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Pistachio kulfi (Indian ice cream)

Written By Reena on 2 Jul 2010 | 05:00

People sometimes ask me whether I am of Italian origin as a result of my skin tone.  Given my love of gelato (Morelli's serve the best in London) and my disdain of Indian kulfi, I sometimes wish I was.  Generally kulfi is heavy, tastes of boiled milk and is served frozen solid rendering it inedible.  Yuk.  Or as my northern husband would say "yak" although I have yet to work out what a hirsute Himalayan bovine has to do with it.

The other day I ended up with too much whipping cream and so decided to try to create a kulfi that the ultimate ice cream snob (me) could enjoy.  The results were surprisingly good - in fact I found myself eating spoonfuls of the mixture before it even got to the freezer.  I don't know how authentic the recipe is (my guess would be not very) but it definitely has the texture of kulfi and Steve happily munched away without any mention of bovines - Himalayan or Alpine.

Serves 2-3 (fewer if you eat most of the mixture prior to freezing)

  • 150 grams condensed milk
  • 30 grams shelled, unsalted pistachios - finely chopped (but not ground as you require a little texture)
  • 2-3 drops almond extract
  • 2-3 drops vanilla extract
  • 75 grams whipping cream
To garnish (optional)
  • A few shelled, unsalted pistachios - roughly chopped
  1. Place the condensed milk, pistachios, almond extract and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and stir well.
  2. Beat the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks.  Take care not to over beat the cream.
  3. Now fold the cream into the condensed milk mixture until it is thoroughly mixed in.
  4. Pour into a mould (or several moulds) of your choice (I used an empty cream cheese tub) and place in the freezer until completely frozen - in the region of 8 hours.
  5. Prior to serving, remove from the freezer.  Run hot (not boiling) water over the back of the mould and then empty the kulfi onto your serving plate.
  6. Garnish with the chopped pistachios and leave to soften prior to serving.  The length of time varies depending on various factors.  The first day I left it to soften was a cold, rainy day and it took around 20 minutes to get to a firm but not solid consistency.  The second time it was a steamy thirty degrees and the kulfi was melting nicely within 5 minutes.

About Reena


  1. This will be put on my "need to try" ice cream list ;-) I would just put the mixture in my ice cream maker.

  2. I was *just* looking for some molds to try my hand at kulfi... great coincidence. :)

  3. Hi Jeff. Lovely to hear from you - looking forward to seeing your kulfi recipe! Reena

  4. My!!awesome...it looks wonderful.. Ive never made kulfi though Ive eaten it a million times..This I must try.

  5. Hi S. Hope you enjoy it. Take care. Reena

  6. Love this Reena..Have been making fruit lollies all summer..Time to make good old Kulfi..maybe saffron flavoured..will let you know;-)

  7. Hi debug - yum I love ice lollies! Let me know how the kulfi goes. Reena

  8. I absolutely love this, very pretty photo. Perfect for a summer evening.