould first with odourless cooking spray for easy removal.
  2. Kulfi fiends will tell you to cover the kulfi while freezing it for a better texture. I didn't because I wasn't in the mood to individually wrap each kulfi in plastic wrap. If you're absolutely nuts and planning to making a smaller batch, you could do this 🙂
  3. Reducing the milk takes around 4 hours. So please get a stool or something to entertain you while you patiently stir. May I recommend Mindy Project?
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