A Spicy Perspective

Kulfi Indian Ice Cream

Kulfi Indian Ice Cream – An easy no-churn authentic kulfi ice cream recipe made with pistachios, cardamom, and a hint of saffron. Perfect to serve by the scoopful or enjoy as pistachio ice cream pops!

spoon scooping kulfi ice cream from a bowl

Kulfi Indian Ice Cream

When I was younger I spent several summers in India, where I learned a plethora of delicious recipes made with vibrant seasonings and spices. I have very fond memories of walking the sweltering streets of India and ducking into cafes and shops to cool down for a moment.

A popular treat served in India to beat the heat – and one of my personal favorites – is Kulfi Ice Cream. It’s a decadent dessert made with saffron and crushed pistachios (kesar pista) folded into rich, creamy ice cream. So every wonderfully cold bite is flavorful and refreshing, with a bit of crunchy texture.

We developed our homemade NO-CHURN Indian pistachio ice cream recipe to be authentic and easy to make, no ice cream machine needed. Prep is just 10 minutes, and doesn’t include heating any ingredients on the stove. Simply whip, fold, and freeze.

Prepare this dessert in a large batch and serve in scoops, or make handy ice cream pops. Or both! Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy these bold, sweet, and nutty flavors all season long.

kulfi ice cream pops

Ingredients You Need

This fantastic and vibrant ice cream is made with 6 ingredients. While some of them might be considered specialty items, they all should be easy to find in most grocery stores.

To make authentic kesar pista Kulfi Indian Ice Cream you need:

  • Heavy cream – absolutely a must-have for ultra-creamy ice cream
  • Sweetened condensed milkadds sweetness without needing to heat sugar on the stovetop
  • Ground cardamomfor a deep, earthy flavor that balances the sweet flavors
  • Vanilla extractfor a deep earthy taste that goes great with the nuts and seasonings
  • Pistachioscrunchy, nutty, with a distinct almost-like flavor
  • Saffronadds a light floral taste that pairs perfectly with the sweeter and earthy ingredients

How to Make the Best Saffron and Pistachio Ice Cream

You first need to soften the saffron to bring out the robust flavor and make it easier to combine with the other ingredients.

Place 1 tablespoon of hot tap water in a small bowl. Add a pinch of saffron and let it soak to extract the color and flavor.

bowl with saffron and water

Meanwhile, set out an electric mixer with a whip attachment. Add the heavy cream, ground cardamom, and vanilla extract. Whip at high speed until firm peaks form. Take care to not over-whip, so the cream is smooth, not clumpy!

whipped cream with a large wire whisk in a standing mixer

The mixture should be soft and fluffy. Scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula, then whip in the saffron and water.

Next, use the spatula to fold in the sweetened condensed milk. Again, do not over mix! You want to keep as much air in the ice cream as possible.

Get the Complete (Printable) Malai Kulfi Ice Cream Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

cream and sweetened condensed milk

Once it looks smooth and even, fold in the chopped pistachios.

Pro Tip: If making popsicles, chop extra pistachios to garnish the bottom of each pop.

folding in chopped pistachios

For scoopable ice cream, place the Kulfi in an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours.

pistachio kulfi ice cream recipe

How to Make Kulfi Ice Cream Pops

Easily prepare cute and convenient handheld treats by making pistachio ice cream pops.

Before freezing, scoop the mixture into 16 small cups and insert a popsicle stick into the center of each cup.

malai ice cream in cups with sticks to make popsicles

Garnish the bottom of each pop with chopped pistachios while the ice cream is still soft.

Indian ice cream pop with crushed pistachios around the bottom

Freeze for at least 3 hours. To serve, gently turn the ice cream pops out of the cups or use kitchen shears to carefully snip and pull off the paper.

platter with homemade Kulfi ice cream pops coated with chopped pistachios

Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

close up of pistachio ice cream pop on a wooden stick

Frequently Asked Questions

What toppings go well on saffron and pistachio ice cream?

Top bowls of kesar pista ice cream with more chopped pistachios and a generous dollop of homemade whipped cream. Add extra sweetness by topping Kulfi with toasted coconut, caramel sauce, and/or white chocolate chips.

What other nuts can I use to make Kulfi Indian Ice Cream

Swap the pistachios with cashews or almonds for an equally tasty crunch.

Can I make this Kulfi recipe without nuts?

Absolutely! Leave out the pistachios if you have an allergy or just aren’t a fan.

How do I make this a vegan ice cream recipe?

I have not tried to prepare vegan Kulfi, but I’m sure it could be done. It won’t have the same ultra-rich and creamy texture, but you can try our dairy-free Coconut Milk Ice Cream as a base. Then just add other ingredients per this recipe.

How long does homemade pistachio ice cream keep well?

Keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.

scoop of kulfi saffron ice cream from a bowl

Looking for More Delicious Frozen Treat Recipes?

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes
Leave a Review »

Kulfi Indian Ice Cream Recipe + VIDEO

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Easy and authentic no-churn Kulfi Indian Ice Cream recipe made with pistachios, cardamom, and saffron. Enjoy by the scoop or as decadent ice cream pops!
Servings: 16

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place 1 tablespoon hot tap water in a small bowl. Add a pinch of saffron and let it soak to extract the color and flavor.
  • Meanwhile, set out an electric mixer with a whip attachment. Add the heavy cream, ground cardamom, and vanilla extract. Whip at high speed until firm peaks form.
  • Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Then whip in the saffron and water.
  • Use the spatula to fold in the sweetened condensed milk. Once it looks smooth and even, fold in the chopped pistachios.
  • Either place the kulfi in an airtight container and freeze, or scoop into small cups for popsicles and inside a popsicle stick in the middle of each one.
  • Freeze for at least 3 hours.

Video

Notes

If making popsicles, chop extra pistachios to garnish the bottom of each pop. You can swap the pistachios with cashews or almonds, or skip the nuts for a nut-free version.
Keep the homemade ice cream in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 200kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 36mg, Potassium: 63mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 515IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Sommer Collier

Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

Share This Recipe With Friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Did you make this recipe? Rate it!




6 comments on “Kulfi Indian Ice Cream”

  1. Oh my-pistachio ice cream was a favorite as a child but diet has changed much since then. How can this be made with lower carb content?

    Can unsweetened Light coconut milk be used? Can it be made as an ice pop without the heavy cream? Love the spices used.

    • Hi Tanya,

      You really need the fat in the cream to create the right texture here. As for the sweetened condensed milk, you could swap it for 1 additional cup of cream + 1 cup of alternative sweetener. (A sweetener that converts equally to 1 cup sugar.) If you try it, let me know how it turns out. :)

  2. Pistachio ice cream is my favorite, but the cardamom really makes it! I’ve got some in popsicle molds right now!

  3. I love how unique this is! So creamy and refreshing too.

  4. Oh wow! My hubby and I are going to love this recipe, so excited to make this and end summer on a great note! Looks wonderful and so refreshing! 

  5. The pistachio and the cardamon is this recipe are things that I dream about! I love this ice cream recipe! And I don’t have to churn it?! Game Changer