Kulfi Indian Ice Cream

Kulfi Indian Ice Cream
Kulfi Indian Ice Cream
This image courtesy of Brave New Pictures and Gregg Lowe

Editor's Note: Kulfi is a type of dense ice cream that's commonly enjoyed in India. With this Kulfi Indian Ice Cream recipe, you can enjoy this refreshingly cool treat in the comfort of your own home! It only takes five ingredients to recreate this homemade ice cream recipe for yourself and your family - the kids will love the sweet and nutty flavor, and you'll love that you know exactly what's going into your ice cream, no artificial ingredients allowed!

In India, we love kulfi. It’s similar to ice cream, but denser, creamier, and chewier. Unlike the ice cream you are probably used to eating. kulfi is not whipped, so it’s more solid than ice cream. It’s simple to make and decadent to eat. It’s especially fun to freeze kulfi in cone-shaped, stainless steel kulfi molds, which you can find at any well-stocked Indian home goods store, or simply use Popsicle molds instead. Thanks to my dear friend Masha for lending me her kulfi molds from her hometown of Patiala, India.

Serves12 cones



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian

Taste and TextureCreamy, Sweet

Type of DishDessert, Frozen Dessert


  • 8 cups / 1.9 L whole milk
  • 10 green cardamom pods, crushed lightly
  • 6 tablespoons / 75 g granulated or raw cane sugar, such as Sucanat
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almond slivers, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios, finely chopped, divided


  1. In a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart / 4-L stockpot (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat, combine the milk and the cardamom pods. Bring to a boil.

  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 2 hours. Repeated stirring is very important, or it will stick to the bottom of the pot. If a light film or skin forms on the milk, collect it with a slotted spoon and discard it or stir it back into the mixture. After the cooking time is complete, the reduced mixture will yield about 3 cups / 710 mL I find cooking milk to be tricky, as it can burn easily. Keep the heat very low and stir often and well.

  3. Add the sugar to the stockpot, stir well, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sugar dissolves into the milk. I find that regular granulated sugar works best; no need to grind it to superfine. Remove from the heat.

  4. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a freezer-safe container with a very tight seal. Add the almonds and 1 tablespoon of the pistachios. Place in the freezer to chill for 40 minutes and also place kulfi or Popsicle molds in the freezer to chill.

  5. Remove the kulfi from the freezer and mash it with a fork to break up any ice crystals that have formed. Return to the freezer for 20 minutes.

  6. Repeat Step 5 at 20-minute intervals until the kulfi has stiffened. At that point, transfer it into the chilled molds and freeze for at least 3 to 4 hours, until it has hardened completely.

  7. Remove the molds from the freezer and transfer each kulfi to a dessert plate. Garnish each with the remaining pistachios and serve immediately. You may need to run the molds under hot water for a moment to release the kulfi


You’ll need a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart / 4-L stockpot (preferably nonstick); a slotted spoon; a strainer: and a freezer container or kulfi or Popsicle molds.


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