August 12, 2012

Some sheer creamy happiness - Kesar Badam Kulfi/ Saffron Almond Kulfi

This unforgiving sun, soaring temperature along with the sweltering heat make me reach out to one age old cooling recipe that has always been close to heart. Way before all the plethora of ice cream choices in our refrigerator, I guess everyone would remember looking forward to the kulfiwallah shout out on the scorching summer streets. During summer holidays, when all us cousins would gather at my grandma's was all that would ensue. In between the giddying rounds of hop scotch, hide n seek & lock n key, the shouts of the kulfiwallah on the streets would make us run to our parents begging for some (any!) money. After incessant begging, the kulfiwallah would be brought into our aangan and we would gorge our hearts out. Its memories that in fact ties everything together..So even till this date I could gladly give up all rights to any ice cream just to have all exclusivity to kulfi alone ;) Such is my dedication.

For the uninitiated - kulfi stands apart from its numerous counterparts for its absolute creaminess and richness. I would inch towards saying that its more like a gelato than an ice cream just for its sheer creaminess and softness. I had tried my hand at making kulfi previously too but I have always wondered about the chewy texture of the store bought ones. Mine never quite turned out as the one from the matki UNTIL I got this teeny weeny secret.

The last time I had tried my hand at it , it was a quick simple recipe too but only with the slight glitch of being icy at the same time. Kulfi originally is supposed to feel very creamy as it melts in your mouth. So ice is definitely NOT welcome. So in my desire to get the perfect consistency, I thought of adding something into the milk to make it thicker. So right came the idea of adding some rice flour- a little bit and try. When I finalized the recipe to be a saffron and almond kulfi,. I decided why not add in almond powder too to intensify the flavor along with thickening the mixture. Finally I got it..and of course I couldn't be any happier to find my own kulfi recipe for keeps ;)

Here's the no fuss-creamy-perfectly chewy and yes a winner of a recipe for my beloved kulfi. No need to watch over the milk or fret over the consistency. Get it, mix it, cool it and let the magic begin.

Kesar Badam Kulfi (Saffron Almond Kulfi)

Creamy and perfectly chewy with melt-in-the-mouth texture, this typical Indian summer dessert is heightened with the richness of saffron, crunchiness of almonds and the earthiness of cardamom powder. A quick, easy and sure-fire way to earn brownie points from loved ones. Most importantly, no more icy crystals and all creaminess always.

Ingredients (Makes 8-10 servings)

12 fl oz (1 can) evaporated milk
2 cup Heavy whipping cream  
1 C condensed milk (You can alter this quantity for sweeter kulfi)
1/4 tsp cardamom powder (Optional)
1/2 C slivered almonds
1/4 C warm milk + 1/4 C room temp. milk
1/2 tsp saffron threads
2 T ground basmati rice / rice flour
2 T almond powder
Sliced almonds and saffron strands as garnish


1. Soak the saffron strands in 1/4 C warm milk and keep aside.

2. Heat the evaporated milk in a pan (preferably non-stick) over medium heat until it comes to a soft boil and add the cream, condensed milk, saffron soaked in milk and cardamom powder.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk in ground rice and almond powder with 1/4 C room temperature milk to make a smooth paste and add it to the heated milk mixture.

4. Whisk the milk mixture properly to ensure its smooth in consistency. Heat it over medium-low flame for 7-8 minutes until it thickens to the consistency of heavy cream.At this point, taste the mixture and adjust sweetness. If you like the consistency, then take it out from the stove and let it cool.

5. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds/ containers and put it in the freezer till frozen.


- Usual route: If you plan to go the usual route, instead of heavy cream and evaporated milk, use 4 cups of whole milk and reduce it to 2 cups over low flame and consistent stirring. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe as stated.

- For almond and rice powder, mix in 2 T each of slivered almonds and basmati rice into a spice grinder to get a fine powder. If using whole almonds, soak the almonds to remove skin and make a paste.

- I used 1 C of condensed milk since I prefer my kulfi just perfectly sweet. 1C seemed just right and anything more I felt would take away from the richness. So if you like your kulfi sweeter, don't shy away from adding in more condensed milk.

- Ice prevention tip - Wrap the edges of the kulfi mold tightly with plastic wrap to seal it completely. This prevents any ice formation during freezing.

- Substitute almonds with any other nut that you desire and there you have a completely different flavor.

- Finally, I wish I had earthern pots for kulfi. They just add a different level of earthiness to this delicacy which is beyond compare.

Well equipped with this comforting recipe, I now have the confidence and the desire to take on this scorching heat with much more patience than anyone would give me any due credit for.Here's to sincerely hoping the sun to be a little more gentle with us and yes...make sure to avoid any distraction while enjoying your slice of kulfi..;)

Have a great rest of the summer! :)
I am submitting this recipe to :
- "Desi Vidheshi food fest" hosted by Kalyani
- "Walk through memory lane" hosted by Archana and Gayatri
- "Fun and fair food event"
- "Diwali Bash" by Vardhini
- "Bon Vivant #10: Festive feast" hosted by Sumee.


  1. Rich and delicious dessert. Yummy Kulfi.

  2. Wow... really luscious kulfi. Thanks for linking

  3. Yum yum dish,I am drollingggg.I know u have a best site and I love your comments that yu give in my site.It very encouraging to me.So I wanted to share this award with u plz accept it from my site. plz check the award tab.Thank you Jagruti,you are a super supportive person.

  4. awesome one.... I would have kulfi anytime too...

  5. Wow, thats one perfect looking kulfi!
    very very tempting!

  6. It didn't get thickened when I was heating how long should I keep hearing the mixture


Each kind, encouraging word gives me the impetus to put more into this space, so thanks a lot for browsing through and stopping by to say a word! :)